A raiding Norse pirate rapes a young girl in 9th-century Connacht, Ireland, and leaves her for dead. Shamed by her pregnancy and wanting a life without the label of Norse for her child, Ceara makes her way south to Ceann Coradh. She is befriended by a couple who run an inn and recently lost their only son in a battle with the Dublin Norse and treat her as they would their own daughter. Ceara tells her new family about a frightening dream she had while traveling to Ceann Coradh. True to the dream, Ceara dies giving her son life and the story of her nightmare will follow her son and his sons after him, forever.
Scolai grows up as the son of the inn keeper and his wife and displays some of the rougher characteristics of his natural father. He loves the game of hurling, and even more, the resulting fights. He plays and fights with an energy that draws the attention of Cennetig, the son of the tribal chieftain, Lorcain mac Lachtnai. His friendship with Cennetig results in his introduction to warrior training, usually reserved for nobles and the sons of proven warriors. Scolai finds his true calling in battle and earns the respect of his leaders and fellow warriors.
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Not what I expected.
From the synopsis, I was expecting something like a norse mythology story. But the book actually doesn't have much of that kind, other than the "real father" being a norse pirate. As the story progressed, it didn't quite interest me. It was mostly just like any other "abandoned child raised by others" story.
I received this book for free from the author / narrator / publisher, in exchange for an unbiased review.
- Bikram Agarwal