Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6)

Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6)

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, 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466814066
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/01/2000
Series: Sister Fidelma Series , #6
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 154,083
File size: 398 KB

About 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, beginning with Absolution by Murder. He lives in London.

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Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma Series #6) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 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

Joycepa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
6th in the Sister Fidelma series.I have complained in reviews of Tremayne¿s characterization of Fidelma, which is the really serious flaw in this series. She comes across as a more or less wooden figure when she¿s not angry. There¿s almost nothing about her that is likeable, actually because there¿s no real person there. All the characters are more or less awkward, but she, the star of the series, is the worst portrayed. What has saved the series is the excellent plotting and the setting¿7th century Ireland, with it unique system of laws and anything but unique bloody conflicts.In this book, thankfully Tremayne does not do much with Fidelma except to have her act, and therefore it¿s one of the best installments in the series.The plot is intriguing. At this point in Ireland¿s history, the Christian faith has pretty much spread throughout Ireland but naturally, Christians being Christians, there are two sharply different views as to what form that faith should take, and these differences are at times expressed in conflict and murder.There are pockets of the Old Faith, however, and Fidelma is sent as her king brother¿s ambassador to the nearly inaccessible land of one of the sub-chieftains, who wishes to negotiate terms for the construction of a Christian church and school. Nearly at her destination, Fidelma and Brother Eadulf encounter what is clearly a ritual slaughter of 33 young men, arranged in a manner to suggest a pagan rite.The ensuing encounter with the chieftain and his Druid counselor, and the hostility of the chieftain¿s council to the whole idea of bringing in a church and school of the new faith, make fidlema¿s visit uncomfortable. Then Fidelma is found in a compromising situation that points to her being the murderer of a cleric from the other sect of the Christian faith.The plot is well done and moves fast. As usual, there is a great deal of interesting detail about Irish customs, law and the clash between the Roman and Celtic rites of the new Christian faith. Unfortunately, Tremayne seems to love the Nero Wolfe style of capturing murderers, since there is the now-standard gathering of all the suspects where Fidlema recounts her investigation and conclusions and then dramatically points out the culprit. Perry Mason without the courtroom scene. Still, it¿s good.This is not my favorite series but this book is one of the better ones in it.
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