Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Flight of the Earls by Michael Reynolds
Flight of the Earls
by Michael Reynolds
$ 10.98 (paperback)
$ 9.99 (kindle)
About the book:
It's 1846 in Ireland. When her family's small farm is struck by famine, Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, set out across the ocean to the Promised Land of America.
Five years prior, Clare's older sister Margaret and her Uncle Tomas emigrated in similar fashion and were not to be heard from again. But Clare must face her fears as she lands in the coming-of-age city of New York. There she discovers love, adventure and a terrible secret which threatens to destroy her family and all she believes.
Flight of the Earls is the first book in a historical novel trilogy based on Irish immigration in the 1840's.
The Heirs of Ireland series has easily become my favorite series of the year. The writing is tight, the story captivating and it's page-turning. I've heard stories of discrimination toward the Irish immigrants of course but it's really fascinating to read the story as it takes place in the eyes of the immigrants themselves. Each book seems to be based on one or two of the Hanley children. Book One is Clare and Seamus's story. Book Two is Seamus's & Davin's story and I'm guessing that book three will be Cait's (?) and perhaps the family will be reunited...
I read In Golden Splendor first (Book 2 - read the review here) and immediately contacted the author to see if he was interested in or had a blog team in place for this wonderful series. It's not just the story itself that I like. Mr Reynolds has taken the time to thoroughly research his story. The writing is well done - no spelling errors that I saw, the grammer is accurate and the author has the ability to spin a tale as well.
Flight of the Earls starts in Ireland as it should with the introduction of Clare and her small family. Clare dreams of marriage and love but with her mother lost in grief, her abusive father's hatred of his oldest son and the seeming fear from another of his sons toward him her life is dedicated to caring for her family. She isn't sure if she still believes in prayer but remembers her grandmother's strong belief in God and His guiding hand and she still leans on Him and tries to teach her younger siblings about Him.
Seamus has lived a life of abuse and believes that he does nothing right. He's like a lot of young men in their late teens and early 20's - going with the flow, attempting to do right but failing since they don't have a guiding hand that they respect or trust. He makes mistake after mistake and his story continues on it's destructive path throughout this book and much of Book 2. His story in book 2 is amazing and the conclusion of that book and his maturity coming out was very satisfying.
The story of Clare and Seamus being sent to America and their experiences as they travel to the boats through Ireland are interesting and a little frightening when Clare (and her driver) are attacked by gypsies, the horrifying trip on the boat and the speed with which she and her brother are brought into a life on the dark side in New York kept me on the edge of my seat. It took me 6-7 hours to read this book and I finished it all on the same day. It's a BIG book but it's action packed & moves fast and I loved every minute of it.
If you know someone that loves to read historical novels (and that's what this is) this series would be perfect for them. The writing reminds me a LOT of Brock & Brodie Theone (Zion Chronicles and Shiloh Legacy) - the detail in the book is very similar. The difference is that I didn't feel like the book was dragging at any point and it can be much easier to read as well.
Click on the title to order: In Golden Splendor and Songs of the Shenandoah (avail to preorder now - releasing Jan 2014)
About the author: Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. He is the author of the popular Real Life. Real God. blog. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada. Learn more @ http://www.michaelkreynolds.com/
YouTube: Interviews with Michael Reynolds on Faith and Humor in his books.
Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of the book to read and review on GivingNSharing. I was not required to have a positive review and no money exchanged hands. Thanks for reading GivingNSharing!