I love historical fiction mixed with mythology, so when I read the description on Chance's first YA novel (she's published more extensively for adults--her Bone River was lovely), I was sold.
is a sixteen-year-old Irish girl living in 19th C. New York City on the
fringes of high society. Following the failure of the family business
and her father's death, Grace needs to marry well. Particularly as her
older brother, Aidan, buries himself in alcohol and her grandmother
descends into madness. Luckily for Grace, her friend Lucy's older
brother has long been interested in her, and now that Patrick is home
from Ireland, he's ready to move forward with the relationship. Grace is
pretty sure this is a good thing--she likes Patrick, she likes the way
he looks at her, and she could certainly do much worse.
doesn't know about the extent of Patrick's patriotism to Ireland, or
how his involvement with the Fenian brotherhood has entangled him with
two competing groups out of Irish legend--calling first the Fianna
(Finn's Warriors) and then, when the Fianna don't appear as expected,
calling their ancient enemies, the Fomori. And she also didn't count on
her inexplicable attraction to Patrick's obnoxious stableboy, Derry (aka
Diarmid is one of the Fianna, tasked with killing the
veleda (druid priestess) who needs to bless their mission to ensure it's
success. But when he and his fellow warriors wake up in nineteenth
century New York, they have no idea who has called them--or why. Diarmid
takes a job as a stable boy in order to learn more about Patrick and
the Fenian brotherhood--and meets Grace. As he becomes more and more
interested in Grace, he also becomes increasingly afraid of the role
Grace may have to play in the upcoming conflict.
This book is the
first in a trilogy, and while it started slowly, I think it does an
excellent job laying the foundation for the rest of the series ( I was
dismayed to find the next book won't come out until February 2015!). I
love the setting and the mix of old Irish mythology with a new world
setting. I didn't love Patrick's POV as much as Grace or Diarmid, but
the growing attraction between Grace and Diarmid moves the story
forward in a powerful way.