Friday, 6 August 2021

#BookReview - The Curse of Conchobar by David Fitz-Gerald @AuthorDAVIDFG

The Curse of Conchobar 
(A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series)
By David Fitz-Gerald

Publication Date: 14th January 2021
Publisher: Outskirts Press 
Page Length: 198 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction

Banished by one tribe. Condemned by another. Will an outcast's supernatural strengths be enough to keep him alive?

549 AD. Raised by monks, Conchobar is committed to a life of obedience and peace. But when his fishing vessel is blown off-course, the young man's relief over surviving the sea's storms is swamped by the terrors of harsh new shores. And after capture by violent natives puts him at death's door, he's stunned when he develops strange telepathic abilities.

Learning his new family's language through the mind of his mentor, Conchobar soon falls for the war chief's ferocious daughter. But when she trains him to follow in her path as a fighter, he's horrified when his uncanny misfortune twists reality, causing more disastrous deaths and making him a pariah.

Can Conchobar defeat the darkness painting his steps with blood?

The Curse of Conchobar is the richly detailed prequel to the mystical Adirondack Spirit Series of historical fiction. If you like inspiring heroes, unsettling powers, and lasting legacies, then you'll love David Fitz-Gerald's captivating tale.

Buy The Curse of Conchobar to break free from the fates today!

My hands tingle. I feel a strange wave of energy permeate my body. I close my eyes and I feel the passing of time. Instead of two arms I feel as if I have hundreds of arms, or branches instead. I feel a sense of growing, expanding, strengthening and weakening. 

Conchobar’s life at the monastery has been one of routine and tranquillity. But, there is a curse, which was bestowed upon his mother and her children by his father, which hangs over his head. This cursed life started the day he was born, which also happened to be the day his mother died. Bad luck seemingly haunts his every footstep. Unfortunately, this bad luck affects not just Conchobar but those around him as well. 

When Conchobar rebels against his day-to-day cloistered life and takes a fishing boat out, an unanticipated and fast gathering storm blows him away from the life he has always known and into strange and foreign waters. After many traumatic days lost at sea, his boat washes ashore where it is found by a tribe of people who do not speak his language, and whose way of life is vastly different to anything he has known before.

The Curse of Conchobar (A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series) by David Fitz-Gerald is a story of discovery, of finding a world you never knew existed and learning how you fit in.

Taken in and adopted by the natives, Conchobar is nursed back to health. He makes fast friends with the two healers, Three Fingers and Gathers Seeds, and quickly learns that not everyone in this tribe is what they seem. Three Fingers talks to Conchobar without opening his mouth, and while Conchobar had been unconscious due to his injuries, Three Fingers had taken the time to teach Conchobar the language of the tribe, mind to mind. 

The world that Conchobar finds himself in when he is well enough to move into his new house, with the chief, Spits Teeth, and his family, is one which he is unaccustomed to and he finds it difficult to adapt. He is not used to sleeping with so many other people in such proximity, and he never had to be careful about keeping his thoughts chaste when living with the monks. Spending his days surrounded by Spits Teeth’s half-dressed daughters, however, is a different matter. In particular, he is drawn towards Ferocious Wind, who is unlike the rest of the women in the village. Ferocious Wind is a warrior, and Conchobar becomes infatuated with her as she teaches him to become a warrior, trains him to fight and to survive. The relationship which forms between Ferocious Wind and Conchobar is initially very timid, with Conchobar too nervous about admitting his feelings for her. 

Conchobar learning to fight is a necessity, not a privilege. Spits Teeth’s tribe and the neighbouring tribe have been at war with each other for many years, and neither leader is willing to call a truce, even taking into account how similar their tribes are, and how much they could benefit from peace. The brutality that these war chiefs are willing to use to defeat each other is horrifying, and Conchobar, while caught up in wanting to impress Ferocious Wind, struggles to deal with what he, as a warrior, is being asked to do. 

Conchobar’s curse is at the forefront of both this novel and his problems. With nothing but death and destruction following in Conchobar’s wake, the tribe starts to lay the blame on him, and he can’t help but blame on himself. How else would such ruination happen whenever he was around? 

Conchobar is banished from the tribe when it can no longer be denied that his presence has caused so many deaths. Determined not to let anyone else get hurt, or to risk angering Spits Teeth further, he leaves quickly and travels far. It is on this journey that he realises he and Three Fingers may not be as different as he thought. Trying to get as far away from the village as he could, and despite the fear that he is being followed, Conchobar finds enlightenment, not the kind that he could find among the monks, but a kind that seems unique to his spirit alone. The way that this spirituality has been woven into the pages of this novel is outstanding, as if the story and the supernatural are the roots of two trees, interwoven and interlocked, yet hidden away where they are not visible. On the surface, the two are separate entities, yet when you delve deeper, it is clear that one cannot survive without the other, and this dependence is what makes them both flourish. 

The Curse of Conchobar (A Prequel to the Adirondack Spirit Series) by David Fitz-Gerald is rich with detail, and the words come alive on the page. This is not a story that you just read, but one that you live. Every character has been fleshed out into believability and the setting has been penned with a precise and careful use of prose, which makes it next to impossible to put down.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Ellie Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club

Pick up your copy at your favourite online bookshop - HERE! 

David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means that he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing. She Sees Ghosts―A Story of a Woman Who Rescues Lost Souls is the next instalment in the Adirondack Spirit Series.

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Mary Anne xxx