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on March 11, 2013 :
This story is beautifully done, full of myth, mystery and history. If you want to visit 14th century Ireland, this is the route. Historical buffs will love it - but for me, personally and very subjectively, I found it at times, too slow. I prefer writing with more pace, tension and edge, so perhaps it wasn't a book for me and hence the 3 stars instead of the 4 stars I would have liked to have given. That said, I would say that those who enjoy historical detail, strong characters, a sense of fantasy and fairytale mixed with lyrical writing, this book is for you.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on Jan. 08, 2012 :
I had heard some very good feedback about this up and coming writer and was excited to finally get to read one of her works.
This historical novel is an easy read. The plot moves along at a nice clip, carrying the reader with it. One can appreciate the extensive use of resources portraying Ireland as it was in the 14th Century.
I particularly enjoyed the comprehensive descriptions that places the reader on the scene. This author has the right touch without getting bogged down or overdoing it.
I found this to be a very enjoyable and refreshing portrayal of legend through descriptions of the rugged countryside, character studies and unknown forces.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for mystery and adventure in an era that was physically demanding and at times, brutal, but, oh so enchanting.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on March 31, 2011 :
I had been eagerly awaiting for the release of The Last Legend since I read the teaser on K Writerly's blog entry and I was absolutely delighted when I read the book in its entirety.
We start by seeing the world through the heartbroken and suddenly orphaned Kellan who has to go live with his aunt in an unfamiliar city with unfamiliar people. It is one of those unfamiliar people, O' Neill who tells Kellan of a wonderfully power and incredible woman, Bowen Blair. Through her story, Kellan draws the strength to move on past his father's death.
Years pass and Kellan grows into a fine young man. When rumors of Bowen's recent actions start to spread, the admiration he has for the last of the Fianna is threatened. This starts the journey of a young man who comes into contact with several people who know Bowen and is changed by what he sees and learns of her.
It is these characters' reaction and interactions with her that give readers a glimpse into just who Bowen really is. Throughout the story she is reminiscent of a diamond...multifaceted and strong. Depending on whose viewpoint the reader is seeing through, she's seen as a very different person, yet her strength and elusiveness is always shown as a pivotal part of her character.
The Last Legend a prime example of what a historical fiction book should be. The research, as evidenced by her extensive resource list, is impeccable and allows the reader to transition from the busy world in the 21st century to the 14th century Irish countryside effortlessly.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys the epic feel of a legend and the longing to know "what is the truth?"
(reviewed within a month of purchase)