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A compelling tale of two Scotlands one modern one ancient and the woman who parts the veil between themThe medication that treats Maggie’s seizures leaves her in a haze but it can’t dull her grief at losing her daughter to the same condition With her marriage dissolved and her son away at school Maggie retreats to a cottage below the ruins of Dunadd once the royal seat of Scotland But is it fantasy or reality when she awakens in a bustling village within the massive walls of eighth century Dunadd? In a time and place so strange yet somehow familiar Maggie is drawn to the striking somber Fergus brother of the king and father of Illa who bears a keen resemblance to Maggie’s late daughter With each dreamlike journey to the past Maggie grows closer to Fergus and embraces the possibility of staying in this Dunadd But with present day demands calling her back can Maggie leave behind the Scottish prince who dubs her mo chridhe my heart?

10 thoughts on “Veil of Time

  1. says:

    'Tis verra dangerous to compare a book to Outlander as the cover blurb of this one does

  2. says:

    “It’s no accident it is called ‘his story’ I did do research but only as needed I didn’t do years of research ahead of time like Dan Brown”Oooh dear I've ranted enough about this book to anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot Suffice it to say that the above uotes from the author A at the end of the book should tell you all you need to know about the uality of the historical background hereFor the record the word history comes from the Greek historia from the word for a narrative or inuiry Nothing to do with hisherstheirsanyone's storyIt's a pain because this is such a fascinating and hardly used period but the book is full of clumsy mistakes misconceptions and unlikelihoods Like portraying Christian missionaries as newcomers to Dál Riata in the eighth century when in fact all the principal monasteries in the area had been well established for than a century and by which time Dál Riata and Pictland were both pretty well Christianised Oops It was the Picts not the Scots who were said to practise matrilineal succession I'm certainly no expert on the period but some of the historical howlers in here were just painful Even in a period where there is so much wiggle room for differing interpretations there are still some things that are well documentedIt's also one of those books that trots out all the well worn clichés of the EVUL Christian church and how it destroys all that is virtuous and pagan and feminine Of course the Church has been responsible for terrible atrocities throughout the centuries but you need to employ a bit of nuance How else can you explore how Christianity was able to grow as powerful as it did without showing how it appealed to people? But naturally the two Christian monks who appear are one dimensional stereotypes who use their five minutes' screentime to spit venom about how The Evil Of All Women etc etc I'm sure we've all met fundies like that but the book gives no indication that this is the same early medieval church that produced such influential women as St Hild or St Brigid or St Theneu And on the subject of witch burnings the Malleus Maleficarum was denounced as false and antithetical to Christianity by the Church just three years after its publication and not even used by the Inuisition If you want to know how it became so influential in the later post Reformation witch crazes you're gonna have to dig a fair bit deeper than just but the CHURCH Research Research is your friendCombine that with the worst kind of soppy nationalistic sentimentalism Of course our main character has vivid dreams where she meets the Bruce Wallace Burns and Mary ueen of Scots Not auld Jeannie McLaren from Dundee or someone Apparently James VI is a turncoat and a disgrace to his mother for uniting the crowns Because Mary had no designs on the English throne amirite?? I guess we just need to ignore that whole Babington plot thing The last straw was when the Stone of Destiny put in its inevitable appearance and my eyes rolled into the back of my head and stayed there for a whileApart from all that the whole thing is told in such a remote disengaged style that it kind of held me at arm's length the whole time and it was impossible to get involved The characters are paper thin and although the whole story hinges on the relationship between Maggie and Fergus they have absolutely zero meaningful interaction before they're shagging and overusing the phrase mo chridhe and their interactions after that aren't much betterPoor Very poor

  3. says:

    Find this and other reviews at had high hopes for Claire R McDougall’s Veil of Time but admit the reality failed to meet my expectations Try as I might I couldn’t get into the story and ultimately found the background information far interesting than Maggie’s implausible romance with an eighth century Celtic warrior Please excuse my impertinence but I didn’t recognize one iota of chemistry within these pages Maggie and Fergus go through the motions rightly enough but that is as far as McDougall takes it Where was the intensity? The raw emotion? The genuine cosmic connection? The plot is entirely dependent on this affair but the lack of authenticity undermined the credibility of their relationship and by default that of the larger story Maggie’s epilepsy put an interesting twist on her ability to jump through time but I felt the inconstant nature of her travels and McDougall’s failure to adeuately explain the intricacies of these episodes detrimental to the integrity of the narrative I understand her seizures and the medications she takes to control them are the catalyst that make her journeys possible but ideally I would have liked the author to have exerted effort toward explaining the mechanics of Maggie’s transcendence of the space time continuumThese disappointments aside I was drawn to McDougall’s portrayal of life in Dunadd Her unsentimental recreation of the attitudes beliefs and social structure of the Iron Age settlement are wonderfully researched and fascinatingly detailed I also appreciated how she utilized this setting to explore the history of witch hunting as well as the anthropology of Celtic paganism and early Christianity Now I know everyone wants to know how Veil of Time compares to Outlander but as I’ve not read the latter I cannot make the token comparison I do however think it interesting that the author herself implies her confidence in the manuscript was jump started by Gabaldon’s popularity “I already had another book placed with my agent though he had had no luck in selling it I kept Veil of Time in my drawer because I didn’t want him to stop plugging the first novel After a while I heard that a film version of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander was in the offing which turned out not to be true so I thought I had better get Veil of Time out Time travel seems to be a topic of great popular interest and my agent was able to sell it relatively uickly”Overly drawn out and painfully slow I can’t say I particularly enjoyed the time I spent with this piece and in all honesty I’d have difficulty recommending it to anyone but those with a vested interest in ancient Celtic culture The books incorporates some great subject matter but the story itself didn’t appeal to me

  4. says:

    This is a wonderful book even though it’s not easy to classify Not fitting into a ready made genre doesn’t take away the pleasure of reading it Though our heroine slips from the present into Iron Age Scotland and back again it’s not strictly a time travel story Time travel can’t be reduced to mechanics in any eventThough there’s plenty of chemistry between Maggie and the king’s brother it’s not just a romance It’s bigger denser than thatThough there are terrific well researched details of life in an 8th century fortress town the medical realities of epilepsy and even an on site description of a devastating earthuake the book doesn’t overwhelm a reader with minutiae The language is so carefully chosen the plot so finely crafted that we are drawn into it as if by hypnosis Claire McDougall is a writer of fiction but her heart is the heart of a poetConsider this moment when Maggie feels a seizure coming on “the heat moves up my legs and soon everything begins to dissolve back into the atoms out of which it came The particles grow big and bigger until I begin to sueeze between them and then I am falling into whatever abyss there is once you remove the stuff that everything is made of” Now that is real sensation rendered into words on a page There's beauty in those words Pigeonhole it as you must VEIL OF TIME is a lovely book intelligent solid and satisfying

  5. says:

    Well researched clever premise however execution failed I’m sorry to say this just didn’t work for me I wanted it to but in the end it was a total missThe ‘dreams’ were well crafted the continuation aspect was smart The descriptions of Scotland – full on perfect extremely detailed you truly feel transported to this distant time and placeThe chemistry between Maggie and Fergus was nonexistent Chalk it up to language barrier the behavior of men in the time period whatever the case there was absolutely no spark no tangible raw attraction Their interaction felt clunky and awkward at best I failed to see and sense a pull towards one another flatness throughout I felt the narrative was all over the place a few areas caught my attention others were average really no apex the ending was barely okay I patiently awaited something major to take place sadly nothing came about no definable build up There was an unmistakable monotone vibe of the narrative no inflections at allI would read from this authoress she was on to something it just missed translation on to paper for this reader No doubt this story had potential arduous effortFor this and other reviews visit

  6. says:

    When I saw the synopsis for the book I was intrigued and my interest was piued I wanted to read the book and thought that I would be reading a great moving historical love story a la the Outlander series After finishing it though I’m sad to say that it didn’t come off that way The I read the it became increasingly clear that this is not working out for me This is unfortunate because I wanted to like this and I was hoping that it would eventually get better In the end all I was left with was the feeling of wanting to have liked itOne of the things that bothered me about this book was that I found the characters and their relationships with each other lacking in believability I felt that not enough time was spent developing the characters I really didn’t get a sense of who they are on a level where I came to care about them I knew Maggie was divorced and was still suffering the repercussions of not only her epileptic seizures but the loss of her daughter and the estrangement from her son I knew Fergus was feeling embittered by those in his family because of their insistence for him to marry again But for all that there wasn’t anything about them that made me feel anything beyond the superficial I didn’t feel anything deeperNow if I didn’t feel anything for them as individual characters it made it even difficult for me to buy them as a couple In all honesty I didn’t really understand what it was about each other that drew Maggie and Fergus together It seemed like each made some observations about the other and the next thing I knew they wanted to be with each other always I didn’t see the progression of their relationship from strangers to passionate lovers This lack of believability on my part affected the rest of my outlook on the book considering the central conflict is Maggie having to choose between the past and her present This was also apparent between Maggie and Fergus’s daughter Illa There was potential there to delve into the relationship between mother and daughter especially since Maggie lost hers and this second chance at having a daughter again But like it was between Maggie and Fergus this relationship wasn’t developed as well It just felt like Illa just accepted her presence and eventually started calling her mother Again I couldn’t believe in these relationships because I didn’t feel that they weren’t developed properly and see the evolution of it My issues with the characters and their relationships illustrate the bigger issue of the book for me As a whole the story just felt like it was floating on the surface without delving deeper It felt as if the author Claire R McDougall wanted to keep the story moving therefore not taking the time to clarify details It led me many times to uestion certain aspects of the story because I wasn’t fully understanding what was going on and also I didn’t get a full picture of the times that Maggie was inhabiting For example I wasn’t clear on the mechanics of Maggie’s time travel Does she physically travel back? Or is it her conscious mind or her soul that travels back in time? What happens when she comes out of her deep sleep after her seizures in the past? uestions such as these kept on running through my mind and left this hole in the plot for me that bothered me Further I believe that the book could have benefitted from a descriptive type of writing I didn’t get a full sense of the Scotland that Maggie was traveling back to I only got certain details but not enough to make me entrenched in that timeThis book was a little frustrating because it had such potential to be so good I saw it spurts both in the characters and especially the writing There were certain moments and scenes where the writing showed itself to be beautiful with a fairytale like uality that lent a mysterious tone But I would’ve liked it for have gone deeper and given I liked the link between the thesis Maggie was working on about witches and the hunt for them and the character of Sula the druidess who represent the women that will be hunted and burned for their practices So I saw the book having these good things going for it but they weren’t developed and polished enoughBeing a recent fan of the Outlander series worked in favor and against Veil of Time My love of the series prompted me to also raise my interest in this book However I probably was also comparing it to the series Unfortunately this book didn’t come close to it This book was one of those books that I felt had the potential to be better than what it was if was given to it The concept was there and was an interesting one but the execution needed work Received Advanced Uncorrected Proof from Goodreads First Read giveaway

  7. says:

    SPOILER ALERT As a long time fan of Diana Gabaldon and a recent fan of Susanna Kearsley I must say I found this book to have great potential but really lacked development both in plot and characterLet's start with plot development The plot here is that Maggie has epilepsy and is slated for a lobectomy to cure it So newly divorced and rocking in the wake of her daughter's death she heads off to a small Scottish village to work on her thesis She has seizures which send her back to 765 BC I'm all for time travel don't get me wrong but the mechanics seemed a little far fetched Initially when she would go back in time she'd pick up right where she left But as the book progressed she'd pick up later than she'd left off No explanation as to how her avatar is functioning without her consciousness which one would assume is this case because they never mention her being physically gone All in all I felt the time travel was not well thought outdevelopedNow character If you're going to compare this to Jamie and Claire then by God you have to develop him and make us fall in love with him Jamie would NEVER have dry humped the druidess in front of Claire Jamie puts Claire first and foremost over all others and wouldn't leave her in a swampy village to go rescue Mommy Don't get me wrong Fergus is a likable enough guy and definitely better than his brother but I still found him lacking

  8. says:

    Loved it I've been scourging around the dumps of fiction for about a month since Outlander ended and I was extremely surprised to be so taken with this story and truly be swept up in a uniue and realistic setting I cried in the end and cried even harder when I realized it WAS the end I'm eager for the next book to come out and I can't wait to see if the Scottish independence referendum results will affect the story line I hope they do

  9. says:

    This genre time travel seems to be uite popular these days And of course the setting is Scotland Maggie is getting ready for major surgery to possibly eliminate her seizures but of course there are risks She is also divorced and the mother of two although her daughter has died She travels to a remote area of Scotland to finish up research on witches and experiences seizures which send her back to the 700's The story itself is uite interesting but the prevalence of anti Catholic messages became disturbing to me The author McDougall reiterated throughout the story how the Church hated women I can't help but think how women like St Teresa of Avila or St Catherine of Siena or St Claire of Assisi were esteemed for their brilliance and piety Oh well Fascinating historical content and her use of alternating voices of the different characters by chapter was interesting

  10. says:

    I am shelving books to sell at my garage sale and there's a book that I didn't know I had and never read Soon I am sucked into the agonizing seizures which send Maggie way back in time to Scotland She barely can speak their Gaelic but finds love This is an intriguing novel and there is a seuel which is Druid Hill I am very interested in finding it My father's ancestors came from Scotland