Fionn Defence of Rath Bladhma

Fionn Defence of Rath Bladhma

4.1 (176 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
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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 between clans. Following the success of their ambush at Cnucha, the Clann Morna tribe are hungry for power. Meanwhile, mysterious war parties roam the forests and a ruthless 'Tainted One' is intent on murder.

In the secluded valley of Glenn Ceoch, a disgraced druid and a woman warrior have successfully avoided the bloodshed for many years. Now, the arrival of a pregnant refugee threatens the peace they've created together. Run or fight, the odds against them are overwhelming.

And death stalks on every side.

The most authentic Irish adventure series on the market, the Fionn mac Cumhaill Series by author Brian O'Sullivan is a gritty and authentic retelling of the great Irish epic. Gripping, insightful and utterly action-packed, this is Irish mythological fiction as you've never read it before.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 16.26mm | 417.3g
  • Wellington, New Zealand
  • English
  • New
  • 0992254574
  • 9780992254575
  • 1,311,938

Review quote

Review from 'Bookworm Blues' [Speculative Fiction/Fantasy Review Blog]

"You know how some books come out of left field and just shock you? Well, this was one of those. If you're looking for an action/adventure fantasy that is different than the normal, look no further. This book has some welcome diversity, and a story that is absolutely unforgiving. This is a novel based on some ancient Irish text, and is full of myth and magic and I just loved it for that. The writing is tight and the book is well edited. I welcomed the strong female characters, the obvious twist on tropes, and the way the author genuinely owned the book he wrote. Some of the names were a bit of a mouthful to try and pronounce (even mentally) but that's not the author's fault, and as far as complaints go, that's not even one that's worth registering."

Review from 'The Quillery' [Speculative Fiction/Fantasy Review Blog]

"Set in 193 AD Ireland, druid Bodhmall leads a clan of outcasts in a small rath (village) in a secluded valley of Glenn Ceo. I was certain that I wasn't going to enjoy either the setting or the story however I really enjoyed it. The characters were well developed, both realistic and interesting, the plot was gripping. It was however the prose that really made this book It was so very well written. Hats off to Brian O'Sullivan for telling this myth in a truly evocative way"

Review from 'Fantasy Literature' [Fantasy and Sc-Fi Review Blog]

"Defence of Rath Bladhma is a hard-hitting tale of life in an ancient time, when life was harsh and uncertain. It is the first book by Brian O'Sullivan's Fionn mac Cumhaill Series based on the legend of the mythical Irish warrior hero Fionn mac Cumhaill. Defence of Rath Bladhma tells the first part of Fionn mac Cumhaill's story, the time before and immediately after his birth. O'Sullivan has added some imaginative twists to the original legend, including the relationship between his aunt Bodhmhall and Liath Luachra and has fleshed out these and others who were part of Fionn's early life to create complex and lifelike characters."

Review from Goodreads Reviewer Ann O'Connor:

"The story is a modern take on the ancient Irish tale 'The Boyhood Adventures of Fionn', but it focuses very much on the initial stages of that particular tale. Fionn, himself, only appears as a newborn baby but his absence is more than made up for by the presence of two very strong female characters (the woman warrior Liath Luachra and the druidess Bodhmhall) and the hilariously complex warrior, Fiacail mac Codhna.

The pace is set early on when Fionn's pregnant Muirne Muncháem is travelling to the Ráth Bládhma of the title and has to defend herself against a wolf attack. After that the action and the tension never really stops as that settlement uses every trick at its disposal to defend itself against a fearsome cannibal horde and a kind of 'mind-controlling' druid, both of whom are trying to get their hands on the baby.

I really loved the complex relationship of the two main protagonists. This is touching and real but, at the same time, restrained and doesn't detract from the action and the various twists and turns. If you're looking for a book full of action but with realistic characters, this is highly recommended."
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Rating details

176 ratings
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 38% (67)
4 42% (74)
3 14% (25)
2 3% (6)
1 2% (4)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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