Natasha and her fragile friend Nadia are kidnapped from their wandering band of Magyars and taken from The Steppes to be sold into slavery in Ireland, a distant land where no one understands her language.
Meanwhile, Sean, abandoned to the monks as a babe, dreams of foreign travel. His scholarship, especially his knowledge of languages, is considerable and hislonging for adventure promises to be fulfilled when he's assigned by the abbot to negotiate with the Vikings for protection.
The destinies of Tasha and Sean become entangled when she escapes by hiding in Sean's small sailing craft. The couple travels first to the monastery where Sean learns the awful truth of his heritage and the circumstances soon broaden their travels.
For high romance and unusual historic interest, Kathryn Hockett mixes an intense love story with the background clash of Slavic, Nordic and Irish cultures during the First Millennium. The period, and this proficient handling of it from many different viewpoints, provides an appealing multicultural journey and a satisfying quest romance. SENSUAL (Sep., 304 pp)