This powerful partisan novel by the author of Druids recounts the aftermath of the last concerted attempt by Celtic nobility in Ireland to throw off English domination.
When Elizabeth I sent her forces to the Catholic country to guard against attempts to retake the British Isles for Rome, her commanders used bribery and threats to coerce some nobles to swear fealty to the English throne.
Others, led by Hugh O'Neill, held out during the Nine Years' War until the final defeat at the Battle of Kinsale in 1602. When this work opens a year later, a chieftain from the south, Donal Cam O'Sullivan of the now destroyed fortress town of Dunboy, has resorted to the desperate expedient of leading his people across a hostile Ireland to seek safety with loyal clans far to the north.
A thousand civilians and soldiers set out but, harassed at every turn by those seeking the price on O'Sullivan's head and tormented by fierce winter weather and by hunger, only 34 men and one woman survive. This tale of courage, love, cruelty and treachery, one of the great legends of Ireland, receives vivid, evocative treatment here.
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.