The Children of Gods and Fighting Men

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 01 Sep 2022
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Description

The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless.

They think they've killed the last of us...

981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians.

Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fódla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise...

Reviewers on The Children of Gods and Fighting Men:

'Rife with atmosphere and armies, magic and compelling characters, it swept me along and refused to be put down' H.M. Long
'Highlander meets The Last Kingdom in this assured and captivating debut... I was hooked from page one' Anthony Ryan
'Gripping and beautiful. A Celtic Last Kingdom with wild magic and fierce heroines' Anna Smith Spark
'I really enjoyed the book. It's an excellent read' Mark Lawrence
'A beguiling blend of fantasy, history, and politics. A gripping start to this series' D.K. Fields
'A vividly written story that makes the ancient past feel contemporary' Joseph O'Connor
'An epic historical fantasy that weaves myth and history into a sprawling tale of magic, intrigue, and war. Absorbing and richly detailed' Ian Green
'With all the complex political machinations of A Song of Ice and Fire and the bloody battles of The Warlord Chronicles, it's ideal for fans of both' Stephen Aryan
'An atmospheric journey into a thrilling historical fantasy world' R.J. Barker

The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless.

...


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ISBN 9781803282626
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Featured Reviews

I was granted a digital arc by the publisher via NetGalley - thank you to Head of Zeus, NetGalley and Shauna Lawless.

I can’t get over how well-written this debut historic fantasy novel is. Shauna Lawless is one extremely talented and well-read lady. The depth of her research for this book can be seen at every turn and her love for Irish history and mythology shines on every page. The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is easily one of my favourite books so far this year!

This highly intriguing epic is set in tenth century Ireland, a time when the coasts of Ireland are beset by opportunistic Vikings and Christianity is spreading far and wide taking over from the Vikings’ belief in the Norse gods and Valhalla. It follows the fates of a Fomorian - a witch in possession of fire magic who have extremely long lives and do not age until the final year of their life - necessitating that they leave everything and move every so often to hide the fact they are not aging. The Fomorians have been persecuted and almost wiped out by another band of non mortal beings of power, the mysterious Descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann. The Descendants believe they have wiped out all of the fire witches, thus saving mankind from their evil. However they have missed two - Gormflaith and her brother.

There are two main point of view characters, whose stories are told in alternate chapters - two very different strong women, Gormflaith the Fomorian and Fódla the Descendant. These are both so well-written many layered females who are hell bent on survival in a man’s world. Both are fiercely protective of their charges - in Gormflaith’s case this is her son, Sitric. Her ambition for him to become a respected King of Dublin knows no bounds. Gormflaith is a relentless, Machiavellian character, extremely smart and well-versed in politics and history, she can see exactly who she needs to manipulate in order to get what she wants for her son Sitric and has no qualms about whatever needs to be done. We see her murdering his rivals in cold blood, using her body where necessary, or any other means available to her to get what she wants. She is someone it would be wise to keep on your side rather than make an enemy of! She was very enjoyable to read.

“The Fomorians were a strange breed to be sure. Power-hungry, dangerous, destructive. It’s in their blood.”

The other main character, Fódla, has sworn to look after her nephew, Broccan, after his mother, her beloved sister Rónnat, is banished to an island by the rest of the Descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann for falling pregnant by a mortal. Blessed with healing powers, Fódla is in hiding in a secret fortress with the remainder of the Descendants at the beginning of the story.

She is a much gentler character than Gormflaith, brave but cautious, sensible and loyal to her people, fiercely protective of those she loves and quick to anger over the senselessness of war and the pain and suffering it causes. After voting on a New Agreement, the Descendants have withdrawn from mankind thinking they have saved the mortal race from the witches. Having been warned of the anger and destructive power of mortal men by Tomas, the leader of the Descendants, naturally cautious Fódla is wary of them. She is a rule follower and eventually has to weigh up her protective nature and desire to save lives against her inherent need to follow the rules of her people.

The powers of the Descendants are slowly fading and Tomas, is keen to find ways to strengthen them. Tomas believes that breeding with mortals is a factor in the weakening of their gifts and demands strict punishment when he discovers Rónnat’s pregnancy.

“How strange things had become since we had voted for the New Agreement and withdrawn from the mortals. Laeg had once used her gift to drain and refill rivers and lakes – now it was a party trick to fill wine goblets. Gobnat had once used her gift to change her appearance to kill her enemies – now she used it as a tool for her own vanity.”

Tomas sends Fódla accompanied by four year old Broccan out into the world of men to infiltrate King Brian Boru’s court to spy and report back what she learns about the likelihood of a peace treaty and this is where her story arc really takes off. What Fódla discovers surprises her:

“I didn’t speak. I couldn’t. His words mirrored many of my own thoughts. Was it truly possible that this mortal man wanted to change things? My heart fluttered at the thought of it. A world of peace. A world where a girl like Aoife could have left the fortress on Fennit Island and found a man worthy of her. A land where Broccan could grow up in safety, just as Rónnat wanted. “I hope with all my heart that the treaty holds. Is it possible?””

Fódla was a much nicer character than Gormflaith but somehow she was less compelling. However, I found the diminishing of their magical powers and the decreasing numbers of Descendants being born with gifts to be a very interesting concept. I would love there to have been more focus on the history of this group and to have found out more about their origins - I thought they were fascinating!

“In the old religion, the people of Ireland followed the teachings of the Tuatha Dé Danann. There were fewer rules to be sure, less judgement. Our ancestors spoke of peace and love, but also, I had to admit, revelled in mischief. The new religion had none of that.”

The characters were what really grabbed me with this book, I do love strong female protagonists, but there is also plenty of detailed world-building. Ireland and the other locations are painted lovingly by Lawless and the history and mythology are ever present without there being any sense of too much information being given at once. The magic and ‘gifts’ feel like natural magical skills rather than outlandish powers. There are no spell books or magical equipment involved. The action is fast paced and exciting and the inevitable meeting of the two sides and the two main characters had me holding my breath, waiting to see if Fódla would recognise Gormflaith as a Fomorian.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this book just as much as those who love epic fantasy and I cannot recommend it highly enough!! It absorbed my full attention on the first page and didn’t let go of me until the bitter end. Bring on the sequel and then the TV adaptation!

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I absolutely love it when I end up being blown away by a book that I had virtually no knowledge about before reading it. Such is exactly the case with THE CHILDREN OF GODS AND FIGHTING MEN by Shauna Lawless. All I knew going into it was that it dealt a good deal with Irish mythology/history and also had a solid basis in the pagan vs Christian split in Ireland at that time. And yes, there are Vikings, so I had some inkling that this book would be right up my alley. But I wasn't prepared for just how "up my alley" it was.

So many things kept me glued this story. One in particular was the amazingly executed political maneuvering and intrigue. I mentioned in one of my updates that it is really hard to pull off a story with lots of political intrigue because you have to make it interesting or you will quickly lose the reader. Well, this is some of the most tightly written and compelling maneuvering that I've come across quite honestly. The newly widowed Gormflaith is determined almost to the point of obsession to help her only son Sitric rise to become King of Dublin. And the lengths that she goes to try and place him on the throne are limitless. I was inspired by her dedication and yes, also her calculated scheming at times. But we all know that a mother's love can sometimes lead to extraordinary measures being taken in defense of their children, am I right? (See Orka from John Gwynne's Bloodsworn trilogy).

As the story goes on we get introduced to other characters who are on the complete opposite side of the coin in their motivations and desires. And that is really what made this book such a captivating read, both sides are given equal time through the alternating POVs and we get to view how the ensuing conflict develops through each of their perspectives. One thing is very clear, both sides think they are the "good guys" despite the growing feeling that neither one of them may be in actuality. And yet each has a strong sense that they should lead, resulting in many a violent altercation as you would expect.

I feel like there is so much that I want to say about this book but nothing seems profound enough or nearly sufficient to do it justice. All I can say is as I was reading it, with every passing chapter, I got the sense that I was reading the start of a series that is going to make big waves once it is released into the world. There's so much crossover appeal here with plenty to enjoy for fantasy fans, historical fiction aficionados, and those who love a good dose of folklore. Honestly, I can't wait until more people get an opportunity to experience it.

Lawless writes historical fiction steeped in fantasy and mythology like Bernard Cornwell, Mary Stewart, and Stephen Lawhead at the top of their games. I don't say this lightly either, I'm aware of the track record and accomplishments of these authors. But I have to say that Lawless more than holds her own among that lofty company. If you are an admirer of those books, you will absolutely love this.

Okay, i'm done gushing. Maybe. I'll just finish by saying that I was so impressed with every single aspect of this book. Shauna Lawless has loudly and triumphantly announced her presence to the world with this unforgettable debut and first book in the Gael Song series. Preorder it now because this is just one of those books that you must read the moment it is available. THE CHILDREN OF GODS AND FIGHTING MEN is truly an epic tale that nobody is going to want to miss. Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to deal with waiting for book two!

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The Children of God and Fighting Men is dense and interesting read based on Irish mythology. If you are interested in myths, history, and fantasy genres I would recommend this novel! 4 stars

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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, Head of Zeus, for providing me with an e-arc of this book. My opinions are my own.

4.5 stars!

The first thing I noticed about this book was its title. That and the cover immediately gave me the kind of fantasy vibes I love so much. In the end, it also turned out to be an excellent description of what this book is about :) I loved how the story is based on real events and real Irish history, but also strays a little from that history and incorporates some fantasy elements that truly add to the story.

We follow the lives of two women: Gormflaith, Queen of Dublin and one of the last two Fomorian, an immortal gifted with fire magic. And Fódla, a healer and a descendant of the Tuatha Dé Danann. They are enemies of the Fomorians, and have slain all of them... Or so they believe.

Whereas the last two Fomorians try to gain power and rule over Ireland, the descendants of the Tuatha Dé Danann stay hidden in their fortress and do no longer live among the mortals. They only keep an eye on the kings fighting each other, so they can try and keep innocent women and children safe, without meddling in the ways of Men. Men are bloodthirsty beasts that only crave for more power, after all.

I thought Gormflaith was a very well-written character. She is always scheming and plotting and stops at nothing to make her son become what she wants him to be. She has to hide her Fomorian magic to be safe from the Tuatha Dé Danann, but to defeat them is her ultimate goal. To defeat them, and finally be seen as the powerful woman she is.
And on the other hand there was Fódla, spying on another Irish king to try and find out if the innocent people could be kept safe. I loved following her story and seeing her slowly learning that maybe not all men are so evil as she was led to believe. She has to tread very carefully to not go against the rules her kin have set.

I could not put this book down and I'm so happy I got the chance to read it. I recommend it to anyone who loves Irish history and mythology, and enjoys a fair bit of scheming with that :)

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I'm going to start with the end of the book and the Author's Note about the story. Having the further details and context, plus explaining why the changes made were made, really added to the richness of the story.
Onto the story itself, I really enjoyed the dual perspectives of the two female characters and how that progressed the story across years and a vast landscape. This also made for a dramatic meeting when the two finally met, leaving you with a "will Fódla notice?"
The conflict Fódla is fighting with internally is also interesting and I'm keen to see how that plays out, along with her sister's warning to Colmon.
Gormflaith is going to do something drastic, besides the main drastic thing in the King's Hall, and I am very keen to know what and how. She's entirely power driven, for herself and her son, and written in a way that means you can't help but wonder what trick is up her sleeve next.

In a nutshell, the story pulls from history and the beautiful, often overlooked, wealth of Irish myths to build a series of characters you want to know what happens with and to, centred on two very different but equally strong main characters.

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The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, Wow what a rollercoaster of a ride… jaw-dropping and edge-of-the-seat… Instantly hooked… I literally couldn't put it down… I can't recommend this book enough!!!!

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I had mixed feelings about his book and when i actually started reading it, guess what? I couldn't stop. Wonderfully crafted with plot inspired from Irish myths and legends and well built characters, you simply cannot help but get enamoured with the book. An absolute delight!

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This is one of those stories where as soon as I put it down, I thirst for the rest of the series.
The Children of Gods and Fighting Men felt long but every second where I wasn't doing something, I had to read it. The urge to keep reading, and acquaint myself with the characters, swelled within me as soon as I woke up in the morning.
First, the most compelling part of this story are it's characters. The POV is mainly split between two characters: Fodla and Gormflaith. Two powerful, and vital women. The ways in which these two channel their power, and influence a society that women are widely unaccepted in as anything besides a mother, is fascinating. The Children of Gods and Fighting Men bleeds femininity, god knows I love it.
There is not a lot to say about this book without spoiling it, but if you thirst for a solid fantasy with strong female main-characters, invest in this one! Honestly, I don't care what your preferences usually are, invest in this novel anyways. I am confident Lawless' series will go far. Her characters and world are wonderfully forged. This is just the beginning.

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Part history, part fantasy, mostly a bloody good read, this book sweeps the reader along and keeps you engaged all the way, you almost don't want the end of the book to happen

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This was a beautifully written story. From the first page where the names were also written phonetically to the last I couldn’t put it down. It had a root in ancient Irish history and on that base the author has written an awesome tale. I look forward to reading more from Shauna Lawless.

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Wow, go get this one as soon as possible. It’s like an adult Percy Jackson meets a mysterious Brandon Sanderson book.

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This was such a riveting read that was well written, with an enchanting storyline and well developed characters that i really liked. This was much better than I expected and I couldn't put it down. I will definitely be reading more by this author.

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“Marry, breed, move on.” This is the mantra that Gormflaith has grown up with and is now determined to resist in Shauna Lawless’s historical fantasy debut. Gormflaith is one of the last remaining Fomorian, an immortal race, that has been almost wiped out by their rivals Tuatha Dé Danann. The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is told from the viewpoints of the recently widowed Gormflaith who’s determined to make her son, Sitric, King of Dublin, and Fódla, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, charged with spying on King Brian Boru. This is no slight to Fódla, whose journey really resonated with me throughout, but I absolutely loved Gormflaith’s character. I have to applaud the author for how she wrote Gormflaith’s character who manages to retain my sympathy even while being unapologetically self-serving and ruthless. I loved the Game of Thrones-esque political manoeuvrings and betrayals, along with the realistic portrayal of the lengths women needed to go to protect themselves and the people they loved in this bloody period of history. I’ve never read a book set in 10th century Ireland before, so I really appreciated the historical details which felt very vivid and fresh. The author struck a perfect balance between the historical and fantasy elements, and I also really appreciated the character list at the beginning, along with the pronunciation guide. Overall, I was swept along by this great read and I'm really excited to read more of Gormflaith's schemes in what promises to be an epic sequel.

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Thank you so much Head of Zeus and Netgalley for an advanced review copy of The Children of Gods and Fighting Men.

Oh I just loved this book! Being Irish there was hardly any books about our culture and mythology on shelves growing up. While this certainly isn't a children's book, I adored the fact I can revel in this now.

Shauna really smashed it out of the park with this glorious, sprawling epic tale of Irish mythology, beliefs, Catholicism and the Vikings. Our history is so interesting, how has it not been taken advantage of?

I am obsessed with all the beautiful Irish names in this novel, it really made me fall even more in love with this book.

The way this book was written really hooked me and the interesting political landscape was so intriguing.

If you love Irish mythology, Irish history or just want to read more about it then this book

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Where do I even begin. First thing I knew I'd be intrigued with this book based on the premise of Irish Mythology/history. I have a minor obsession with it so this book seemed right up my alley. What I didn't expect was how gripping this novel would end up being.
I still can't formulate into words what I thought about this book but what I know for sure is that whilst reading you get the sense that this is the start of an epic saga. The sheer capacity of this story to be continued and to create a massive universe that appeals to persons of all genres is indescribable. Especially those partial to fantasy and historical fiction.
The writing of the book is very immersive. It's so immersive it almost takes your breath away how caught up you get. The differing POV keeps you engaged in that you get to witness how the conflict arises from both sides. We get their reasoning and perspectives.
The characters, though many, are so well developed. I particularly respected Gormflaith and her dedication to her son, so much that she is willing to do whatever it takes to have him sit on the throne. I admire characters like that.
The author stands out in a very inundated genre. A statement I don't make lightly as there are some spectacular mythological and fantasy writers out there. But I fully believe Lawless has made an explosive debut that will absolutely knock everyone off their feet.

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I was initially intrigued by the description of this book because I rarely ever see fantasy books based on Irish mythology, despite it being such a rich world to dive in and build upon. Because I love Ireland and its myths and am also interested in Irish history especially during and around the Viking Age I just HAD to read this. Obviously it was written for me, personally, and I thank Shauna Lawless for that.

"The Children of Gods and Fighting Men" is amazing. The world is beautiful and much of it reads more like historical fiction, but the added bonus of the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Formorians just provides that special extra to make this one memorable. The fantastical aspects are never the biggest focus of the book, but they add to it in a beautiful and intriguing way. The writing is stunning and drew me in from the very first page. I generally had a hard time putting this story down. There pacing is perfect, the plot exciting but still taking its time to allow us, as readers, to explore this world and get to know the characters. There ist political intrigue, there is history in the making, there are personal tragedies and grand scale wars. It's simply an expertedly crafted novel.

I absolutely adored the characters in it, too. The book focuses primarly on two very different women: Gormflaith, a Formorian and the widow of the king of Dublin, and Fódla, one of the Descendants, the last remaining link to the Tuatha dé Danann. Both of them have magic, which they use rarely but is still important for their characters, and both have very different goals in life. Fódla is my favourite, I absolute adore her inherently gentle nature and growing love for humans, while Gormflaith is a colder, less likeable but absolutely fascinating character. Both their points of view are written in first person, giving us an insight into their very souls. Both of their stories are exciting in different ways, and I couldn't wait for them to finally meet - especially because their kinds, Formorians and Descendants, are not the bestest of friends.

So do I have any criticism at all? Honestly - no. I was a bit taken aback sometimes by Gormflaith's thoughts on and treatment of other women, especially because she herself laments a woman's place often enough and demands betterment for herself, yet doesn't care for other women at all. But this is her as a character, and I do hope there will be more development in the future - so far, Fódla has more character development as a whole.

Lawless is an amazing new voice in the genre, and as I happen to really love historical fiction with perfectly weaved in fantastical aspects I will definitely read more of her. I cannot wait to see how this particular story unfolds. 5 stars.

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The Children of Gods and Fighting Men
by Shauna Lawless
Pub Date: 01 Sep 2022
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 5’Star Book

The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless.
They think they've killed the last of us...

981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians.

Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fódla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise...

Reviewers on The Children of Gods and Fighting Men:
'Rife with atmosphere and armies, magic and compelling characters, it swept me along and refused to be put down' H.M. Long
'Highlander meets The Last Kingdom in this assured and captivating debut... I was hooked from page one' Anthony Ryan
'Gripping and beautiful. A Celtic Last Kingdom with wild magic and fierce heroines' Anna Smith Spark
'I really enjoyed the book. It's an excellent read' Mark Lawrence
'A beguiling blend of fantasy, history, and politics. A gripping start to this series' D.K. Fields
'A vividly written story that makes the ancient past feel contemporary' Joseph O'Connor
'An epic historical fantasy that weaves myth and history into a sprawling tale of magic, intrigue, and war. Absorbing and richly detailed' Ian Green
'With all the complex political machinations of A Song of Ice and Fire and the bloody battles of The Warlord Chronicles, it's ideal for fans of both' Stephen Aryan
'An atmospheric journey into a thrilling historical fantasy world' R.J. Barker

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The Children of Gods and Fighting Men blends Irish history and mythology into a high-stakes, groundbreaking fantasy. Besides the obviously well executed characterisation, the novel also featured women in power grounding on the throats of greasy ass men and well, you know how much I enjoy unhinged psychotic women. I loved that this novel did not stray away from accurate Irish representation and chose to keep all the events as accurate as possible (aside from a few minor changes). With that being said, the writing style was gritty and kept me on the edge of my toes. I've never wished to be in a fantasy novel so much before!

4.5 stars

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Thanks to Netgalley for this review copy. This novel is a superb re-imagining of a 10th century Ireland when Brian Boru and his fight against the Vikings looms large and the descendants of gods are still walking the lands, hiding their identities and magic gifts. The story centres around Fódla, a Tuatha de Danann and Gormflaith, a Fomorian, whose peoples, like in the myths, are deadly enemies. Though the two are separated initially by distance and circumstances, it’s inevitable that the two will meet. Fódla, gifted with healing is still grieving the loss of her daughter, one who didn’t possess the godlike long life. She is tasked by the leader, Tomas, the father of her dead daughter, to infiltrate Brian Boru’s holding and report on his activities. The Tuatha de Danann are concerned about his threat to the peace of the land, and their consequent safety, hidden on the island off of Ireland. To prevent any unwanted attention she has a glamour cast over her that renders her ugly and unappealing. In return she is allowed to look after her sister’s illegitimate son until she finds a home for him among the mortals.

Gormflaith is the newly widowed queen of Dublin and finds her position and her grown son’s precarious in the face of her stepson’s dislike. Gormflaith will do anything to make her son, Sitric king of Dublin, beating out his half brothers. Through her scheming she manages to move her plans forward, not bargaining for her son’s independent actions or other events that hold her at their mercy.

Both Gormflaith and Fódla must struggle against the power and influence of a male dominated world were women are bargaining chips or objects of pleasure. Fódla is also forced to test her assumption that all human men are evil, while Gormflaith must confront the reality of her relationship with her son. They meet these challenges with determination and steel that make for a fascinating and gripping tale well researched, not only for the myth but for the history as well. Her resources reflect well on her research, something with which I have great familiarity having spent a significant time researching my own bestselling novel, In Praise of the Bees, set in 6th century Ireland and a recent fantasy series with the Irish gods in a modern Irish setting. Highly recommended.

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Full review closer to publication date!

I'd like to thank the publisher, Head of Zeus and Netgalley for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

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A beautifully written book. Really enjoyed reading this. Thanks to publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read. Looking forward to hearing more from this author

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Review
To begin with, kudos to the author for inserting a character list with English pronunciations into the opening pages of the publication. This included place names and even animals. Making reading the book easier to read for us mere mortals. It was also valuable as a reference guide.
This book had all the ingredients for a terrific read; mythical fantasy, true history, and political shenanigans. And so it proved.
It encapsulates the bitter struggle faced by the two leading female protagonists in a country ripped apart by politics and war. Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing, and Gormflaith is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic.
The novel manages to captivate the reader from the very outset, and the attention-grabbing details make this book stand out.
A compelling and fascinating storyline with a dark tapestry of events. The factual history adds a great depth to the narrative, making it enthralling, intense and powerful.
The characterization and plotting are good, as is the descriptive writing. The author paints vivid and vibrant pictures wherever possible, giving the reader an exceptional feel of the sights and sounds of the period.
This is a well-written and researched book, with plenty of scope for character and story development. It will be fascinating to see where the author goes from here.
I would have no hesitation in recommending, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men.
For the opportunity to read this advanced copy of the book, thanks go to NetGalley and Head of Zeus -- an AdAstra Book.

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