In Eire, Ardal is a member of the king's elite patrol the Fianna. However, more important to the ambitious Ardal is winning at everything at all costs. He especially enjoys defeating his cousin Bryan who he considers a loser because the latter has compassion for people and animals like his horse. Ardal's ultimate victory will occur when he becomes the King when the current monarch Nessan dies.
At the Lughnassa Fair, Bryan is attracted to Niamh and her to him. However, he only offers a fourteen day mating as his Lughnassa sister, but she wants all or nothing. Meanwhile, Ardal sees Niamh as a trophy to be won when he out mans his cousin. Still Niamh informs her suitors that they must answer her riddle of what three things do women want if they desire her.
This entertaining tale is at its best when the plot focuses on a fabulous historical romance starring two likeable protagonists and an arrogant antagonist who feels everything is a contest won by the swagger of the bring them on courage willing to risk anything to win. When the tale adds on fantasy elements especially involving a wild pony, the story line loses some momentum as these magical components seem forced and fail to blend smoothly into the historical theme. Still readers will enjoy the DAUGHTER OF GOLD as the triangle romance is unique and fun to follow as Ardal makes Niamh the latest competition with his cousin.
I found this book rather boring. The hero is a good man (slated to be king) but the things he was saying to the heroine were beyond stupid and aggravating. How can one man be so clueless? Oh yeah, he's a man and all they think about is sex so I guess it is understandable.
The heroine is from a low-born farming family with no desire to be queen. The interplay between the H/H was more annoying than anything else.
The paranormal element in the book was the only thing that kept me reading. A puca (an evil spirited horse) was the star of this book. He was badly treated in life and was taking revenge on anyone seen brutalizing animals. The book really revolved around him and saving him from the angry citizents of the town and/or saving the citizens from the puca.
All in all, an ok book but not one of her better novels