Daily Review: A Band of Roses by Pat McDermott

Irish kings still rule the Emerald Isle—and a princess is in trouble.

Ancient Irish traditions remain strong in a world where High King Brian Boru survived the Battle of Clontarf and established a dynasty that rules Ireland to this day. When greed for oil prompts England’s Regent to claim an Irish island in the North Atlantic, Ireland’s Crown Princess Talty becomes a pawn in a murderous plot to seize the throne of England.

From Japan to California to an eleventh century Ireland preparing for the Battle of Clontarf, Talty must hide her true identity, though she can’t hide her ingrained training as a member of the Fianna: the warriors who guard the Kingdom of Ireland.

She brings home a discovery worth more than any oil well, yet all she wants is to return to her family and Neil Boru, the adoptive cousin she secretly loves and cannot have—or so she thinks. Neil has a secret of his own, one that emerges as the Boru clan works with MI6 to thwart an invasion of Ireland and bring Talty home.

Pat McDermott

Review From Coffee Time Romance

By Bonnie Lass

A Band of Roses is a novel rich in detail and Irish legend. The alternate history of this story is that Ireland has remained independent and has been ruled by a monarch for centuries.

Although the storytelling is great, it is easy to become lost with the numerous characters. The action is exciting and very detailed. It is obvious that the author has done her research for this well-written book.

Review from MyShelf.com

By Laura Strathman Hulka

One of the most intriguing alternate history novels to come down the pike in a long while, Pat McDermott’s 440-page work covers just about every conceivable plot-twist around. The background of the novel begins in 1002 AD with an obscure clan rising to command the high kingship of Ireland.

This book presents the clan, and its leader, Brian Boru, as the survivors (and winners) of the infamous battle against the Viking hordes at Clontarf. In that survival, a new chapter of Irish “history” begins – and thus A Band of Roses is prefaced. Segue to the twenty-first century. Another King Brian is on the throne, and his daughter, the feisty Crown Princess Talty, is pulled into Court intrigue, murder and a struggle for oil off the Irish Coast.

The murderous English Regent is determined to bring long held grudges to a boiling point, and the Fianna, warrior guardians of the Irish kingdom, work behind the scenes and throughout time to stop him. Time-travel, Japan, 11th-century Ireland and a secret love for an adoptive cousin keep Talty constantly on the move and in a constant quest for peace, as the Boru clan works with MI6 to thwart the invasion of Ireland and bring the lovelorn Talty home.

More than just a romance, the research Pat McDermott put into this marvelous, fast-paced novel brings it into the realm of historical fantasy and interweaves the complicated plot into the fruition of a family line, full of Irish traditions, bloody history and pathos.

Lightly reminiscent of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, with a wonderful flavor and character all its own, it is a great read for anyone who wants a tale to sink their teeth into. A remarkably evolved tale for a new writer, be aware that the sequel is on the way (a work-in-progress, tentatively called Fiery Roses) and promises to be as full of thrills and machinations as A Band of Roses.

To discover the secret to “the band of roses,” to explore the infinite possibilities of alternate history and to lose yourself in the moist, green beauty of the Irish countryside, quickly get to a bookstore to snatch up this excellent spellbinder. Enjoy!

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