Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Bending the Boyne by J.S Dunn

Book Description :
Circa 2200 BCE: Changes rocking the Continent of Eire with the dawning of the Bronze Age. Well before any Celts, marauders invade the island seeking copper and gold. The young astronomer Boann and the enigmatic Cian need all of their wits and courage to save their people and their great Boyne mounds, when long bronze knives challenge the peaceful native starwatchers. Banished to far coasts, Cian discovers how to outwit the invaders at their own game. Tensions on Eire between new and old cultures and between Boann, Elcmar, and her son Aengus, ultimately explode. What emerges from the rubble of battle are the legends of Ireland's beginnings in a totally new light. 

My love for Ireland and her myths is what drew my attention to "Bending the Boyne" by J.S Dunn. "Bending the Boyne" is classed as Historical Fiction, but it does have a bit of a fantasy feel to it. For the story starts and finishes in present day. But for me it was much more than that. It was a tale of people who loved their way of life, who have walked gently on the earth and who are observers of the heavens. Their way of life is threatened as change descends upon them and their only way of survival is to adapt. 

This story is told from the view of the Starwatchers, who watch and learn from the heavens above. In this observation their stories and knowledge of the heavens are passed down from generation to generation in the stone carvings and mounds that sprinkle the Boyne Valley. Among the Starwatchers are Boann, daughter of Oghma a sacred stone carver. Boann is also a Starwatcher and healer to her people. Dagda who is the leader and for lack of a better word Shaman to the heavens and the people of the Boyne. The tale begins when tragedy strikes at the hands of the invaders, who search for the "Sun Metal. We see the beginnings stages of the Iron Age and have a front row seat to what it might have been like as the lust for gold,copper and tin swept the Isle of Eire. Boann and her people struggle to keep peace as the two clans unite under Boann's  marriage to the "Ard Ri" Elcmar. Even with attempt at peace the struggles continue and the only way for the Starwatchers to survive lies in the fate of Cian. Cian's love for his people sends him deep into the world of the invaders where he must learn their ways and gather knowledge that will help his people deal with the changes to come.

J.S Dunn is a master storyteller, as we see this story and archaeological fact merge together in such a beautiful way. The depth to which this book was researched truly shows the author's love and passion for Ancient Ireland and her people. The storyline drew me in as much as the detail that was given to the surrounding landscapes of the Boyne. I have visited the sacred sites and there were many times in I was caught up in the feeling of Deja vu, as I found myself along side Boann deep in the central chamber of Newgrange waiting for the Solstice sun to rise, or walking along side of her as she visited the surrounding area of Loughcrew. Through J.S Dunn's writing I was seeing these sites through ancient eyes.

All the characters in this novel were so well developed that I was emotionally invested with each one. There were so many times where I was so caught up in the emotion of the story that my heart stopped, for there were twist and turns that I did not see coming. Within the story the ancient myths of Ireland were woven into the plot in such a cleaver way.  This book is so well written and the story line moved at just the right pace and kept me interested to the point that I was getting up in the middle of the night to read. I could not put my kindle down!

This book is not an easy read, however if you are looking for a book that engages all of your senses and your intellect then this book is for you. Reading this book was such an enjoyable experience and with that said I give it 5 Stars. 

                                           5 Stars! 

You can find "Bending the Boyne" here DarkissReads Store
"Bending the Boyne" is published by :Seriously Good books : 

You may find J.S Dunn on the web :

Reviewd by Witchofthemists

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