Waves in the Wind (paperback) by Wade McMahan

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ISBN: 9781611877236
Pages: 400

It is an age when kings and gods rule Ireland. The sun, but a pale orb, labors across somber skies; the moon and stars, distant memories. Ash falls upon the land like fine gray snow, while crops wither in the fields and famine creeps into every home.

It is an age of endless wars and chaos. Kings, great and small, fight among themselves for land, wealth and power. Ships from distant lands bring plague to coastal villages and certain death for all who fall ill.
Families cower about their fires calling upon their gods, the old and new, for salvation. Yet, the old gods of the Druids, the Lords of the Sidhe, are falling back in the face of the irresistible Christian incursion.
Within this maelstrom of inevitable change, Ossian, a Druid among the Eoghanachts, battles Christian priests and their Holy Trinity, but risks losing everything he holds dear—including the eternal love of a goddess.
Richly steeped in the sights, sounds and emotions of the sixth century, this historical novel allows a glimpse into an Ireland that exists today only in conjecture, and gives insight into the people whose presence may only be felt and never seen—like waves in the wind.

The Morrigan came to me today, an old gray crow squatting in the field of stones outside my cave mouth. Behind her, the vast emptiness of the wave-tossed western sea swept the horizon.

“Ossian,” she croaked. “What a poor thing you are, a king of stones and rotting fish.

Your wounds are healed, your father will not rise from the dead, nor will your sisters. Your gods are fading, Ossian, old gods fall before the new, as I will. But not yet, though the followers of the Risen One grow stronger every day.”

Now, it is a poor thing to be mocked by your gods when you have tried to keep faith with them. Where was she when the Corcu Duibne came, my family slaughtered and our village put to fire? I had only the chance to strike one blow before a rider knocked me senseless and left me in the fields for dead. A simple kirtle to cover my nakedness and the serpent ring but all I carried here—here in my solitude these many months by the western sea.

Firelight danced upon the cave walls as I rose to face her. “Why do you come here to scoff at me now, My Queen? I have nothing, nothing! Why do you come to me now when there is naught more I can do for you?”

“Naught more?” she cackled. “Naught more you can do for me? I expect nothing and need less from you, Ossian, for you not only have nothing, you have become nothing. We had great hopes for you during the short years you stood beside us, but no more. Now you choose to cower within this lowly cave where you endure hunger and shiver from the cold. What a miserable being you’ve become, little man.”

“My Queen, I…”

“Silence!” she shrieked. “You will soon die here in this wretchedness of your own choosing. Oh yes, you will die unless once again you desire to wear the mantle of a man.” Her hoary wings spread wide. “The choice is yours, though the Lordly Ones care little either way.”

Her wings flapped once as she took flight into the murky, midday sky, and she was soon gone from view. The Lordly Ones little cared whether I lived or died, she had said. In that, they shared my own view of myself.

I threw myself upon my simple bracken bed as thoughts battled within my head. A thousand times I had prayed to the Lordly Ones that they might direct me from what I had been toward what I might become. A thousand times they ignored my pleas. Now, they sent their goddess, the Morrigan, but to what purpose? To warn me that I faced death? Yes, I might very well die here, and with no thanks due any of the gods for their beneficence.

It had not always been so for me. Was I not of the Eoghanachts of the Cork region, son of Ciann Mehigan, son of Gicrode? Was I not highly educated and trained in the ways of the Druids?

Augh! Of what measure were such thoughts, such remembrances when they offered no consolation and merely compounded my torment? Perhaps they weren’t even true. Perhaps an evil fairy planted false memories in my mind as a means to taunt me. Even so, the past came flooding back from a time before the skies grew dark…

  • Published by: Untreed Reads

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