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The Blood Queen - Review

The Blood Queen ♦ David H. Millar | Review

A Challenging Journey through The Blood Queen – A ´Bhanrigh Fuil

David H. Millar’s The Blood Queen – A ´Bhanrigh Fuil transports readers to a magical realm rich in Gaelic mythology and sorcery. I gave the book a three-star rating because, despite its complex and engaging plot, I didn’t like it as much as I could have.

The Blood Queen - A 'Bhanrigh FuilThe Blood Queen - A 'Bhanrigh Fuil by David H. Millar
Published: 5. February 2023 by Independently Published
359 pages
Genre: Adventure, Dark Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Audience: Adult
Shelve: Read 2023
Link to Goodreads
Rating:

True evil is a persistent and tenacious beast. Its desire for existence is eternal and insatiable. It needs to infect only one mind for its insidious philosophy to take root and spread.
It is 394 B.C. At a remote loch in the highlands of Northern Albu, a priest sacrifices nine innocents. Below the water’s surface, a shape feeds on their blood and begins to take form. Soon it becomes sentient and begins to hunt. Sidheag has risen.
Humans cannot defeat the abomination. Neither can Mongfhionn, the powerful leader of the demi-goddesses of the Aes Sidhe. The only remedy is the Blood Queen and Gràinne is the sole heir to that throne. Will the Blood Queen stand alongside Mongfhionn to confront Sidheag?
Yet the cost for Gràinne may be too much—unless her daughter, Brianag, is in jeopardy.
Passions, always near the surface of the Celts, burst into flames in The Blood Queen where father is pitted against son; mother against daughter; sister against sister; brother against sister; and father against daughter.


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The Blood Queen ♦ David H. Millar

Opinion

A notable obstacle I faced was the multitude of characters whose names had strong roots in the Gaelic language. Authenticity offers a depth of cultural complexity, but it also puts readers who aren’t familiar with Gaelic linguistics at a disadvantage. It was difficult to keep track of the individuals, their relationships, and their parts in the story since there were so many names. The reading experience lost its natural flow as a result of having to frequently turn to the glossary (which I highly appreciated). An easier-to-read strategy, like adding a pronunciation guide or simplified guide to the text, might have resolved this problem.

The Blood Queen’s speed was another important element that affected how I read it. The story progresses slowly, which may try the patience of readers looking for a more dynamic and fast-paced adventure but also allows for extensive world-building and character development. Some passages felt drawn out, and there were too many descriptive ones, which occasionally took away from the plot’s general drive. Finding a middle ground between a fast-paced narrative and rich, evocative storytelling might increase the interest of a larger audience.

Still, it’s important to recognize the novel’s positive aspects. It is impressive how well Millar knows Gaelic mythology and how he can craft a multi-layered, intricate story. He skillfully captures the essence of Celtic folklore in his vibrant and captivating work. The fantasy genre gains a distinct taste from the cultural authenticity, giving readers a novel and engrossing experience.

CAWPILE
Characters
4
Atmosphere
3
Writing
3
Plot
2.5
Intrigue
4.5
Overall:

Conclusion

The Blood Queen – A ‚Bhanrigh Fuil, in summary, is an engrossing story that transports readers to the fascinating realm of Gaelic magic. The novel’s vast ethnic diversity and intricate storytelling make up for its flaws, which include a lot of complicated names and slow pacing. This novel might appeal to a wider readership and provide greater enjoyment for fantasy fans by adopting a more comprehensible approach to character names and improving the tempo.

I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

About David H. Millar

David H. Millar

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, internationally published author, David H. Millar is the founder, owner, and author-in-residence of ‘A Wee Publishing Company’—a business that seeks to promote Celtic literature, authors, and art.
Millar moved from wet Northern Ireland to Nova Scotia, Canada, in the late 1990s. After ten years of shovelling snow, he decided to relocate to warmer climates and settled in Houston, Texas. Quite a contrast!
An avid reader, armchair sportsman, and Liverpool Football Club fan, Millar lives with his family and Bailey, a Manx cat of questionable disposition known to his friends as “the small angry one”!
Millar is the author of the five volume, ancient Celtic-based, Conall series. Recently published, The Dog Roses is a spin-off from the series.

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