Monday, December 31, 2018

A New Celtic Legend

In the Region of the Summer Stars (Eirlandia, #1)In the Region of the Summer Stars by Stephen R. Lawhead
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(I received an audiobook version of this courtesy of Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.)

Historical fiction writer Stephen R. Lawhead has been on my radar for a little while now, so when I was offered a copy of his latest, I jumped at the chance to read it!

If you like all things Celtic, In the Region of the Summer Stars is the book for you! Druids, faeries, war chiefs, oh my! I made an extensive study of the Celtics years ago and really enjoy learning about their culture, so this book rolls all over my wheelhouse.

Fast-paced action moves an exciting story that feels like a legend. At a Welsh tribal clan gathering, questions arise over what to do about invading Dane vikings. A hot-blooded young prince of a sort is confused by a lack of concern that an potent enemy upon their doorstep is not being taken more seriously and he goes off to investigate.

Part action, part mystery and a whole heaping helping of history go into In the Region of the Summer Stars. Lawhead has clearly put in tons of research. He layers on the details, occasionally bogging down a scene here and there, but perpetually building depth within his world to a degree reminiscent of Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth. History buffs should enjoy this, while fantasy fans will find the druids and Lawhead's version of faeries earthily intriguing.

The always excellent John Lee was the perfect choice to narrate this. His deep timbre lends gravitas to the story and further strengthens its legendary qualities. The publisher has uploaded a sample from the book on Soundcloud. So, if you're interested in seeing if the narrator works for you or whatever, here's the clip:

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