Saturday, December 8, 2012

Firebrand-Gillian Philip


Gillian Philip

Strident Publishing, Aug 13 2010, $8.40

ISBN: 9781905537198

The Veil separates the world of humans from that of the Sithe. Because of the radical different life spans, the underlying philosophies of the two species are polar opposites. The humans’ strongest value is fear of anything odd or new as change threatens their possessions even those with nothing. On the other hand the Sithe’s most significant value is trust of one another regardless of station as ages of living together require belief that those in your community have your back.

The unthinkable happens when Sithe Queen Kate NicNiven has plans to destroy the Veil and subjugate the humans under her rule. To do this she must eliminate her most powerful opponent Lord Griogair MacGregor. When Griogair is assassinated, his two sons (Seth and Conal) flee to the mortal realm. They vow to return one day to claim their inheritance, but first the siblings must avoid the human witch-hunt at a time when Restoration divisive fervor has savage Scotland in a deadly turmoil.

This is a strong historical fantasy in which two mythical siblings struggle to survive as strangers in a strange hostile land. The key to this engaging storyline is that the Sithe society seems genuine with its construction built from the premise of the species’ longevity. The plot accelerates once the brothers cross the Veil and find themselves held in suspicion by just about everyone while stalked by cleansing fanatics on both sides of the restoration fight. Readers will appreciate the first Rebel Angels thriller wondering why the Queen wants to conquer the pathetic race on the other side of the Veil.

Harriet Klausner

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