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A Band of Roses
Book One in a New Series

by Pat McDermott

      One of the most intriguing alternate history novels to come down the pike in a long while, Pat McDermott's 440-page work covers just about every conceivable plot-twist around. The background of the novel begins in 1002 AD with an obscure clan rising to command the high kingship of Ireland. This book presents the clan, and its leader, Brian Boru, as the survivors (and winners) of the infamous battle against the Viking hordes at Clontarf. In that survival, a new chapter of Irish "history" begins - and thus A Band of Roses is prefaced.

Segue to the twenty-first century. Another King Brian is on the throne, and his daughter, the feisty Crown Princess Talty, is pulled into Court intrigue, murder and a struggle for oil off the Irish Coast. The murderous English Regent is determined to bring long held grudges to a boiling point, and the Fianna, warrior guardians of the Irish kingdom, work behind the scenes and throughout time to stop him.

Time-travel, Japan, 11th-century Ireland and a secret love for an adoptive cousin keep Talty constantly on the move and in a constant quest for peace, as the Boru clan works with MI6 to thwart the invasion of Ireland and bring the lovelorn Talty home.

More than just a romance, the research Pat McDermott put into this marvelous, fast-paced novel brings it into the realm of historical fantasy and interweaves the complicated plot into the fruition of a family line, full of Irish traditions, bloody history and pathos. Lightly reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, with a wonderful flavor and character all its own, it is a great read for anyone who wants a tale to sink their teeth into. A remarkably evolved tale for a new writer, be aware that the sequel is on the way (a work-in-progress, tentatively called Fiery Roses) and promises to be as full of thrills and machinations as A Band of Roses. To discover the secret to "the band of roses," to explore the infinite possibilities of alternate history and to lose yourself in the moist, green beauty of the Irish countryside, quickly get to a bookstore to snatch up this excellent spellbinder. Enjoy!

The Book

Tiger Publications
March 2008
Mass Market Paperback
Fantasy / Alternate History, Ireland, Romance, Legends
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The Reviewer

Laura Strathman Hulka
Reviewed 2008
© 2008