A new addition--or, better yet, insertion--to Kennealy-Morrison's sprawling saga about the space empire of Keltia. This is the eighth entry (following, most recently, Blackmantle, 1997), and returns to the origin of the entire sequence to tell the story of Brendan mac Fergus the shepherd. With the coming of Padraic, herald of Christianity in Ireland, Brendan realizes that the Old Ways are doomed and that Danaan magic will fade and disappear. So in the year 453 he leads a small band of Irish to build starships and head for new homes in space. Like the other books in the series, this one's all sprawling exposition, leisurely chat, copious Celtic lore, and many appendices where fans will be reassured to learn that at least 11 further additions are projected. Absolutely essential or utterly irrelevant, depending on your point of view.