Fionn: Defence Of Ráth Bládhma book #1 is a novel set in Ireland in 192 AD. Based on narratives from the Fenian Cycle, this book is one author’s interpretation of the days surrounding the birth of Irish legend Fionn mac Cumhaill.
For those, like me, who are new to this great myth, the basic story is about Muirne Muncháem, fleeing for safety; heavily pregnant, she asks for refuge from her sister-in-law, druidess Bodhmhall. The babe has an ethereal shining spirit which is brighter than Bodhmhall has ever seen, and it quickly becomes apparent that dark forces also seek the child.
At their lonely outpost with just a handful of occupants, little defence and one trusted warrior, Bodhmhall reluctantly accepts help from Fiacail mac Codhna and his two men-at-arms. Together they must face a fifty strong army with a dark side Seer, who seem set on coming for the child.
Filled with magic, heroism, myth and danger, this book grew on me.
Liath Luachra was one of my favourite characters; her choice of body clothing at a crucial battle point was comedic, especially when she ran off in surprise, only to realise she hadn’t fully thought through her plan.
I also liked Fiacail; his persona as a lady’s man hid a noble warrior and wise leader. But it brought a light tone to a tense battle scene. The touches on humour lifted the story, for me, and kept me interested right up until the end. Book #2 will continue the story some six years later.
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The Fionn Series – Book 1: Defence of Ráth Bládhma:
Ireland: 192 A.D. A time of strife and treachery. Political ambition and inter-tribal conflict has set the country on edge, testing the strength of long-established alliances.
Following their victory over Clann Baoiscne at the battle of Cnucha, Clann Morna are hungry for power. Meanwhile, a mysterious war party roams the ‘Great Wild’ and a ruthless magician is intent on murder.
In the secluded valley of Glenn Ceo, disgraced druid Bodhmall and her lover Liath Luachra have successfully avoided the bloodshed for many years. Now, the arrival of a pregnant refugee threatens the peace they have created together.
Based on the ancient Fenian Cycle texts, the Fionn Series recounts the fascinating and pulse-pounding tale of the birth and adventures of Ireland’s greatest hero, Fionn mac Cumhal.
Brian O’Sullivan was born in county Cork, Ireland. On completing a degree at University College Cork, he went on to travel extensively. He is now based in New Zealand with his family but returns to Ireland on a regular basis.
Brian writes fiction that incorporates strong elements of Irish culture, language, history and mythology. These include literary short stories (The Irish Muse collection), mystery thrillers (The Beara Trilogy) and a contemporary version of the Fionn mac Cumhaill/ Fenian legends (The Fionn mac Cumhaill Series). Brian also edits and writes non-fiction through the ‘Celtic Mythology Collection’ series published by Irish Imbas Books,
Although he writes predominantly for an Irish audience, Brian’s unique style and humour has meant that his books have become firm favorites of readers all around the world.