Sarcen Witch - Eileen Kernaghan Sarsen Witch is the third book in Kernaghan's Drowned Land series (Journey to Aprilioth and Songs from the Drowned Lands are the first two).

This has a more direct connection with Journey than Songs as Nhiall, the hero from the former, makes an appearance in this one as a hermit. Since his day, the horse lords have invaded pre-Celtic Britain and pushed Nhiall's people into the hills, hunting them for sport and kidnapping them for slaves.

Our heroine, Naeri, has fled into the hills when her family is brutally murdered, where she ekes out a bare existence stealing from the raiders and hiding in a cave. Naeri has the blood of the Grey Isles flowing in her veins and can summon up earth magic and sense the ley lines that run through the land. Captured by Ricca, a horse lord who has united the tribes of the west, she becomes the tool in her cousin Daui's plot to destroy the horse lords by getting them to build Stonehenge and using Naeri to channel the resulting earth magic against them. (Despite that abbreviated synopsis of the plot, don't get the idea that Naeri is a passive nonentity. Daui is well and thoroughly foiled in the end, naturally.)

In the ten years between the publication of Journey and this book, Kernaghan has become a better writer. She manages to make Naeri an interesting character and tell a fast-paced, interesting tale in half the time it took with Nhiall. I still wouldn't recommend this for the younger YA crowd because there's still sex and there's still plenty of violence but it's an enjoyable read.