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The Deer's Cry: A Book of the Keltiad Mass Market Paperback – August, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: A Book of the Keltiad
  • Mass Market Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins (Mm) (August 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061059277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061059278
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,029,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The eighth book of the Keltiad (after Blackmantle) goes back into the earlier days of this fantasy saga, which portrays the Celts as "gods from outer space." The novel deals with the destructive impact of the introduction of Christianity to Ireland, which in historical fact forced the Danaan to emigrate and gave rise to the legend of Brendan's Voyage. But in Kennealy-Morrison's telling, the emigrants are not only fleeing religious oppression by Christianity (for which the author, described by the publisher as "a priestess in a Celtic pagan tradition," seems to have no use whatever, at least in the form handed on by St. Paul), but they use starships instead of coracles, and Brendan is not a monk but the son of a Danaan nobleman and a princess of the Sidhe folk. This volume is a notable improvement over Blackmantle, with a less convoluted plot, faster pacing and more passages rich in lyric prose and Celtic folklore. It also doesn't demand that one swallow the portrayal of the late rocker Jim Morrison (the Celtic-rites husband of the author) as a bard of almost godlike gifts, cruelly done to death by treachery. Finally, the introduction and afterword provide a historical perspective on the whole Keltiad and this novel's place in it, marking the book as a useful beginning point for readers new to this megasaga.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A new additionor, better yet, insertionto 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. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The entire book reads like bad fanfic.
L. L. Daugherty
I suspect the author is more interested in attempting to convert her readers to modern paganism than in writing a decent novel.
Elaina Nader
What disappointed me was the very slanted view given of the early Christians in Britain.
Brenda Smits

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. L. Daugherty on August 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Let me state, first and foremost, this is the most egregious example of Mary Sue-ism I have ever read. It stinks; it wreaks; it screams Mary Sue. I didn't know you could do that with an entire book, not just a character. If you don't know what Mary Sue means, Google it and chortle.

The entire book reads like bad fanfic. While I can admire well done flowery prose, detailed descriptions and an attempt to differentiate the speech of an ancient people, the prose clunks along, a well-turned phrase suddenly crumpling into ungrammatical pain. The book is full of interminable descriptions with tongue-twisting dialogue even the characters would have protested if they could speak their minds. I would skip several paragraphs at once to get to the heart of a scene because her descriptions rarely had bearing on the action and were too boring/distracting to plow through. To publish such poor writing should be a crime.

There was nothing resembling tension, action, risk or excitement in this book. Ms. Kennealy is simply relating to her readers the events of the Celt's (Kelt's) immram from Earth and she's managed to strip every last hint of passion from it. Despite the fact her readers know it succeeded there's not the slightest bit of worry that some of the key characters may not make it. There is not the tiniest fear that their plans will be found out by Patraic or his followers and nefarious plots hatched to stop them. There is not the teensiest concern that a close friend might betray them. There is so little danger to the character's or their endeavor you wonder why you're reading it at all.

I honestly disliked the childish manner in which she portrayed both faiths.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "lbrigant" on May 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been an avid fan of the Keltiad since I first read The Copper Crown many years ago, and will probably continue to be. However, Blackmantle was quite disappointing, and The Deer's Cry was also definitely not one of the author's better efforts. I admit, I was somewhat uncomfortable with the vitriolic perspective on Christianity, but in all fairness, the Church has perpetrated some awful stuff over the centuries, and has usually been very successful in hushing it up, so it was very interesting to read a truly alternative perspective (even it did stir up some discomfort). My main beef with this book is one which has been evident in her others, but which is becoming more, rather than less, obvious: her characters are too black and white. They are either good/perfect/wonderful/admirable or evil/shallow minded/stupid. Let's face it: most of us are halfway in between the two. I think that Patraic would have been more believable had he been somewhat less hypocritical and less someone who deliberately and openly twisted facts for his own benefit (a religious fanatic who truly could not see the illogic of his beliefs is far more believable and would have achieved the same result); similarly Brendan would have generated more sympathy had the conflict been a little more evenly balanced. For one thing, if the conflict was as unsubtle as the author describes, why would the King and Queen have kept giving in to Patraic's demands? I think that the author's personal bitterness and anger is dominating more and more of her work, to its detriment.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kris Dotto on March 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once, and not so very long ago, Patricia Kennealy-Morrison wrote fascinating books setting the Kelts in space. She created one of the best-loved fantasy heroines in Aeron, and rewrote the Arthurian legend. Then she wrote the turgid Blackmantle. I hoped it was an aberration, a necessary cleansing of her memories and grievances that somehow missed the editor's desk, and looked forward to her next book.

The Deer's Cry is the story of Brendan the Astrogator, the Kelt who led his people to space, and it should be a rollicking, wild ride. Instead, Kennealy-Morrison puts the reader to sleep with an overlong volume of endless bickering between Brendan and Padraig, also known as St. Patrick, using their feud to symbolize the conflict between pagans and the Church. That, I could have handled; the pagan world's reaction to Christianity was not always awe and acceptance, and it would have been a treat to show some real arguments and debates between the two principals--if Brendan had been less self-righteous, or Padraig the least bit sympathetic. Instead, the characters are all drawn in black and white, the battle is overbalanced in favor of the pagans (who always manage to get in the last word), and everything about the Christians or the early Celtic Church is shown in the darkest light possible.

I'm not looking forward to another book in this planned trilogy. If this is the form Kennealy-Morrison plans to espouse from now on, I dread thinking about what her Gwydion trilogy will look like. For now, I'll keep my "Keltiad" and "Arthur" trilogies as an example of what Kennealy-Morrison can do when she's focused and uses an editor.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 14, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The good news about The Deer's Cry is that it is far, far better than Blackmantle. The disappointment is that it is not as good as the Aeron or Arthur books, though the reason why may or may not be the fault of the author.
The underlying premise of the book--the Danaans fleeing for their own and their culture's survival for the third time--has an enormous potential for development of characer and intricacy of plot. First the Danaans escaped a star going nova, lost Numinore (an hommage to J. R. R. Tolkien, who as a devout Catholic might or might not appreciate it); then Atland went under; finally they abandon Erith rather than fight it out with the new, competing religion and culture represented by Patraic. There is, as others have noted, a certain lack of nuance about Patraic's character, but history also notes Christianity's unrivalled record for persecuting other religions. You can't get much less nuanced than the crusading Bishop's order to Simon de Montfort, who wanted to know how to avoid killing Catholics along with Cathars: "Kill them all. God will know his own."
It is not here that the book fails, but in the lack of character development and plot elaboration. We are told of Brendan's mourning for his son Rohan, but we never get to know Rohan for ourselves. Etain, Brendan's Sidhe wife, ought to be a major character, but she has hardly more than a cameo role. We know Brendan's fetch, the Faol Mor, better than we know his human/sidhe family. Similarly, there are paragraphs, even sentences, that beg to be developed into chapters--the invasions of newly settled Keltia, for instance, are passed over with barely a catalogue of foes.
The problem throughout is compression.
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More About the Author

Chevalière the Rev. Patricia Kennealy-Morrison, DTJ, is a retired rock critic (one of the first women rock critics ever, a Founding Mother of the genre), the former editor-in-chief of Jazz & Pop Magazine, and an advertising copywriter/executive (and two-time Clio nominee).

Ms. Morrison was able to interview and meet giants in the rock industry -- Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and others -- along with the man who would become her husband, singer/songwriter/poet Jim Morrison, also a member of the band, The Doors.

Her husband was the one who encouraged her to write fiction and she took to it with a vivid imagination. Her books of The Keltiad (The Copper Crown, The Throne of Scone, Blackmantle, etc) made it to the New York Times bestseller list.

These days, Ms. Morrison can be found writing murder cozies in the vein of authors like Agatha Christie, Ellis Peters, Margaret Atwood, and Ellery Queen. She has just released an anthology of stories harkening back to The Keltiad books, with at least two more new novels to come. She is currently writing more Rennie Stride books and a Viking novel to be released soon.

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