In Ireland of AD 666, Sister Fidelma is sent by her brother, Colgu of Cashel, the king of Muman, to the remote valley of Gleann Geis, whose inhabitants still adhere to the ancient Druidic ways. Her mission is to negotiate with the chieftain, Laisre, for permission to build a Christian church and school in his territory. Fidelma's task won't be an easy one, though, as Laisre's clan is known for its hostility to the new religion and fierce adherence to the old.
Approaching the valley, Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, come upon a particularly grisly scene - the slain bodies of thirty-three young men, placed in a sunwise circle and bearing the marks of the ancient threefold death of pagan times. As an emissary of her brother the king, and with her position as a dalaigh - an advocate of the Brehon courts - it is Fidelma's responsibility to uncover the truth behind the gruesome murders. Within the forbidden valley, Fidelma embarks upon an inquiry that not only places her in the gravest personal danger but upon which rests the continuing peace of her brother's kingdom.
©1998 Peter Tremayne (P)2014 Audible Inc.
...and here they are! These are definitely in the historical novel genre and new readers or listeners should know that it is heavy on the historic. Many will probably be surprised at Irish civilization at the time of these books. Ireland was indeed a place that today we might call a precursor to modern Western civilization. Except that Ireland would be overtaken by Rome and other outside invaders. All would have to be developed from scratch again and we still haven't lost our barbarism that much of Ireland eschewed. I love the telling of the myths and stories of the more ancient beliefs. As the books go on the stories become more and more interesting and better written. One thing that is a gripe throughout the books is the relationship between the two main characters Fidelma and Eadulf. Fidelma always seems rude and dismissive to her friend and then lover then husband and father of her child. This book is one of a few that Eadulf gets to shine on his own merit.
I am so excited that these books are on Audible now! I read and reread this series a while ago, and they're just as good now as ever.
The narrator does a fairly good job. I was glad to finally hear how some of the words and names were actually pronounced. ;)
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