Folk'd Up (Folk'd Trilogy) Paperback – July 28, 2014
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- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0856409226
- Product dimensions : 5.12 x 0.98 x 7.76 inches
- Item Weight : 10.6 ounces
- Publisher : Blackstaff Pr (July 28, 2014)
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#8,044,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #103,011 in Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top review from the United States
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You'll know this already but if you've forgotten or have had your memories played around with by the little folk, there's a helpful synopsis at the start of the second book that reminds you how Danny Morrison's life has been turned upside down. Not that it was much of a life in the first place, but it was his life, his job, his girlfriend, his baby and God knows he'd suffered for them. Now they're all gone and Danny is, to put it in movie trailer terms, one man on a personal crusade through a mystical land on a mission to recover the life that has been taken from him. Armed with only his quick wit, a deadly arsenal of Belfast put-downs and hard-man bravado, he will take on the massed hordes of underworld demons and ancient tribes of Celtic warriors. They're in for a right good slegging and no mistake.
What's marvellous about the sequel to Folk'd is that Laurence Donaghy manages to make the subject ever darker in terms of the horror and what is personally at stake without losing a fraction of the sarcasm, irony and general contempt for the conventions of traditional fantasy. Wee bearded men in funny hats, monstrous creatures from the dark side, ancient gods and goddesses are regarded equally by Danny with casual contempt in his Orphic determination to regain the life he has lost from the Otherworld. Partly that's down to the author's well-defined sense of Belfast characteristics, partly it's down to the gravity of what's at stake, but it's also a sign of real development in Donaghy as a writer. The sentiments and the humour are so well expressed and interwoven that they seem to come authentically from personal experience and observation. Brilliantly and humorously described in the first part, this characterisation only acquires greater depth in the second book.
Those gaps in Danny's family history in the first book weren't just glossed over background then (not that you ever thought they were) or indeed merely just plot devices to allow for not so surprising revelations ("Danny, I'm your father!"), but it's the gaps in a troubled family history that Danny has hesitated to deal with and suppressed that not only come back to haunt him now, but they've defined to a large extent who he is and how he behaves now. Which is with a great deal of self-defensiveness and hugely engaging humour that comes from a very real place. Talk about exploring your roots! Danny's stretch back to 247 BC to the time of the Tuatha De Danann and Folk'd Up consequently operates on several levels of reality and covers a lot of ground in between, equally strong and vividly realistic on the ancient mythology side as on the present-day of reality where those left behind at Danny's disappearance have to start to pick up the pieces of their fractured reality. Since it often feels like real-life Belfast does actually exist in a Twilight Zone of its own this is not so much of a stretch maybe, but it's constantly inventive and always capable of surprising. And still very funny - seriously funny even. This is a fine sequel to an impressive debut, it's going to be very interesting to see where the author takes us in the concluding part of the Folk'd trilogy.
Top reviews from other countries
Laurence shows a depth of understanding and compassion for humanity that I have only previously been aware of in Pterry's books. The extremely well drawn characters behave in such realistic and understandable ways, the story is chock full of scenes where the human protagonists interact in ways that I have seen friends and family (and myself) behave. Everyone has flaws and reasons. Combine this with the conversational profanity and the very real background created makes the supernatural totally credible and the numerous responses to it thoroughly reasonable.
The first book takes a fair while to get freaky but the set up is so amusingly well handled that I didn't notice and once things started happening I rushed to keep up. I picked up Folk'd (Folk'd Trilogy) on kindle when it was initially released as a freebie and immediately bought the second volume on its release. Then I had to wait for a couple of years for Laurence to change publishers and come out with hard copies so I could lend them to my friends including my brother in law who with his best mate could be the models for Danny and Steve (aside from not being Irish). The opening scene proper (not the framing story) where Danny puts out the bins, (and how often does a fantasy novel contain such mundanities) echoed so strongly with my own youth that I was alternately wincing and crying with laughter. The later scenes when the plot really starts are heartbreaking well described, and the vicious family dysfunction brutally well handled. And yet still with the humour that keeps you from breaking.
Folk'd Up (Folk'd Trilogy) starts fast, and with the drained attitude of reckless desperation verging on despair Danny learns about his heritage and we learn the back stories of almost everyone involved. This dizzying whirlwind of info is amazingly well handled by Laurence as we bounce back and forth through time and character, never once losing pace or mistepping. The fight scenes are really well handled (which given my hobby is important to me), the prose taught, the dialogue snappy. Again we run a gamut of emotions as we are made to see the impossible choices forced upon the protagonists by the fact of family. No-one is entirely pure, all compromise and in doing so are damaged by unintended consequence. This is an incredible build up to the final volume.
Which does not disappoint. If you thought Folk'd Up was complicated you ain't read nuffin yet. The twists in this are like feeding a pretzel through a Klein bottle. The plot, seemingly simple approaches the sort of thing that Machiavelli would call on the help of Mephistopheles to explain. And still Laurence keeps up the pace and the humour. I am in awe. The end, if its the end, is perfectly unexpected and unexpectedly perfect. And, like watching The Sixth Sense [DVD] , I immediately had to go back and reread the entire trilogy to spot all the clues that Laurence had left. Then go and reread the Mag Tuired because.
Fast paced, gritty, brutal, funny, thoughtful and heartfelt. Ranging from kitchen sink to Tolkienesque grand battles with Lovecraftian monster hordes. This is Celtic urban fantasy told by a Celt, full of wit and complexity. Someone in years to come could run a course on the themes covered in this trilogy. It certainly deserves it.
As for Laurence, whatever he chooses to write from here on in I shall buy because I have a new favourite author.
PS Check out Village of the Folk'd. A really great intro to the Folk'in universe
Donaghy manages to create a believable world with characters you quickly come to care about, even the bad guys.
The story of The Morrigan is at once fantastic and believable with descriptions that painted an amazing picture.
The occasional jumps between time periods in the characters lives could have been confusing, but held me entranced as they just gave the already excellent characters even more depth.
If you can read Folk'd and Folk'd Up without itching for more, then there's something wrong with you!