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The Meeting of the Waters (Book One of The…
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The Meeting of the Waters (Book One of The Watchers) (edition 2002)

by Caiseal Mor

Series: The Watchers {Mor} (1)

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972208,720 (3.7)None
Brave, copper-haired Aoife was the daughter of a king, a bold young woman full of life and mischief. But on one winter's night she and her brothers took part in an act of careless mischief with consequences they could never have imagined -- and a deadly blood price must be paid. In the forests to the west, a deadly force is stirring. Off the shores of Innisfail, a new enemy is fast approaching. The druid Dalan has been sent to unite two squabbling kings in the face of this overwhelming force, but chaos and confusion confront him at every turn. As dangerous bargains are made and broken, and truces struck and disregarded, Dalan begins to suspect that an even greater enemy is moving against Innisfail. The last of the Watchers are growing bored. But mortals are an interesting game.… (more)
Member:carletonsfa
Title:The Meeting of the Waters (Book One of The Watchers)
Authors:Caiseal Mor
Info:Pocket (2002), Mass Market Paperback, 624 pages
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The Meeting of the Waters : Book One of The Watchers by Caiseal Mor

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http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/meetingwaters.htm

Many authors have attempted to grapple with Irish mythology and transform it into something lucrative for today's market; there seems to be a whole sub-genre of Celtic Mist fantasy, which no doubt sells well among the 60 million strong Irish diaspora, with a subsidiary market among the smaller (but probably on average more highbrow) Pagan community. I blame Marion Zimmer Bradley, myself; her Mists of Avalon is taken almost as holy writ in some quarters. (Perhaps Robin of Sherwood should take some responsibility too.)

Caiseal Mór, an Irish Australian writer, has chosen not to take the tried and tested tropes of Cuchulain or Finn MacCool, but instead tries here to inject some life into the obscure story of the arrival of the Celts in an island populated by the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan. (Julian May, of course, plundered this myth much more memorably in her Saga of the Exiles.) The story revolves around the royal household of the last Fir Bolg king, pushed by the druids and bards into allying with his traditional enemies against the invaders, with the sinister supernatural Watchers (who are the author's own invention) trying to sow dissension and chaos.

It's a pleasant read, but not really profound. It's also too long, with too much dialogue and not enough action. The dialogue is a bit clunky as well; selecting a page at random I find characters stating, raging, laughing, telling, frowning, confessing and demanding in direct speech, but without actually saying anything. The characters are nicely sketched, though the means and motivation of the villains remain unclear, and the effectiveness of magic seems entirely dependent on the needs of the plot.

What I miss most in Mór's work is a real sense of place. Although the book is supposedly set in what is now County Clare, which has a distinctive limestone terrain, there is barely a mention of the physical surroundings -- enough to set each scene and no more; it feels like a series of close-range snapshots rather than a landscape. What geography there is seems rather arbitrary. One crucial scene takes place in a forest that just happened to be in the way -- an unnamed forest, of which we have not previously heard, though within easy walking distance of our central characters' home.

Anyway, this is the first book of the author's second trilogy, so there is clearly a market out there for him. I'm afraid I don't think I am a likely future reader myself. ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 20, 2007 |
Many authors have attempted to grapple with Irish mythology and transform it into something lucrative for today's market; there seems to be a whole sub-genre of Celtic Mist fantasy - Marion Zimmer Bradley's 'Mists of Avalon' is in my mind one of the most successful.

Caiseal Mór, an Irish Australian writer, has chosen not to take the tried and tested tales of Cuchulain or Finn MacCool, but instead tries here to inject some life into the obscure story of the arrival of the Celts in an island populated by the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha de Danaan. (Julian May plundered this myth much more memorably in her 'Saga of the Exiles'.)

The story revolves around the royal household of the last Fir Bolg king, pushed by the druids and bards into allying with his traditional enemies against the invaders, with the sinister supernatural Watchers (who are the author's own invention) trying to sow dissension and chaos.

It's a pleasant read, but not really profound. It's also too long, with too much dialogue and not enough action. The dialogue is a bit clunky as well; selecting a page at random I find characters stating, raging, laughing, telling, frowning, confessing and demanding in direct speech, but without actually saying anything. The characters are nicely sketched, though the means and motivation of the villains remain unclear, and the effectiveness of magic seems entirely dependent on the needs of the plot.

It did not capture me as other works by this author have; I'll see how I feel after reading the next book in the trilogy. ( )
  Jawin | Jun 24, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Caiseal Morprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gilbert, YvonneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Brave, copper-haired Aoife was the daughter of a king, a bold young woman full of life and mischief. But on one winter's night she and her brothers took part in an act of careless mischief with consequences they could never have imagined -- and a deadly blood price must be paid. In the forests to the west, a deadly force is stirring. Off the shores of Innisfail, a new enemy is fast approaching. The druid Dalan has been sent to unite two squabbling kings in the face of this overwhelming force, but chaos and confusion confront him at every turn. As dangerous bargains are made and broken, and truces struck and disregarded, Dalan begins to suspect that an even greater enemy is moving against Innisfail. The last of the Watchers are growing bored. But mortals are an interesting game.

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