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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can Celtic Historical Romance Be Authentic?

It's been some time since I've read a historical romance.  When I have read in this genre, I enjoyed reading about the Celts.  That's why I chose to review Celtic Storms by Delaney Rhodes for The Bookplex.  Here is my review below.

I did like Patrick, the hero of this historical paranormal romance, very much.  He is strong yet vulnerable.  I was interested in the concept, and the situation of the O’Malley clan was compelling.  I admit that I preferred the heroine’s cousin, Kyra, over the heroine, Darina.  This bodes well for the sequel which focuses on Kyra.

On the other hand, I disliked the stereotypical villain and the cliffhanger ending.  I was already prepared to purchase the sequel.  The emotional manipulation of a cliffhanger was unnecessary. 

There were a couple of minor historical errors that I could forgive because they had no impact on the plot.  My qualms about the scheduling of the wedding because of the symbolism of that date in the ancient Celtic religion seemed to be a more serious issue, but I learned during a web search that it was actually a traditional time for weddings among the ancient Celts.  I found that there is pro and con discussion among current Pagan practitioners about the desirability of a wedding on that date.  So I no longer have so much difficulty with when the O’Malley clan planned to celebrate Patrick and Darina’s marriage.

Despite the drawbacks of this particular outing, I hope to return to the world of the medieval O’Malleys of Ireland soon.

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Research Inspired By This Novel

The historical/cultural inaccuracies in Celtic Storms were minor and relatively few.  This was a more authentic Celtic historical romance than many others that I had previously encountered.

The first problem I found in this novel was the use of Laird which I knew to be a Scottish title of nobility.  It comes from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning Lord.  Laird later became a surname in Ireland, but a look at the genealogy of Irish Laird families reveals  that these were families who emigrated from Scotland.  An example of such a Scots-Irish family named Laird can be found on  The Irish Gaelic word for Lord is Tiarna which is derived from the Old Irish Tigerna.  Delaney Rhodes could easily correct this in a new edition with a global search and replace.

Another small problem is the implication in this novel that horse drawn vehicles were an import to medieval Ireland.  I learned that archaeology places chariots in Ireland as early as 2000 B.C., and that there were innovations in chariot design particular to Ireland.

A mention of  the Goddess Rosmerta in an oath intrigued me.  I discovered that she is a Goddess of Gaul, not of Ireland.  Rosmerta is associated with fertility and plenty.  She carries the cornucopia. 

Here are the web pages that I consulted:


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