Molly's Reviews

Dorice Nelson

Excellend read…… Highly Recommended……. 5 stars

The time is mid 800s AD Ireland. Kellach sees most of her clan brutally murdered or carried away into bondage by roving Norsemen. She and her friend Olwen are the only ones to remain unscathed and hidden as the barbarians attack. The little girls are seen solely by a thirteen year old Gael slave who does not give their hiding place away. Years later Kellach remains troubled with nightmares resulting from viewing the carnage.

Kellach is now grown, the leader of her clan and hopeful that one day she will again see her long lost mother and have the Druid curse she feels upon herself lifted. The return of the Norsemen signal a change in the lives of the Gael clan living at An Dun Gaeta like none they have known before. This conqueror is kindly, firm and not at all like the ones the people have known and feared for so long. Kellach along with her people is enslaved, however the Norsemen are neither cruel nor barbaric. Kellach's stubborn nature often gets in the way of reason as she and Bruic the leader of the Norsemen butt heads.

In time Kellach learns the secret behind Bruic's determination. The pair must deal with machination on the part of both the Norse leader Olaf who is determined to win Dublin back from the Danes, and over king Morfinn and his loutish son Ronan who lead the clan next to Kellach's.

Writer Dorice Nelson is an imaginative creator of a saga filled with well developed winning characters, twists and turns, intrigue, intense narrative and a lusty love of life set against the backdrop of Viking era Ireland. The tale is as noteworthy as it is unforgettable in portrayal of an era when just staying alive another day was often almost impossible.

The reader is caught up in a sense of adventure combined with the at times almost overwhelming helplessness of people whose lives were held completely at the pleasure
of a master. Even Bruic the conquering Norseman has a master to whom he answers. Writer Nelson weaves a pleasing character driven tale filled with danger, action and just enough romance to satisfy the longing we harbor for a good outcome to what often seems an impossible dream for either Kellach or Bruic.

Upon the pages of "Unlawful" the reader is treated to a gritty glimpse into what is obviously a well researched work set in a time when ninth century Gael clans would customarily turn on one another and/or work with an enemy against their own people. Daily life during this period in time was an ongoing struggle of brutal conquest and heightened passions set against stark uncertainty, danger and scheming.

The tale pulls the reader right into the adventure from the opening paragraph with a vivid description of the Norse attack and holds tight until the last page.

I enjoyed the read and look forward to the next to come from the fertile mind of this accomplished writer.

Saratoga SummerSaratoga Summer
Dorice Nelson

Enjoyed the read…… Highly Recommended……. 5 stars

In Ireland twenty years ago eleven year old Connor O'Malley watched sadly as Bowes Brennan set off with his two small daughters following the accidental death of Bowes' wife Annie. Connor's father Finn, the Laird O'Malley, promised Bowes that should the time ever arise all the horseman had to do was ask and his Laird would respond. When the time came that Bowes did call in that marker old Finn did not hesitate to set up a lottery among his five
grown sons as to which would honor the promise, marry Bowes' daughter Sinead by proxy and set out to save the girl and the child she is raising from a pair of deceitful in-laws.

Within days Connor is onboard ship to America with his younger brother Egan. The pair arrive at the docks in New York City in mid July 1863 just in time to be caught up in the rigors of the draft riots following the Conscription lottery held on July 12. Sinead and Connor are each stubborn individuals given to bursts of fiery Irish temper. Hardly have the two said hello to one another before they are embroiled in fighting first for their lives and then for the new family they both hold dear.

This is the third work by Dorice Nelson that I have read for review. "Saratoga Summer" is another in the body of well wrought tales produced by this writer. As we found in "The Gunn of Killearnan" and "Unlawful", "Saratoga Summer" is filled with the same gritty colloquy, robust characters and well developed story line advanced on the author's good solid research into the time, people and the place portrayed in the work.

"Saratoga Summer" is an action packed account completed with bang-up writing and a good story line. Writer Nelson uses her maturing talent to craft an engaging product presenting the invidious events experienced by those living through the riots of July 1863 in New York City. The reader is caught up in the drama from the outset and the desperate escape made through the riot filled streets by Connor, Sinead and their family enroute to Saratoga keeps the reader turning the pages.

Sinead and Connor are each stubborn, strong willed individuals who spend much of their time allowing their 'Irish temper' get the best of them as they feel their way along in their neoteric marriage.

The narrative carries the reader along from the opening paragraphs and holds them fast right on to the last lines in this work crafted with superior prose, superbly fleshed out characters the reader is loathe to leave and more than a little artifice. I hope to learn that "Saratoga Summer" is the first in a series about the O'Malley and Brennan clans.

the Gunn of KillearnanThe Gunn Of Killearnan
by Dorice Nelson
Reviewers Choice, Highly recommended, 5 stars

Scotland in 1650 was a lusty, dangerous place. Gerek Gunn is a man who has learned to distrust all women; his mother was known to lie. Gerek accepts that all women cannot be trusted. He is convinced they are all liars. Gerek's one overriding ambition in life is to become the Gunn of Killearnan. When he meets Catriona McFarr he recognizes immediately that the 'young man' is nothing more than a woman in disguise.

Catriona has run away from the brutal father who has betrothed her, sight unseen and without her knowledge or acceptance, to the Beast of Battle. She knows that her brothers, men almost as brutish as is her father will haul her home if they can find her. Gerek agrees to help her escape, nevertheless Catriona is captured by one of her brothers and is returned home in chains where she comes face to face with the man she must marry.

The Gunn of Killearnan is a fast moving, action packed Historical Romance filled with excellent writing, credible characters and a good story line. Writer Nelson has crafted an entertaining work that grabs the writer from the opening page and holds interest right on to the past paragraph. This work is filled with excellent descriptive language, detailed characters the reader feels they might like to know and plenty of intrigue.

The interplay between Gerek and Catriona is amusing at times as each lie to the other about themselves and discuss their future intentions. Gerek too is engaged, to a woman he has been told is ugly and fat. Catriona's dismay for having to marry a man so horrible he is know as Beast of Battle is a situation most women might find repugnant.

Writer Nelson deftly weaves a narrative around the chance meeting between the two main characters along with the intertwined with the underlying circumstance each is facing. The surprise ending may sneak up on you if you are not careful.




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© 2005 by Molly Martin