It may be impossible to alter the past, but Irish revolutionary Nora O’Reilly is determined to try. Armed with a relic given to her by the goddess Brigid and joined by immortal Irish warrior Fionn mac Cumhaill, Nora is hurled back through time to the sixteenth century. There Nora and Fionn seek the infamous pirate queen Granuaile—Grace O’Malley—the one woman who may be fierce enough to stop Queen Elizabeth I’s tyranny over the Irish people.
But finding Granuaile is no easy feat, and securing her help is tougher still. Nora and Fionn face enemies at every turn, risking capture, separation, and even death in their quest to save Ireland and finally put an end to the centuries-long curse that torments Fionn. But as Nora’s connection to Fionn grows stronger, her loyalties are tested: she may not be able to save both her country and the man she’s grown to love.~Goodreads Blurb
I really have a hard time reading books out of order and if I find part of a series that looks good, I will usually go back to the beginning and read forward rather than jump around. Even with my particular need for order, you could easily start here with “Summon The Queen” and then go back and read “Bury The Living.” Even if you start out of order, the author Jodi McIsaac, has written in just enough about the previous book that new readers will feel caught up, and readers who have just finished the previous book won’t feel as if they are simply rehashing the past.
Writing about Irish-English relations during this time can get tricky for writers, especially since many times Queen Elizabeth is written as a good and just queen. By putting her on such a pedestal it can be difficult for writers to pull her off in order to show her flaws and shortcomings. The tendency is to show her as a strong woman who doesn’t need a man, instead of showing that she was definitely her father’s daughter in her temper, and her paranoia, which lead to the deaths of many she believed plotted against her. McIsaac has not only managed to bring light to some of the other strong women living in Elizabeth’s time, such as Grace O’Malley, but also has personalized the Irish who were struggling against Tudor rule at the time. There is also the clear distinction made, one that I felt the first book lacked, that it’s not as simple as “The English are evil” and “The Irish are good.”
This is great for people who enjoy reading about Elizabeth the First’s reign, from another angle. Historical fiction and even a bit of fantasy time travel through in rounds out this part of the series, though if I am to believe the cliffhanger, this won’t be the last I see of Jodi McIsaac’s work.
*This eBook was provided by NetGalley and 47North in exchange for honest feedback*
Notes about the Author: Jodi McIsaac is the author of the Irish contemporary fantasy series The Thin Veil (47North) the thriller A Cure for Madness (Thomas & Mercer) and the forthcoming historical Revolutionary series, starting with Bury the Living (47North).
She grew up in New Brunswick, on Canada's east coast. After abandoning her Olympic speed skating dream, she wrote speeches for a politician, volunteered in a refugee camp, waited tables in Belfast, earned a couple of university degrees, and started a boutique copywriting agency. She loves geek culture, running, and whisk(e)y.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer