Waves in the Wind by Wade J. McMahan

Waves in the Wind by Wade J. McMahan
Publisher: Untreed Reads
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (199 Pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

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.

Ossian had been training all his life to follow the path of a Druid. His father had begun his training when Ossian was very young, and at the age of twelve, Ossian is accepted by Master Tola the head of the Druid school at Dún Ailinne. Ossian proves to be an excellent student, rapidly advancing in his studies. He even succeeds in building his first sacred fire in the pouring rain after Master Tola remarks, “I cannot recall the gods challenging an acolyte with a more difficult trial. To succeed you must maintain confidence in yourself, keep your mind clear and apply the knowledge we instilled within you.” Ossian rises to the challenge, the first of many in his life. He is soon fighting for all Druids and their gods as Christianity tries to destroy Druid practitioners and believers. All the time Ossian is fighting he wonders, “If gods can hold all men in their hearts, why can’t men hold all gods in theirs? Perhaps that is a singular failing of men. Perhaps our hearts simply aren’t large enough to contain more than one faith. What a pity. I fear it will prove a bane for humanity throughout all time.”

Ossian’s world comes alive for his readers and I truly felt as if I were back in sixth century Ireland. All of my senses were engaged and I could feel the darkness that overtook this world, causing fear and panic to rise as the food supplies dwindled. The actions rang true. Some turned greedy and violent while others tried to help. People are fighting for their gods, as if the gods wouldn’t exist if there were no believers. While this novel is set in the far distant past, the conflicts remain with us in the present day. I watched Ossian grow from a man filled with hatred and revenge to a man who began to understand what was truly needed for all to survive.

Lovers of fantasy as well as those who enjoy ancient history are sure to find Waves in the Wind to be both exciting and thought provoking.

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