The Chronicles of Iona: Exile tells the story of the Irish monk and Scottish warrior, Saint Columba and Aedan mac Gabran, who would band together to lay the foundation of the nation of Scotland. They were a real-life 6th-century Merlin and King Arthur and their story has never been told.
The book begins in 563 A.D. The Roman Empire is long gone, freeing the region of Scotland from the threat of imperial rule but opening it to chaos from warring tribes vying for control. Columba, a powerful abbot-prince, is exiled from Ireland to the pagan colony of Dal Riata on Scotland’s west coast for an act of violence. There he encounters Aedan, the down-and-out second son of the colony’s former king, slain by the Picts.
Together, this unlikely pair travels the breadth of a divided realm, each in search of his own kind of unity. Their path is fraught with blood feuds, lost love, treachery, dark gods and monsters, but also with miracles and valor. Beset on all sides, their only hope is to become allies—and to forge a daring alliance with the pagan Picts.
How Columba overcame exile and a crisis of faith to found the famous monastery of Iona (one of the greatest centers of learning in Dark Age Europe) and, from it, the Celtic Church in the British Isles; and how Aedan avenged his father’s death and became, against all odds, the progenitor of Scottish kings and the greatest warlord of his age, begins here.
For both, what begins as a personal imperative becomes a series of events that lead to the foundation of Iona and the kingdom of Scotland—events that literally change the world.
It is 567 A.D. Four years after journeying with the Scottish warrior Aedan mac Gabran into the land of the wild Picts, Irish abbot-prince Columba is forced back there to seek Aedan’s aid for an epic battle. Aedan must leave his Pictish wife and child and return to his first love, now married to the brother whose princely power he has vowed to help save.
Following the adventures of The Chronicles of Iona: Exile, Columba and Aedan set out on a perilous journey, beset by beasts, miracles, and doubts every step of the way. Yet once home, the friends’ struggle to quell the chaos of the western shores only unearths even more secrets and prophecies that test old loyalties and faiths of all kinds.
While Saxon invaders spread from the east and the Britons’ many kingdoms battle for sovereignty, the Scots’ ancestors from Ireland also enter the fray, and Aedan and Columba must fight enemies both political and personal in a desperate attempt to protect everything they have come to love. As time runs out for the Scots, can they save Dal Riata before it is engulfed in a savage civil war—and before Conall, their king, takes both their heads?
Prophet, the second book in historic series The Chronicles of Iona, plunges the reader into the world of 6th-century Scotland, Ireland and Britain, a world on the brink of either collapse or creation, poised between myth and history.
Yet, old enemies soon threaten to destroy all these two friends hold most dear, and Aedan is forced to scatter his family and go in search of a fabled lost prince who holds the key to unifying his ancestral homeland in the wilds of Ireland. Guiding him on this perilous mission is Columba who, by returning from exile to his beloved motherland, risks death at every turn. Beset on all sides by hostile Britons, Irish, and Picts, their quest to bring stability to a divided, contentious region comes at an unexpected cost neither is willing to pay.Island-Pilgrim, the third volume in the epic series The Chronicles of Iona, brings to vivid and striking life the world of 6th-century Scotland and Ireland, a world struggling against forces both intimate and profound to shed the chaos of the Dark Ages for the light of a new age.
Is there going to be a fourth book in the series?
Thanks for asking. Yes, there will be 8, in fact. I’m working on the 4th now, called “Cradle of Saints”. I’ll keep everyone posted here, but so far so good!
There is so much story to tell about these two–I wonder if 8 will do it!
Can’t wait. Do you have an ETA on book 4?
Hi MeeeThreee. Thanks so much for asking! The spring? It’s really coming along. There’s lots to pack into this one–plot strands to resolve, and some really cool historical sites in the North of Ireland and the Isle of Man to weave into the story. This one’s got it all, and then some: battles and intrigue, of course, plus sweet revenge, Columba’s long-lost love (yes, you read that correctly!), and the plague, which hit the British Isles hard in the 570s. That feels especially timely, given COVID-19, and there’s much to explore there.
Anything in particular you’d like to see???
All the best until then. Paula
Thanks for the quick reply. I’m just looking forward to the next book. It sounds great. Can’t wait!
Longer days and “Cradle of Saints” , two things to look forward this spring
What a lovely thought. Thank you Lisa. Working hard on “Cradle”. It’s keeping me sane in the midst of our present madnesses! All the best to you.