by Miriam Newman
Born at a royal banquet for King Conor MacNessa of Ulster, Deirdre is predicted by Conor’s own druid to be blessed and cursed with a beauty that will make kingdoms contest over her. He names her “Deirdre of the Sorrows” and urges the king to slay her. But Conor, unwilling to murder a babe, takes her under his protection only to fall prey to the curse when she is nearly grown. Captivated by her youth and beauty, the aging king will go to any extreme to possess her.
On the fairest of summer days, Naisi sat beneath a tree on a hillock making music yet more fair. It was that which pulled Deirdre in, of course. She could no more resist it than a trout does the lure and when she saw the sheer, pure beauty of the man making it, that drew her more strongly yet, for she knew him from her dreams.
Still, Leabhar had raised her to be circumspect, so no word did she say. Instead she only passed Naisi, eyes downcast like any modest maid’s so that no evil could be said of her. But beauty speaks for itself and Naisi, seeing it, was struck to the heart and he spoke: “How fair a doe my music has called.”
“What use to be a fair doe where there are no bucks?” she responded.
Now the son of Usna was no fool, being himself a chief in Ulster though a young one. He had heard of Felim’s daughter secreted in a fortress of the king and suspected this must be the girl, so he tested her, saying, “I think you have the prize buck of this land.”
“Yet if I were to choose,” Deirdre persevered, “I choose the young buck.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals. You can see my books at www.miriamnewman.com.
Miriam Newman Author