Orphans - a Larry Lir mystery. An Irish boy with dark, magical powers.
Who couldn't help but be inspired by the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series? I got the idea for Orphans from this, but I wanted an Irish character; and I wanted a story rooted in Celtic mythology, legend, and myth; and I wanted to combine all these elements into a modern setting that children could enjoy. I wanted to incorporate modern technology, modern forensics, and modern thinking into a spellbinding tale for children, and in Larry Lir, I think I found that character. Larry is a 12-year-old who fends mostly for himself in a rambling mansion on the Hill of Howth, in Dublin.
Orphans is, I believe, aptly titled. The main character, Larry, is left an orphan following the brutal murder of his parents. When three Cuban children, recently orphaned themselves, appeal to Larry for help, he has to take up their case. The shadow of Charles Dickens and the splendid Oliver Twist looms a bit here. Even his archenemy is an orphan.
There is an important underlying message in the book that relates to basic press freedom and democratic values. The book is set for the most part in Ireland, both in Dublin and Wexford. Other locations used are the USA and Cuba.
There are strong hints of mythology like the famous fable of Oisin, warned not to dismount from his horse when he returned to Irish soil lest the years catch up with him.
The Children of Lir, of whom Larry is a direct descendant, also play a role in this tale. A curse from their time hangs over Larry.
The book shows, I hope, the independent spirit that dwells within children and the battle of triumph over evil.