A half-goddess, a Vatican mercenary, kings, queens, warriors, and faery creatures battle for control of Ireland in this historical fantasy adventure.
Medieval Ireland is protected by a powerful goddess known as the Morrígna, a female trinity with one aspect in the spirit realm and two human aspects, born again and again as the twins Anya, the sage, and Aisling, the warrior. Or it should be. Only Anya’s been killed, and Aisling remains alone, half a person, cut off from much of her power. And forces are massing to attack the weakened island. The Roman Catholic Church is bent on exterminating magical creatures and converting new lands, and they’ve set their sights on Ireland. Their goal: to drive out and kill the Sidhe, the magical creatures descended from angels who protect Ireland and fill it with magic, thus driving magic out of the world forever. But Jordan, the mercenary the Vatican has chosen to lead this mission, may not be as loyal as they expect. Debut novelist Tompkins creates an intriguing world stocked with colorful characters and rich with biblical and mythological allusions. The stakes are high, and the battle between magic and religion ought to be compelling, but the story gets bogged down in excessive historical detail, sapping the energy and weakening the characters’ appeal.
The bones of a great fantasy are here, but most readers will find the book slow going.