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Mael Duin, the Viking, sets sail to avenge the murder of his father and to claim his heritage
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In her debut novel, The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh, Patricia Aakhus retells the ancient Irish story of Mael Duin's quest to avenge his father's death by Viking raiders. Ms. Aakhus journeys into the medieval manuscript of The Yellow Book of Lecan which describes Mael Duin's discovery that his true parents are a young nun and the great chieftan, Ailill Ochair Agha. He enlists the help of his childhood friend, Diuran, who is studying druid worship, to build a curragh (a large boat) to carry him to the Vikings who killed his father. Medieval scribes "Christianized" the ancient tale, glossing over pagan elements or disguising pagan symbols with Christian imagery. Ms. Aakhus has studied the folklore and geography of Ireland, and she has gracefully peeled away the Christian embellishments. The Voyage ofMael Duin's Curragh is an heroic epic that revolves around the incest1patricide myth of the triple goddess. Mael Duin has taken the goddess' gifts for granted, and he is forced to learn the cost of his youthful arrogance. Through the trials of the sea joumey, in which Mael Duin lands on islands filled with seductive and fantastic dangers, he learns to respect die goddess in all her guises. The Voyage of Mael Duin's Curragh is filled with the dark beauty of Irish magic.The writing is both rich and dek and each chapter begins with a reproduction of an intaglio print illustrating the mystical world of ancient Ireland. -- From Independent PublisherFrom Publishers Weekly:
In her debut novel, Aakhus imaginatively, dramatically recasts the ancient Irish legend of Mael Duin--adopted son of a chieftain's widow who accidentally learns of his true parents. He discovers that his mother is a madwoman living in a cave and his father a hero killed by Viking raiders. Determined to avenge the death, Mael Duin builds a large curragh (boat) and sets off for the Viking lands with 16 men. After sighting enemy territory, the crew is caught in a storm and drifts away from shore. Lost, they roam the seas, stopping at strange islands--among them Cua, where Mael Duin meets an enchanting queen. This smoothly flowing story glows with fantastic occurrences, magic, prophetic visions and fresh language ("It was the time of evening when grass and leaves are shot straight through with green fire"). Most striking are the lyrical descriptions of the ocean. Recites Mael Duin, "You wade out . . . then the dark wave comes over you. . . . The sea is full of dark, coming apart in the water, drifting and turning." Although character development is thin, the author skillfully vivifies early Irish history. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Story Line Press. PAPERBACK. Condition: New. 0934257310 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0518264
Book Description Story Line Press, 1989. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0934257310