Ireland, 1000 AD. Gormflaith is unhappily married to Brian Boru, High King of Ireland, and although a queen she struggles with her limited position. As an immortal Fomorian with the secret gift of magic, Gormflaith has a burning desire: to find and destroy the hidden fortress of her sworn enemies, the Descendants, who seek to kill her kind at all costs. She begins to use her magical powers, and discovers she is more skilled than she ever realised... but can she control what she will become?
Meanwhile Fódla, the Descendants' healer, mourns her banished sister but clings to life as the guardian of her young nephew. She seeks a place of safety for them both, but he has secrets of his own that could threaten everything – and Fódla must do all in her power to keep him hidden away from those who would use him for evil.
When a mysterious man comes to King Brian's court, his presence could spell disaster or deliverance for both Gormflaith and Fódla – and for Ireland herself. For he is Tomas, an ambitious immortal with few scruples – and he will do anything to see his plans become reality.
Soon, mortals and immortals alike are drawn towards a bitter conflict that could decide the future of Ireland and all her people.
The Words of Kings and Prophets is the second book on the Gael Song series, a historical fantasy based on Irish mythology, written by Shauna Lawless. After an excellent debut novel, the expectations were extremely high, and apart from delivering them perfectly, it raises the level a bit more, giving an extra layer of depth to the characters while making the plot advance with the historical facts.
Gormflaith is unhappily married to the High King of Ireland, Brian Boru, in a delicate position, as her power as queen is quite limited. As a Fommorian with the gift of magic, she starts using her abilities, discovering she's more skilled than she thought. However, magic comes with a cost, and lacking the control of her abilities comes with a cost, putting her between the wall and the sword. This Gormflaith is stronger, but at the same time, we will see her struggling on several occasions, on the verge of collapsing and fleeing.
Meanwhile, Fódla is still mourning her disappeared sister, but taking care of her nephew will become her reason to be; she's just looking for a safe place for both. The only problem is that her nephew hides some gifts that could be used for evil.
Outside of our main characters, we will be following how Lawless weaves mythology and history, creating a really vivid story about Ireland and the different people fighting for power; focusing mostly on the figure of Brian Boru, and his climb to the position of High King of Ireland.
Lawless definitely manages to insufflate life into history, making of reading an excellent experience; all of that while being great at any registry, from the introspective to the big scale of battles.
The Words of Kings and Prophets is the confirmation of Shauna Lawless as an excellent novelist; if you are looking for a brilliant series that combines history and mythology, Gael Song should be one of your first elections.
Shauna Lawless is an avid reader of Irish mythology and folklore. As an Irish woman, she loves that Irish mythology has inspired so many stories over the years, however, she wanted to explore the history and mythology of Ireland in a more authentic way. She lives in Northern Ireland with her family.