Many of the most ancient of the noble Irish stories stem from a common lore---a thread that weaves mysticism, magic, and sovereignty into a succession of hidden guardians---the protectors who were their gods.
In The Forces of Stones, the identity of the protectors is uncovered. They are the ancestors of the Nine Irish Sons---not gods, but men and women who had been endowed with great strength, shrewd intellect, and insatiable loves. As each life is unveiled, the men discover that they come from more than a long lineage of courage and generosity---but extraordinary and romantic heroes who were ready, willing and able to conquer the ruthless of the world.
As they guard their many secrets---love affairs, personal ambitions, remorse galore, and longings that they cannot name, they learn about their Druid grandfather, powerful grandmother, the covert work of their abandoned father, and the magic and extraordinarily challenging life of their great grandfather---a character of such charisma that he easily could surpass the magnetism of Fitzgerald's Jay Gatsby.
But these men see themselves as alone, vulnerable, and weak. They suspect they are from a glorious past, and often fantasize about the victories of the future, but like most every other Irish descendant, doubt they---the living---possess any such supernatural power. They fail to see that the ability to turn a phrase, learn a difficult language, face an enemy, and use medicine as synchronous with outwitting an enemy, healing, or casting spells. They talk around language, bringing their private implications into every discussion, and yet, are unaware of the power of their words, or the messages they send.
The fixation for this kind of privileged confidence can be traced back to their beloved history---a habit that began with the Druids who believed the gods were their ancestors. It is this unbroken Celtic history that drives them towards unknown and dangerous destinies. They arrive at various destinations fully prepared to change and just like one of their unknown strange warrior ancestors look for the strength to discover the mettle and valor of their enemies, and then make the ultimate decision---life or death. They are modern twenty-first century men that avoid battles until they have no choice.
Why is there no true bliss among these Irishmen who measure and control personal joy with practical roadblocks? As James Joyce wrote, “We walk through ourselves, meeting robbers, ghosts, giants, old men, young men, wives, widows, brothers-in-love. But always meeting ourselves.” And so it is the same with the Nine Irish Sons. Each, frightened by memories of a childhood---one of immense worry, not for themselves but for the lives of their parents.
That is where they depart from the typical ancestor who was known to walk away from a quarrel to hear the bard and exchange legends of caliber, faith, and honor. These men find solace only in their unique ability to challenge and succeed against the cruelest of evil forces, and their unparalleled commitments to meet exceptional expectations.
Without knowing their full history, they are each carbon copies of the men from their past. Each maintains his weapon with the same meticulous care as the most ancient swordsman. They eat, drink, and dress with the same sense of importance as their most ancient forefather. But the story wouldn't be an Irish one without more that just heritage wound around their lives. Their rare plots of land are filled with stones---and like the land they love, the world of inhabitants around them is either worthy of their scrutiny or inadequate.
Similarly, this mysterious island holds them as if they were tethered by some supernatural power and causes them an elusive remorse when they are away. And yet, they are continually thrust out into unknown lands to face the worst cold blooded crimes known to the world.
About the Author
Laura Joyce studied Political Science at Emory University and went on to the University of Georgia to complete a Masters in Public Administration. She then worked at Emory University in Information Technology for seventeen years. During part of that tenure she wrote extensively on various technology topics and was the chief editor of a scholarly journal entitled, A Publication on Information Technology from Emory University [POINT]. Many of her papers on information technology can still be found on the Internet. She has completed a trilogy: The Secrets of Nine Irish Sons I – The Beginning The Secrets of Nine Irish Sons II – The Rose Oisín The Secrets of Nine Irish Sons III – The Forces of Stones She is now retired and living in Florida.