Epona is losing the gift of communicating with the animals. The only way to restore it is to give birth to a girl child, as is expected of the daughters of the Mother Goddess. Epona needs to find a man to plant the seed, then be done with him, because men and carnivores disturb the peace in those who serve the Great Mother. Meanwhile, after submitting to the test of fire to proof his fitness as the next leader of a group of Danes, Valgar the Beast hears about a priestess who can provide him with horses, and sets out to find the old "hag," but instead he finds the beautiful young Epona, whom he captures. First, he is interested in her as a healer, second, as someone to give him prestige as a leader, and, finally, as a soul mate. Readers of such historical titles as Claudia Dain's To Burn will enjoy Squires' epic style and unforgettable characters. Shelley Mosley
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