Once upon a time, I was Morgann, a 9th century Irish calligrapher-monk.
Deirdre was my assignment, my forbidden love, a witch with whom I wrote a coveted book.
Unfortunately, our story didn't get a chance to become a fairy tale, it turned out as a famous urban legend referred as The Black Angel Book.
In order to protect the book from getting in to the wrong hands, Deirdre cast a spell. One where I remember and she forgets. Under her spell, our souls travel from body to body until we find each other again. Eventually.
My quest is to find Deirdre, in whatever body her soul inhabits and trigger her memory. Only, the woman I find 1200 years later is not what I was expecting.
Rose is not my type but my soul yearns for her. Every sign tells me that she is my Deirdre. How do I convince this broken, quiet and unbelieving woman that she is my twice upon a time?
Centuries ago I was Morgann. Albeit I am neither immortal nor a supernatural creature of any kind, I am now an urban legend. For I am something else.
I am a soul that gained awareness of its existence; a wandering soul inhabiting various bodies throughout their mortal life.
A soul longing to be reunited with its soulmate.
Like the fairytale, you know, “Once upon a time…” And the rest of the story unfolds, sometimes with torments, but always with a happy ending. Only that is not how it turned out for us.
So maybe we should try another story line that would end better this time. Let’s say, “Twice upon a time,” maybe?
Anyway. This is what I am.
Centuries later, this soul eventually ended up in my body. Now I feel I can speak on Morgann’s behalf, for I’m him and he’s me. We’re one.
Fearless and hopeful, when Morgann’s body died, his soul began its journey. His body was no longer of use but his soul had lived on, intact, searching for her frantically. Her? Well, that would be Deirdre, a powerful medicine woman accused of being a witch.
Some witnessed my encounter with Deirdre and what followed, back when I was still Morgann. I, Morgann, a monk working on the now infamous Book of Kells. Witch or medicine woman, I couldn’t care less because right from the start I had that gut feeling she was the one for me, even as I had simply stared at the river of shiny black hair falling down to her back. It was meant to be.
Yes, we were undeniably soulmates. Twist of fate? I have no idea but that was how connected our souls were and still are, somehow. What was Deirdre doing there that day in the monastery? I didn’t dare ask. After that, I was already too involved to search for more explanation. My fate was sealed and so was hers. When we were introduced, we grasped at once that we were made for one another as long as we lived. Too bad we hadn’t foreseen our time together would be shortened by greedy people. Hopefully she was resourceful and found a way to escape our fate.
Let me tell you about us.
What did we do wrong?
Well, when you’re a monk, there is no such thing as falling in love and breaking the vows of celibacy but I did. When you’re a medicine woman, there is no such thing as engaging in a passionate relationship with a man, and not just any man but a monk.
So the medicine woman was accused of being a witch for her medicine involved plants, charms and casting spells as well. Truth be told, she was a witch. There was no doubt about it.
Morgann was born in Ireland in the 8th century. When exactly? Not sure. Nobody was good at keeping track around that time. For some reason, though, centuries later I had a dream about the encounter that changed everything; it happened in the year 813.
Shameless, Deirdre and I broke all the rules. Deirdre had been paid to write what she knew about strong medicine and spells. I was one of the chosen script monks who wrote the book in calligraphy with her, for years.
That meaningful book didn’t belong to us. It was theirs. So meaningful they ended up referring to it as poisonous when I’d rather call it visionary. Who were they? The sleeping partners; narrow-minded judgmental people who started to get scared of her. Of us. They needed to destroy us. Deirdre didn’t realize their attempt until it was almost too late.
But we had to stop them once we had apprehended their genuine intentions. Their goal was plain and simple, yet we were too blinded by our love to see it right from the start. They were seeking eternal life. But it didn’t work that way. None of them ever figured out how to cast the right spell at the right time on the chosen person.
When it got out of hand, people’s imagination was already at work. At once, word-of-mouth spread the tale that soon became legendary. Why? Well…who could believe in our true fate? A soul that lived on until reunited with its soulmate, come on!
Soon enough, our legend started. Our peculiar story and the supposedly poisonous book were referred to as the Black Angel Book.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First, I would like to thank the author for gifting me this book through netgalley. I enjoyed this book very much. The characters are well developed and written. The storyline is well done. I loved Virgil and would like to know even more about him. Rose grew as a character throughout the story, but I felt she didn't listen. I cannot wait to read more from Hope Irving.
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