Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tir Na N'Og: Journal One by Marni L.B. Troop

No ordinary fantasy, but more of a "what if this was how it happened" fantasy. I say this because the Faeries are quite unlike any I've read of before. Marni Troop has a fascinating imagination, exactly suited to this story. Casey, a pure-blood Faerie, is chronicling the events of her very long life. In fact, she is doing more than that, she is chronicling the history of her people as best she can. She has been taught a code of writing by an elder. Her kind are of the land, quite literally. It doesn't take long to figure out that the island they came to believe is their land will later be known as Ireland. Descriptive and well-crafted, the book is captivatingly original.

The book is imaginative, I could almost call it historical except that it is a fantasy. No wonder Ireland is so mystical. At the opening, Casey is celebrating her 100th birthday, not as an old woman but as a blossoming, very tall, female just entering puberty. The Faeries in this story live a very long time, which is a good thing if you are to write the history as it has happened and as it is happening. She is writing this history because she believes they will be wiped out and no one will ever know they existed. She is sending the journals to someone named Michael, whose persona is not revealed in this first book, Journal One. Besides having learned what would become their written language, Casey has another special ability. She can see into other Faeries' minds.

One day she realizes she is tuning in to a stranger, a man. She feels no menace from him. Eventually, this man arrives on a ship, and requests she take him to her king or leader. However, with many of the people inhabiting this place, someone kills this Iberian man that Casey feels has come in peace. This act provokes an invasion shortly afterward, one of many to come in their time. It is because of the invasion, and the resulting losses of life, that the invaders, meeting with the indigenous people, Faeries and mixed blood, allow them to live within the land and the invaders will live on the land. The Faeries have felt the pull of the land, their castles and fortresses have been received by the land, sinking at least one level into the land and no further. So few survivors remain that Casey felt compelled to write the journal so the world will know that they did exist at one time. This Journal is the first. An unusual concept and imaginatively recorded, the Journal is quite fascinating. An interesting debut full of darkness and light. I look forward to the reading the second journal. I see that the books are going under a new title in the future, from "Tir Na N'Og" to "The Heart of Ireland" Saga.

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