From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Conor Mac Nir is a prince, son of King Galbraith. Conor has been away from his home for many years, being raised by a foster family in another kingdom, but his return to Tigh is not a joyous occasion. He is a disappointment to his father—more gifted at the harp and at scholarly pursuits than in sword fighting—and a Balian (Christian) to boot. King Gailbraith sends Conor to Lisdara as a political hostage, but rather than hostility, Conor finds acceptance from the King of Faolan, and love with Aine, the king's half-sister. But more than romance is afoot. There is a political and religious struggle going on, and the protagonist leaves Lisdara to live and train among the warrior brothers called the Firein. There, he learns about the strength within him and turns his heart toward Comdiu (God) to see what he is being called to do. This is Christian fiction presented as high fantasy in an old Ireland-inspired setting. The names are complicated (a pronunciation guide is in the back), and the map of the kingdoms will most likely be referred to often. Fantasy readers will be happy with the magic, fighting, and the quest the hero undertakes. Christian fiction readers will be content with the religious message—and the discussion questions included. Recommended for collections that need inspirational fiction presented in an accessible way.—Heather Webb, Worthington Libraries, OH
From the Back Cover
An island at the edge of the world. An ancient prophecy. A reclusive warrior brotherhood. When evil encroaches, who will find the faith to fight it?
To his clan, Conor Mac Nir is a disappointment―gifted with a harp, but hopeless with a sword. To the beautiful young healer Aine, he’s one whose gift calls out to her own . . . and captures her heart. To the reclusive warrior brotherhood called the Fíréin, he may be the answer to an ancient prophecy . . . if he can be trained to fight. Can Conor and Aine find their true path as an ancient evil engulfs the isle of Seare? Must Conor sacrifice everything he loves, even Aine, to follow the path God lays out before him?