Llywelyn has given the volumes in her Irish Century series, which chronicles the significant periods and events in Ireland's resistance to and independence from British rule, titles corresponding to momentous years; the first series installment, 1916 (1998), was followed by 1921 (2001) and 1949 (2003). The author's chief success in these volumes lies in her ability to create characters from a previous time who possess contemporary vibrancy and viability. Readers who have been following the sequence will appreciate the continued familial connections from one novel to the next, and this latest one sees explosive issues in Northern Ireland culminating in 1972 on Bloody Sunday in Derry.
In 1972, Morgan Llywelyn tells the story of Ireland from 1950-1972 as seen through the eyes of young Barry Halloran, son and grandson of Irish revolutionaries. Northern Ireland has become a running sore, poisoning life on both sides of the Irish border. Following family tradition, at eighteen Barry joins the Irish Republican Army to help complete what he sees as 'the unfinished revolution'.
But things are no longer as clear cut as they once were. His first experience of violence in Northern Ireland shocks and disturbs him. Yet he has found a sense of family in the Army which is hard to give up.
He makes a partial break by becoming a photographer, visually documenting events in the north rather than physically taking part in them. An unhappy early love affair is followed by a tempestuous relationship with Barbara Kavanagh, a professional singer from America.
Events lead Barry into a totally different life from the one he expected, yet his allegiance to the ideal of a thirty-two county Irish republic remains undimmed as the problems, and the violence, of Northern Ireland escalate. Then Barry finds himself in the middle of the most horrific event of all: Bloody Sunday in Derry, 1972.
New York-born author Morgan Llywelyn is one of the world's leading popular chroniclers of Celtic culture and history. A prolific storyteller, she has written more than twenty books over the past two decades. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.
In the words of Judith A. Gifford of the reference publication Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, "Drawing on the history and lore that are part of her own heritage, the works of Morgan Llywelyn concern themselves with Celtic heroes and heroines, both real and mythical, bringing them and the times they inhabited to life with stunning clarity." Pauline Morgan, writing in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, has explained, "[t]he majority of Morgan Llywelyn's books may be regarded as fictional biographies. Each book takes a person, often historical or legendary, and relates the story of their life. Most of the novels with a fantasy connection rely heavily on Celtic mythology, particularly that of the Irish.
Morgan Llywelyn now lives outside of Dublin, Ireland, and has become an Irish citizen.