Circa 2200 BCE: Changes rocking the Continent reach Eire with the dawning Bronze Age. Well before any Celts, marauders invade the island seeking copper and gold. The young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze knives challenge the peaceful native starwatchers. Banished to far coasts, Cian discovers how to outwit the invaders at their own game. Tensions on Eire between new and old cultures and between Boann, Elcmar, and her son Aengus, ultimately explode. What emerges from the rubble of battle are the legends of Ireland's beginnings in a totally new light.
Larger than myth, this tale echoes with medieval texts, and cult heroes modern and ancient. By the final temporal twist, factual prehistory is bending into images of leprechauns who guard Eire's gold for eternity. As ever, the victors will spin the myths.
This story appeals to fans of solid historical fiction, myth and fantasy, archaeo-astronomy, and Bronze Age Europe.
Bending the Boyne draws on 21st century archaeology to show the lasting impact when early metal mining and trade take hold along north Atlantic coasts. Carved megaliths and stunning gold artifacts, from the Pyrenees up to the Boyne, come to life in this researched historical fiction.
Awarded first place, Next Generation Indie Awards 2011 (USA). Nominated for Foreword Book of the Year Award (historical fiction); to be announced June 2012.
©2011 J. S. Dunn (P)2012 J. S. Dunn
"Bang-on with the latest archaeological debates." (Peter Clark, MIFA, Director, The Canterbury Archaeological Trust, Canterbury, Kent, UK)
Good story on clashes of culture. A nice, if unrealistic, take on the island's inhabitants as peace loving farmers that need to be prodded to protect their own. It is more likely that the type of interaction that was described on the continent was prevalent. Intrigue and persuasion were key in all interactions and life could easily be lost - on purpose or by misfortune.
The love stories make for a diversion, but the depth, or lack of depth, in the chieftan's personality is frustrating. He obviously waited to find a mate until it would do him the most good, but his inability to connect with her on a personal level, or bend her to his will showed a lack of imagination on the author's part. Cian's marriage with the merchant-king's daughter seemed too contrived. All of the love stories were overreaching in that they are epic stories with too little character development.
The biggest stretch is that the star watchers simply recorded the heavens movements for the sake of knowledge. All people that took the time to record events in prehistory had a expectation that it would somehow make life better for themselves. They looked for the mystery of life in the records of natural events. Usually, this led to a belief in mysticism - a belief in unseen forces that they could possibly control.
Overall, this book is a pleasent diversion and I recommend it.
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