Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6)

Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6)

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by Peter Tremayne
     
 

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In Ireland of A.D. 666, Sister Fidelma is sent by her brother, Colgu of Cashel, the king of Muman, to the remote valley of Gleann Geis, whose inhabitants still adhere to the ancient Druidic ways. Her mission is to negotiate with the chieftain Laisre for permission to build a Christian church and school in his territory. Fidelma's task won't be an easy one, though

Overview

In Ireland of A.D. 666, Sister Fidelma is sent by her brother, Colgu of Cashel, the king of Muman, to the remote valley of Gleann Geis, whose inhabitants still adhere to the ancient Druidic ways. Her mission is to negotiate with the chieftain Laisre for permission to build a Christian church and school in his territory. Fidelma's task won't be an easy one, though, as Laisre's clan is known for its hostility to the new religion and fierce adherence to the old.

Approaching the valley, Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, come upon a particularly grisly scene--the slain bodies of thirty-three young men, placed in a sunwise circle and bearing the marks of the ancient threefold death of pagan times. As an emissary of her brother the king, as well as her position as a dalaigh--an advocate of the Brehon courts--it is Fidelma's responsibility to uncover the truth behind the gruesome murders. Within the forbidden valley, Fidelma embarks upon an inquiry that not only places her in the gravest personal danger but upon which rests the continuing peace of her brother's kingdom.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Seventh-century sleuth Sister Fidelma is charged with solving the gruesome pagan murders of 33 young men.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf, her Saxon monk sidekick, are on their way to Gleann Geis, a remote pagan community in southwest Ireland, when they run across a horrible massacre: 33 young men have been ritually killed, their bodies laid out in a pattern peculiar to the ancient Druid faith. (As her fans know from the five novels in this well-researched series, most recently The Spider's Web, religious and political tensions simmer in seventh-century Ireland, though with its sophisticated legal system and fair treatment of women, it is one of Dark Age Europe's more civilized societies.) At Gleann Geis, the pair stumble on another murder, for which Sister Fidelma is arrested. The meek Eadulf has an easier time mounting a clever defense of his mentor than he does fending off the advances of the local chieftain's precocious 14-year-old niece. Released from confinement, Sister Fidelma is free to make full use of her sharp analytical powers to figure out who is behind the massacre and the seemingly unrelated murder of which she was unjustly accused. She does not disappoint. At the climax, the religieuse explains all, untangling a complex web of intrigue that moves from one surprising revelation to the next. While adept at plotting, Tremayne has an annoying habit of overusing adverbs. A door opens "boisterously," a mouth droops "pessimistically," while characters smile "thinly," "wanly," "warmly," "gravely," "grimly," "apologetically" and "maliciously." In the future one hopes that the author--or his editor--will put as much faith in plain verbs as Sister Fidelma does in her God. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Seventh-centruy Irish princess Fidelma (The Spider's Web), late of the sisterhood at Kldare, negotiates witha pagan worrror-chieftain on the behalf of her king/brother. Hidden Valley, however, she and companion Brother Eadulf discover 33 ritually slaughtered young men laid out in a circle. Since her object is to establish a Christian church and school in the area, Fidelma vows to investigate the crime. Firmly set in a wild, dangerous time but featuring well bred and educated protagonists, this historical teaches as it entertains. Recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781466814066
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
03/01/2000
Series:
Sister Fidelma Series , #6
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
186,700
File size:
398 KB

Meet the Author

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts. He is the author of two previous Sister Fidelma books, Absolution by Murder and Shroud for the Archbishop. He lives in England.


PETER TREMAYNE is a pseudonym of Peter Berresford Ellis, a renowned scholar who has written extensively on the ancient Celts and the Irish. As Tremayne, he is best known for his stories and novels featuring Fidelma of Cashel. He lives in London.

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Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 666 AD, Chieftain Laisre rules over Gleann Geis, an isolated valley where the people revere Druid Priests. Over the years, many of the villagers married outsiders, which has allowed Christianity to gain a foothold in the area. The Christians demand their own church and school, which forces Laisre to ask his liege, the King of Mumar to negotiate with the Church. The King sends his emissaries, Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf to Gleann Geis.

However, a few miles from the village, the traveling duo comes across the grim sight of thirty-three dead men laid out according to a pagan death ritual. Sister Fidelma, an advocate of the Ireland law courts, wants to know who executed these people. The villagers swear they know nothing about the abomination. They want the Sister to begin negotiation instead of starting her own investigation. However, Sister Fidelma quickly concludes that an evil lurks in the valley, but before she can prove her charges, another murder occurs. The evidence points towards Sister Fidelma. To clear her name and stop a potential bloody battle from turning a happy valley into the valley of death, Sister Fidelma begins to search for the malfeasance that covets power at all cost to others.

VALLEY OF THE SHADOW is a work rich in Irish myths that allows the audience to catch the beauty of seventh century Ireland. The charcaters are well drawn, seem genuine, and make the era appear before the audience's eyes. The fast moving plot provides a wonderfully designed mystery interwoven inside a meticulously researched history that brings insight into the past. Sub-genre fans will fully enjoy this tale and the other works of artist Peter Tremayne

Harriet Klausner

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