Review: Alba is Mine by Jen Black

Today, I'm sharing my review for Alba is Mine by author Jen Black. Set in 11th century Scotland, it's right up my street with its sense of adventure, politics and a touch of romance.

An absolutely gripping read, Alba Is Mine is the kind of story that stays with you well beyond the last page. It's well-plotted, with realistic characters, and the author describes the setting very well.

Buchan Coast, north-east Scotland, image Pixabay

It is the year 1034, and King Malcolm II sends Finlay of Moray north on a mission to Finlay's half-brother, Thorfinn of Orkney – a thorn in Malcolm’s side. Finlay, who recently discovered his childhood love, Kilda, married off to another, is stalling when Thorfinn suggests marriage to his own headstrong sister, Ratagan, as part of the negotiations with Malcolm. 

When news of Malcolm's death, and ambitious Duncan's accession to the throne, reach them, Finlay sides with Thorfinn to fight against the one man that stands between him and the throne of Alba he rightly claims. But with Kilda's scheming, and Ratagan's temper, can he focus on the task ahead?

I enjoyed reading this adventure of a dark period in Scotland’s history. Assassinations amongst heirs to the throne were commonplace, and loyalties could shift overnight. Ms Black described the politics of the day well within the context of the plot, and without turning the novel into a history timeline. Add a few likeable characters for readers to rally for and the gorgeous setting that is Scotland, and you have a gripping combination.

Its absorbing mix of romance, adventure and politics makes Alba Is Mine a must-read for fans of medieval Scottish romantic fiction with a strong dash of action and intrigue. 


In 1034, the fuse has been lit that will change the kingship of Alba. When his place in the succession is rejected, Finlay of Moray rebels against his uncle the king and sides with half-brother Thorfinn of Orkney.

With his intended bride married off to his cousin, his boyhood friend joining the opposing side and the threat of war looming, there is little happiness for Finlay. Wanting to cement the bond between them, Thorfinn badgers him to marry his beautiful sister, but Finlay, reluctant to abandon hope of his first love, grimly resists the idea.

This absorbing, fast moving tale of power, greed, family rivalries and one man's vision of the future for his troubled kingdom will keep you turning the pages into the wee small hours.

Alba is Mine is available in ebook and paperback formats on various Amazon outlets, including Amazon UK and on

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  1. Lovely review Cathie. Many thanks for letting me know othereise I might have missed it!


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