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Saint Brigid's Bones: A Celtic Adventure Hardcover – October 15, 2014
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“Philip Freeman creates convincing characters who use realistic dialogue. All books about Celtic Heritage should be this readable. I hope to hear more of Deidre in the future.” (The Irish American News)
“The pacing and suspense were very well stylized, and I was happy to see that Philip Freeman plans on publishing a second novel featuring the lively Sister Deirdre.” (Historical Novel Society)
“This is a goodly yarn, complete with its fascinating and colorful historical and cultural context, not to mention its dangers and horrors, a good start to what looks to be a good mystery series.” (The Providence Journal)
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Top Customer Reviews
In this swiftly told tale set in Ancient Ireland, Sister Diedre is tasked with the most important job of the monastery at Kildare: to retrieve the stolen bones of Saint Brigid. Without the bones for pilgrims to come pay homage to, the nuns and those they care for will not survive for very long without the donations from visitors seeking healing from the precious relics.
The author proves his intellect and research within the first person narrative of Sister Diedre as he deftly sets up the mystery and even manages to flesh out Sister Diedre's character as we wonder if she should have even become a nun in the first place. There was a short period within the telling where I wondered if I had missed a previous novel featuring Diedre's story, but we slowly learn the secrets of her past before she dedicated her life to the monastery. Diedre is a strong and willful young woman who was also a skilled bard with a few suitors at her doorstep. While she seeks answers to the mystery of the saint's bones, she encounters ruffians and piratical lords as well as several kings of the lands of Ancient Ireland. I was surprised that so much could occur within the seemingly short novel yet the pacing and suspense were very well stylized, and I was happy to see the Philip Freeman plans on publishing a second novel featuring the lively Sister Diedre.
The pacing of the story is nice and even. I would have liked a bit more excitement, but overall, this is book with a decent plot and interesting characters. Our intrepid former bard, Sister Deirdre, goes from place to place searching for the missing bones of the venerable St. Brigid. Without the bones her convent cannot hope to survive. Without pilgrims visiting the bones their mission work will inevitably end. Those who loved Brigid don’t want to go down without a fight. The head of the Order, Sister Anna, gives the young and inexperienced Sister Deirdre the task of saving their convent in Kildare because of her past social standing as a young girl of the upper class and a her position as a bard. Believing it will allow her access to people and places due to this social position, Sister Anna trusts her with this lofty task.
So, Sister Deirdre goes from one place to another hoping to find the all-important bones. The most substantial piece of action happens well past the mid-way point of the book. There is a possible romantic entanglement, difficult relations with other members of the Order and Sister Deirdre’s friendship and deep respect for her “Abba” as well, but not a lot of excitement. Is this a decent book? Is it worth your time? Yes, it is.Read more ›
Saint Brigid’s Bones by Philip Freeman
Fans of the Sister Fidelma stories by Peter Tremayne would probably like this new series of Celtic Mysteries. Sister Deidre is a nun at the Abbey of St. Brigid at Kildare. She is also a Druid, and a Bard by training. In the time period in which her adventures take place, a Druidic Bard has tremendous clout. Even Kings dare not harm them, and they are paid graciously for their performances at feasts, weddings, and ceremonies.
The stories take place around 500 AD. Mr. Freeman’s focus is more on the pagan religions of the time, as opposed to Peter Tremayne’s focus on the battle between the Irish Catholic and Roman Catholic Churches. The Christian church was just beginning to be established, and despite differences, Christians and Druids have a certain respect for each other. Of course there are fanatics on both sides that seek to destroy the others religion.
At the Abbey of St. Brigid at Kildare, their most precious possession is the bones of St. Brigid herself. These holy relics bring in a lot of Pilgrims, and the Abbey depends on these visitor’s gifts of food and money to fund their charities. Now someone has done the unthinkable—the bones of St. Brigid are stolen from the altar at Kildare.
Abbess Anna seeks out Sister Deidre, who is suspected of burning down a new church the order has built at Sleaty, and places her in charge of finding the bones. There are several major suspects including royalty and an Abbot from a rival Abbey who takes a very dim view of women participating in church ceremonies and worship. A famous thief is suspected, and Sister Deidre’s ex husband could have played a role in the whole mess.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When the bones of Saint Brigid go missing from the monastery at Kildare, the task of recovering them is assigned to Sister Deirdre, a nun raised in a Druid family and trained as a... Read morePublished 12 months ago by John R. Lindermuth
Ireland in the years shortly after the ministry of Saint Patrick was not necessarily a place in which it was easy to live. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Frank J. Konopka