Gods of Ireland - Most Ancient Song - Children Of Danu: Book 1
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by Kenneth C. Flint
Description: First time available as an eBook!
The peaceful Nemedians have crossed vast seas in search of a new home. At long last they discover a lovely green isle and decide to settle in its single beautiful valley- already, mysteriously, equipped with huts ready for occupation. Little do they know that lurking in the hills, in a black fortress overlooking the valley, are denizens of evil called the Fomor- vicious, misshapen creatures who guard the land for their dark masters using magical devices that can defeat whole armies. Inexperienced at the craft of war, the Nemedians must now defend their new home, aided by strangers who have joined their settlement- but who are these strangers. and why are they lending their aid?
Drawn from Ireland's most ancient tales of gods and heroes, Most Ancient Song beings a cycle of enthralling fantasy novels set in a world where the fight for survival becomes the stuff of legend.
eBook Publisher: Double Dragon Publishing/Double Dragon eBooks, 2011 Double Dragon Publishing
eBookwise Release Date: September 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [399 KB]
Reading time: 247-346 min.
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Ancient Song Is A Most Exciting Read!,
This was a fast-paced exciting novel! I just couldn't put it down! The story is about the Nemedians (named for their leader Nemed) who have crossed vast seas in search of a new home. Finally, they find a beautiful green island and decide to settle in a gorgeous valley. They discover ready made huts built by the previous owners. Some of these owners are still there in the form of decaying corpses. However, they clean and repair the huts and settle in. However what they do not know, lurking in the hills, in a black fortress which overlooks the valley, are evil creatures called the Fomor. They're vicious, misshapen beings who guard the land for their dark masters using magical devices that can defeat whole armies.
The Nemedians are not a warlike people but they soon learn to become adept at it. They have to defend their homes and their lives and they do it with the aid of strangers who've joined their village. Who are these strangers and why are they helping them? The characters of Dagda, the Morrigan, Lir (also known as Liam), and Nuada weave an exciting tapestry of events and adventures! Many of names are drawn from ancient Celtic myth.
Read this novel, you will not be disappointed! Casey Flynn (Kenneth C. Flint) has outdone himself with this two book series. The second book is titled The Gods of Ireland, Book 2, and The Enchanted Isles which I'm devouring now. I too wish the author would write again and finish this series!
THE PLAIN OF DEATH
* * * *
A billowing mist lay heavily upon the horrid scene.
Its whispering sheets covered like a death linen and mercifully hid the sprawled bodies of the dying scattered across the barren circle.
Here and there a pitiful fire smoldered, forming weak swells of ruddy light in the mist. Around their puny comfort of warmth huddled the miserable lumps of stricken human beings, moaning, coughing, crying out in pain, keening over the still forms of loved ones already gone.
Most seemed too weak even to feed wood or turf to the campfires. So, one by one, the lights were fading out. Of the many hundreds of people in the camp, only a few score were on their feet. Some of them moved from fire to fire, carrying water, vainly administering to the dying. The rest applied their services to a larger number--the dead. Working in pairs they hoisted limp or already stiffening bodies onto four-wheeled carts and dragged them slowly, wearily, endlessly to the center of the plain.
At that center was a vast pit, both wide and deep. Still, it was filled already, filled and heaped high with hundreds upon hundreds of dead forming a great, grotesque, tangled mass of bodies growing ever greater. Here other laborers plied shovels, heaving earth upon the mound, pushing more in around the pit's sides in a hopeless attempt to bury the already decomposing corpses. The shovelers wore scraps of rag tied about their faces against the stench of putrefaction that hung dense in the thick, gray air.
At a fire nearby the pit, a man watched the awful work go on. He lay propped against a stone, white faced, breath rasping from shallowly pumping lungs. He was an elderly man of grey-white hair and lined face. He watched the bodies cast into the pit with eyes glittering from tears of anguish. They pooled to run down the seamed cheeks.
A figure came out from the windings of the mist and approached him. It was a young man of dark hair and strong countenance. He moved with a vigor that seemed immense in contrast to the rest. He knelt by the old man.
"Partholan," he said, "you should move away from here. This poisonous odor..."
"It will make little difference to me," the other wheezed out. "And I must be here, to see my people to their final rest, terrible though it will be."
The young man lifted a pail. "Then drink some water."
Partholan waved it away. "I can no longer swallow it," he said. "My stomach rejects even this by twisting into knots. That pain is worse than the thirst."
"I am sorry, Uncle," the young man said in a helpless way. "You've done all that anyone could.
"Tell me," his uncle demanded, "what are the numbers?"
"Of our five thousand, perhaps five hundred remain. Of those, only some two dozen seem untouched by this monstrous plague."
The old man shook his head in despair. "Soon there'll not even be enough to carry our dead to their grave. And the healers? The priests?"
"There was nothing they could do. No magic, no medicine could help. The last of them is dying with the rest."
"Not a dozen days ago we were strong. We were well!" the old man said. "Tuam, what happened?"
"It spread as a gust of strong wind sweeping through the wheat," the young man said. "Another day, one more, and there will be none left."
"Tomorrow," said Partholan. "Beltaine. The day of death. The same day we first came to this land...this 'beautiful land!'" He spoke the words bitterly. "Is that why we are destroyed, Nephew? Is it the curse of Bel?"
"No," the young man said. "It's not the gods, Uncle. It is them. I know it. They have found some sorcery to do for them what they could not do themselves. They've made us pay for our defiance."
"Tuam," the old man said urgently, "you must not stay."
"What, Uncle?" Tuam said, aghast. "I can't leave you...leave the rest."
"There is nothing more you can do. I am gone. They are all gone. Escape if you can. Take any others who are still untouched. Flee this cursed place. Go far away."
"Abandon you, our families, our friends? Let you die here, unburied and unmourned?"
"You will only condemn yourselves. Don't be a fool. Go now. As your king, it is my last command to you!" Partholan gripped the young man's arm, pulling himself up by an effort of will, body quivering, voice intense. "You must obey me! Promise you will go! Someone must survive!"
"I promise," Tuam agreed reluctantly.
The old man released him and lay back, drained of his last strength. His dimming gaze turned to the mass grave. "My people," he said with failing voice. "My poor people." He went limp, eyes rolling back, final breath rattling out of his deflating lungs.
The young man sat in mourning over his dead uncle for some moments. Then he covered the wasted form with a cloth. He rose and went out across the plain, checking at each fire, gleaning the meager number of his people miraculously untouched. At his order they gathered what possessions they could and unwillingly, regretfully stole away, abandoning the dying, leaving their own families and their own comrades helpless, escaping into the mists.
Another day of agony crawled by for those left behind. The few still mobile weakened swiftly, at last joining the rest languishing about the tires. The dead lay ungathered, the last of the workers gone. Slowly the last fires burned out, the last groans faded, the last stirrings ceased.
The plain was silent.