Title: The Chariot Stone
Author: Pamela Lamb
Publisher: Agneau Press
This is a great book mainly because the characters are people the reader really cares about. It is set in historical Greece, in the years following the collapse of the Mycenean and Minoan civilizations around 1,300 BC. The images of the crumbling fortresses around the townships that struggle to survive. The day to day lives of Lily the farm girl, and Xander the sailor, pirate and adventurer are vividly portrayed.
Lily goes back to her parents’ farm when she is pregnant and no longer able to help at her Aunts tavern. When she gets home, her father and most of the workers have gone off to the war, so she and her mother with only one servant Eumeus, and her halfwit brother Quin to carry on. When the village and farms surrounding it are invaded by the enemy, she becomes married to Fen who promised to look after her. This meant her doing all the work and him watching her, or him going out to hunt with his brother. With hard times in the village the farm barely able to sustain the family, they decide to move on. Lily leaves the Amber Xander had given her when they first met, under the Chariot Stone in the pig pen, believing they would come back and be reunited because of the stone. Lily sets Eumeus free as she could no longer be a slave owning a slave, yet he is determined to travel with them and watch out for Lily.
The struggles both she and Xander face in the years following and their brief happy reunion, facing warfare and bloodshed, being kept apart by the lies and manipulations of a war making and evil Lord Alkmon. They would not realize how much he had affected their lives during their flight from a besieged city. Rosa, Lily daughter to Fen, was a pawn in Alkmons game. Lily unwittingly fell for the charms of the sly man while Xander was struggling to survive the harsh conditions of labor in the mines. After Lily, Rosa, Quin and Eumeus escape certain death by Alkmons scheme; they were taken in by Fens’ tribe. Here they had to adapt to another culture and again find themselves bending to the will of the chief and hierarchy of the tribe. Rosa was especially rebellious and went to live with the Amazon women rather than be forced to marry.
On Pam’s web page she comments how some of her readers have said her characters are people they can talk to. This is so true. The scenery and the roads they trod seem equally vivid. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking for a tale of love, interwoven with the horrors of warfare and bloodshed in historical cultures. This is really a great story and one I really loved.