First of all, let me preface this post with some background information. I am hugely obsessed with all things of a Celtic nature. This may be partly because my religion is greatly influenced by ancient Celtic beliefs, but it is mostly because I love to study it. The art, the history, the literature, the culture. Anything from Beowolf to The Faerie Queene, consider me obsessed. I gobble it up. So when Tom encounters the Goddess Morrigan and Cú Chulainn…(I know Delaney spells it differently, but I’m used to it spelled this way) I geeked out. Cú Chulainn is one of my favorite Irish heroes; I absolutely adored reading his story in the Ulster Cycle. It’s defiantly more of an epic than a story though; Cú Chulainn may have died young, but he was a productive guy!
The Morrigan is one of my favorite Celtic deities, even though she has a bad reputation sometimes. Most of my encounters with her in religion and literature she is neutral, neither good nor bad. She is the Goddess of death, but death isn’t wholly bad. But in Delaney’s world she is, so I digress. Besides, I don’t want to make this whole blog about defending the Morrigan and death. I actually went to a masquerade ball as her recently…which illustrates how much I adore her. So for Delaney to put them both in his story so they could interact with Tom, I was pretty ecstatic.
However…I was really confused by Delaney’s use of the word ‘sidhe’. He uses it to mean a church in a sort of limbo between the world and the dark where only heroes can dwell safely. But the word ‘sidhe’ means fairy mound… as in an earthen mound where the aes sidhe (Irish fairies) live. Often aes sidhe is shortened to just sidhe, and thus doesn’t refer to the mounds, but to the fairies. Why Delaney would take a word that means earthen mound or fairy and use it for a protective church, I am not sure. Especially when there are no aes sidhe in the stories…
So on the not so wonderful side, Alice was stolen by the Fiend and pulled into the dark. And because Tom loses her, he realizes that he loves her. DUH Tom!! But all is well! Pan (yeah, the god) helps Tom get her back, and though she is changed…enter evil, blood-craving Alice…Alice and Tom are back together! But what will happen in the future? What about that prophesy thing? About her loving him, betraying him, and then dying for him?! Need more Alice and Tom!
Grimalkin makes another appearance in this book, and helps Tom and the Spook bind the Fiend. Definite ‘awe yeah!’ moment there. Especially when Tom stops time to stab the Fiend. But the best moment in the entire book? One of the evil men, Thin Shaun, is explaining to an evil mage why he can’t bring a witch to him. It is because an enemy has captured the witch. My first thought was “Go Old Gregory!!” The mage asks, “Who is this enemy?” Thin Shaun raises his head, and Grimalkin’s symbol has been cut into his forehead. Holy Chariots of Doom, I almost had a unicorn…best part…EVER.
This was a five out of five absolutely. And I’m reading book nine tomorrow, which is the one I’ve been waiting for. It’s Grimalkin’s story!!! I am like a child doing the potty dance in need of a restroom. I need to read the next book now, or there is going to be a mess. Most likely on the floor of my apartment as I throw my purse, laptop, and keys on the floor to free my hands so I can get started on the next book :)