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Sacrifice: A Celtic Adventure
     

Sacrifice: A Celtic Adventure

by Philip Freeman
 

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In a time when Celtic druids roamed ancient Ireland, young Sister Deirdre rushes to hunt down the brutal serial killer targeting her beloved monastery.
Someone is killing the nuns of Ireland.
The grisly discovery of an elderly sister of Saint Brigid’s monastery strangled, bled dry, and thrown into a bog is just the beginning. Soon a beautiful young nun is

Overview

In a time when Celtic druids roamed ancient Ireland, young Sister Deirdre rushes to hunt down the brutal serial killer targeting her beloved monastery.
Someone is killing the nuns of Ireland.
The grisly discovery of an elderly sister of Saint Brigid’s monastery strangled, bled dry, and thrown into a bog is just the beginning. Soon a beautiful young nun is found decapitated and hung from a barren tree. It doesn’t take long before the members of the struggling monastic community of Kildare realize that not only are the nuns being hunted by a serial killer, but the murderer is preforming the gruesome slayings in the manner of the ancient druid sacrifices.Set in the turmoil of sixth-century Ireland, where ruthless tribal kings wage constant war for survival and the powerful religious order of the druids is threatened by the newly-arrived Christian church, the desperate task of finding the killer falls to Sister Deirdre, a young women torn between the world of the monastery and her own druidic heritage. Unless Deirdre can find the killer before the cycle of sacrifices is complete, more of her friends will die, the monastery will face destruction, and the whole of Ireland may be plunged into civil war.

Editorial Reviews

Suspense Magazine
“A fascinating look into the world of druids and
Christians in sixth-century Ireland. I put his work up there with Rosemary
Sutcliff’s wonderful novels. I was drawn into the imagery and pacing and hope there is more of Deidre to come.”
Historical Novels Review
“Freeman drives a quick pace with characters that are well-crafted and dynamic. His writing and sense of place and time easily set the reader in an ancient Ireland so foreign yet incredibly familiar.”
The New York Times (on 'St. Patrick of Ireland')
“A lively and lucid biography.”
The Irish American News
“Philip Freeman creates convincing characters who use realistic dialogue. All books about Celtic Heritage should be this readable. I hope to hear more of Deidre in the future.”
Historical Novel Society
“The pacing and suspense were very well stylized, and I was happy to see that Philip Freeman plans on publishing a second novel featuring the lively Sister Deirdre.”
The Providence Journal
“This is a goodly yarn, complete with its fascinating and colorful historical and cultural context, not to mention its dangers and horrors, a good start to what looks to be a good mystery series.”
Library Journal
09/01/2015
In this worthy successor to Freeman's debut historical mystery set in sixth-century Ireland, St. Brigid's Bone, the body of a murdered nun is found in a bog, and swiftly thereafter a second nun, decapitated and hung from a tree, is discovered. Sister Deirdre and her Druid grandmother come to a startling conclusion: someone is practicing an ancient Druidic rite of sacrifice, targeting the nuns of St. Brigid's Monastery. Deirdre is forced to make a terrible choice between her Christian religion and her Celtic culture, and Sister Anna expels her from the monastery. This paradoxically eases Deirdre's way to find the culprit, which she must do before the seventh and final sacrifice, in order to maintain peace between the eastern and western clans of the kingdom. VERDICT This novel is a bit darker, but like its predecessor shows a good knowledge of early Ireland. There's less time spent on character development here, but the plot is well paced and the mystery deeper than it first appears. Readers who enjoyed the first volume will want to pick this up. Fans of Peter Tremayne's "Sister Fidelma" series might also be interested in following Deirdre's adventures.—Pamela O'Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY
Kirkus Reviews
2015-07-29
It's druids versus Christians in a series of ritual murders that rend sixth-century Ireland. Although Deirdre became a nun after the death of her young son, she still retains her status as a druidic bard. She's worked to find a balance between being a sister of holy Brigid and her allegiance to her beloved grandmother, a well-respected seer who raised her in druid traditions. But not everyone is happy with Deirdre's double loyalty. Sister Anna, the abbess of St. Brigid's monastery, seems even more mistrustful when Sister Grainne, an elderly hermit, is found in a bog, garroted with the lanyard of her own cross and with her throat slit. Father Ailbe, who doubles as a physician and rattles off medical terminology with the ease of a modern forensic scientist, reports that Grainne was drugged with mistletoe juice and was in a peaceful coma before her death. Hers is only the first of many murders of nuns, all killed according to rituals of druidic sacrifice. One of the victims is the daughter of a powerful clan leader who demands revenge on the druids. Fearing a rift between Christian and druid and outright warfare among the clans, King Dúnlaing turns to Deirdre, who not only has a foot in both religious camps, but also lives in Kildare, midway between the eastern and western clans. As his designated detective, she has more time to follow his orders (and apparently to invent the Irish alphabet) after Sister Anna expels her from the monastery. When Deirdre's cousin, another solitary nun, is attacked, she denounces her assailant as the murderer. He doesn't deny it, even if it means being burned at the stake. But just when Christians and druids alike think it's safe to leave their daub-and-wattle huts, another murder proves how wrong they are—and Deirdre must summon all her courage to face the threats to herself, her family, and her community. Despite Freeman's earnest enthusiasm for his subject, this sequel to St. Brigid's Bones (2014) works marginally better as a mystery than as a historical novel.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781681772486
Publisher:
Pegasus Books
Publication date:
12/20/2016
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,010,085
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.60(d)

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Meet the Author

Philip Freeman received his Ph.D. in Classics and Celtic Studies at Harvard University and holds the Qualley Chair of Classical Languages at Luther College. He is the author of thirteen books, including a number of nonfiction titles and his fictional Sister Deirdre series, Saint Brigid’s Bones and Sacrifice. His most recent work, Searching for Sappho, was published by W. W. Norton in 2016. Philip lives in Decorah, Iowa.

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