The Monk who Cast a Spell
by Sharon Bradshaw
About The Book:
Durstan, a 17 year old Monk, falls in love with Ailan in 794AD. She
disappears after their sexual awakening at Beltane, and he is left shocked and
confused when he meets her again several months later on Mull. He becomes drawn
to Beth who believes that she can obtain the protection of the Christian Church
by manipulating the Monk’s emotions. Durstan realises that he can no longer
live with the punishments and deprivation at the Iona Monastery. His life must
change. Love belongs to everyone.
We meet Durstan’s family and friends; the Monks; Abbot Faisal; Brionach the
Druid and Lora, the slave girl who loves him; Saille, Ailan’s friend; the
children; Erik the Viking warlord with his family, and many others as the story
unfolds against the beautiful scenery of Scotland’s Hebridean islands.
The characters cross the sea from Iona in coracles to walk through ancient
forest to Lord Duncan’s Hall inside its timber enclosure on Mull. The seasons
change from Spring to midwinter, when the old Gods are in the magic of the
firelight and the shadows at Yule. It is a time when the early Christian
Church continues to be challenged by tradition, and the Druids. Charms, amulets
and spells are prevalent. The Monks use these too, and the books which Brother
Andrew writes have their own magical element.
Durstan celebrates the Beltane Solstice with Ailan, and Abbot Faisal is forced
to ignore the ancient fertility rite because the old Gods are then at their most
powerful. People change belief easily in precarious times. Durstan becomes
confused in a society dominated by fear of being outcast; violence; slavery,
famine and disease. Men and women in the 8th century are seeking protection from
the most powerful God: husband, Lord or Abbot.
And Durstan’s goal… to regain Ailan’s love.
Sharon was born in London, has an LLB Law
Degree and practised as a Solicitor until 2012 when she became Manager of her
She ran a writing competition in 2011 and published an Anthology of selected
entries, raising funds to buy bread for children in Tanzania.
Sharon has a passion for history. She has had poetry published and writes the
Hope and Dreams Blog. She wants to raise awareness of basic human rights,
including a child’s entitlement to education and love.
She discovered a young man sitting on a low stone wall gazing out to sea.
Durstan, “The Monk who cast a Spell”, was on Iona in 794AD waiting for the
Vikings to arrive. His story explores Celtic spirituality, the early Christian
Church and traditional belief in the Old Gods. An inspirational tale of finding
and losing love, how lives are incomplete without kindness and compassion, it
considers the necessity of religion and the importance of change.
Sharon lives near Warwick in the UK with her family. “The Monk who cast a
Spell” is her first novel and she is writing the sequel.