Monday, April 9, 2012

Something Red by Douglas Nicholas

Is a sensational Irish fable that met this reader's curiosity beyond expectations, it is a wonderful spun tale of the 1200's when travelers of royalty and pleasant decent from the far away a and of the Isle of Emerald Ireland were destined upon a journey to explore England and the back woods, traveling from refuge to refuge. It is a tale of a party of a created family brought together due to strange circumstances. Molly a mature fiery warrior part Irish healer and part magician, her granddaughter Nemain, who is devoted to her grandmother and is a willing student to learn the arts of magic and Molly’s lover Jack who is a fierce and gentle protector. He is a mysterious character who portrays human and something surprising more which adds excitement to this enchanting plot and then the adopted charming grandson Hob who is human and her apprentice. They are all on a destiny to gain knowledge and experience to enrich their future kingdom developing connections with royal alliances and friends across England that will increase their reputation as powerful rulers in the Isle when they return from their trip.

On the trip through the harsh but beautiful lands and back woods, there are rumors of strange incidents and warnings to be beware of all creatures, be it man, a military, smugglers or creatures of the night. Along their journey, there are incidents of monstrous attacks that leave bloody decapitate bodies in their wake. The mystery was or who is causing the carnage and are they safe traveling in the windy snow storms when so blinding one cannot see their hands in front of their faces. The fear in the strange woods what lures behind the dark trees and will they be the next to be attack.

The women of the roamers sense something is deadly dangerous and they escape to a safe fortress a castle of a mighty king, thinking all are safe behind the stone castle walls, away from the threat of the unknown murderer. But are they? Will the Irish Queen Molly be able to work her magic spells and created a protection weapon against their unknown emery lurking within the walls of their safe haven.

In the midst of their gratitude to out of the chill and safe behind strong gates before the threat they enjoyed the company of the weary travelers, the delicious food and the traditions of culture, unaware of the danger waiting for them. The plot continues and the reader had questions, if there is a killer among them why did not the grandmother and granddaughter not able to sense the threat among the guests and will it be too late to save their allies.

Upon the moonlight night they heard the terrifying screams as the monster(s) was tearing them to pieces, limb by limb. Time to gather all their abilities and plan the battle strategy against their foe and rescue the defenseless guests of the castle.

This author is famous and experienced with the knowledge of poetry and the history of the times of the 13th century, it is like he sees all the details it in his dreams, describing the landscape, the Irish traditions and spells, the comfort and the cold gripping fear, The writer's personal style brings the reader into an exciting and strange experience full with so many details this reader savor the story and wanted to go back again and re read parts.

This reader of Irish American descent is going through a longing to know more about Irish roots and culture and this story met these exceptions and so much more. It fulfilled a part of the hunger to be familiar with the traditions and myths about this mysterious and fable culture and the Emerald Isle of the past.

This review and introduction tells the reader what there is to look forward to and to this reader it held true;" From debut novelist Douglas Nicholas comes a haunting fantasy of love, murder, and sorcery set in the wintry woods of northwest England during the thirteenth century.

One of the coldest winters in living memory, a formidable and charismatic woman and her makeshift family are driving their three wagons across the mountains before the heavy snow sets in. Molly, her powerful and enigmatic lover Jack, her fey granddaughter Nemain, and her young apprentice Hob soon discover that something terrible prowls the wilderness. As the group travels from refuge to refuge, it becomes apparent that the mysterious evil force must be faced and defeated—or else they will all surely die".

An intoxicating and spirited blend of fantasy and mythology, Something Red presents an enchanting and dangerous world full of shapeshifters, Irish battle queens, Norman knights, Templars, pilgrims, Saracens, warrior monks, and murderous mastiffs, as well as an epic snowstorm. In this world, nothing is as it seems, and the journey for survival is as magical as it is perilous."

As a reader I was so enthralled with the tale, it was like leaving reality and stepping into a wondrous and mystery time with so much magic in it, it was hard to ignore finishing the story, yet I needed a break to come back and go from the details of their journey and life to the chilling scenes because I sensed the coming stunning conclusion and was pleasurably surprised with the ending. Definitely recommend this book for readers who want to experience being a traveler in the 13th century Britain and experiencing the story telling fables of the ancient generations with chilling images. You will not be disappointed.

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