Monday, March 10, 2008

Book Review: Prayer for the Damned

TitleA Prayer for the Damned: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland (Mysteries of Ancient Ireland featuring Sister Fidelma of Cashel)
AuthorPeter Tremayne
Tagsfiction, historical_mystery, ireland, fidelma
Your reviewThis is the 17th in Tremayne's Sister Fidelma seires set in 7th century Ireland. Tremayne is a pseudonym of Peter Berresford Ellis, a Celtic scholar who has published over 80 books total, many on Irish, Scottish, Welsh, and Cornish studies. He uses his scholarly understanding of Ireland to good effect in creating Fidelma's world.

Fidelma is a religeuse and a lawyer. At the time, the professionally religious were still allowed to marry, although the Roman church was moving towards banning it. The setting for Prayer for the Damned is the fromal marriage of Fidelma and Eadulf, with whom she has been investigating cases for years. As Fidelma is sister to the King of Cashel, one of the five kingdoms of Ireland, the nobility of Ireland comes to the wedding. Unfortunately, the happy event has to be put off as a bishop is found murdered.

Tremayne conveys fascinating tidbits of information on ancient Ireland, not always gracefully. The characters are interesting, and the plot is good. The series seemed to me to get rather plodding in some volumes, but this particular entry in the series is back to full strength. Recommended.
PublicationSt. Martin's Minotaur (2007), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Publication date2007
ISBN0312348339 / 9780312348335

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