J.S. Dunn (author); BENDING THE BOYNE; Seriously Good Books (Fiction: Historical) $17.99 ISBN: 9780983155416
Byline: Shoilee Khan
It is 2200 BCE in ancient Ireland -- the Eire -- and Starwatchers, a quiet, self-sufficient people, look to the stars for guidance. While the stars help them cultivate an understanding of their history, they spend peaceful lives as herbalists, astronomers, and stone carvers, the incredible megaliths that rise from their lush landscape serving as an essential source of self-discovery, mystery, and pride. But there is a change in the atmosphere and newcomers threaten to disrupt this idyllic life. Invaders from the Continent have arrived on their shores and they lust after the rich metals of Eire to create long bronze knives, which, with precision and skill, they threaten to devastate the Starwatchers' lives.
This novel follows the trials of Boann, the bright and resilient daughter of Oghma, a revered stone carver among the Starwatchers. Boann, an herbalist and aspiring astronomer is youthful, strong, and wary of the Invaders and their brusque advance into Starwatcher territory. The Invaders steal livestock with abandon and with every passing day grow more reckless in their deeds, testing the limits of the "quiet ones" with their violence and greed. Boann's heart yearns for Cian, a former apprentice to her father and she struggles to understand why he has left his people to live amongst the Invaders. When animosity between the two peoples reaches its peak, Boann finds herself agreeing to an unwanted marriage to create peace. From this, a violent and impassioned beginning unfurls and Ireland is born.
Dunn's creation of Boann is vivid and powerful and is perhaps one of the greatest strengths...