Clovenstone tells the story of a broken land, the prophecies that may foretell the reforming of a once proud and powerful nation, and the people who hope to bring the land together through these prophecies. The land of Kildonan has been broken for many years and prophecies tell of how the nation can be reformed. Ruth McIntyre-Williams weaves a compelling story of a group of people who strongly believe the prophecy will lead to a New Kildonan while discovering their own role in the prophecies themselves.
This story has a rich Celtic feel and the world building is above average. Out of all the magical creatures and denizens of the broken Koldonan, I enjoyed the passages that featured the character of Cormac, a fyr derrig. A fyr derrig is an impish faerie type creature. Cormac is the magical companion of the heroine, Fiona, the translator and driving character behind the group who is trying to reunite Kildonan. The other characters fit well with the stable of characters expected in a set of companions in a fantasy novel, yet the author imbues them with enough imaginative personality to make them original characters in their own right. In most novels when there is a small group of people and they get separated, you almost always know they are going to rejoin each other at some point. While this is true of Clovenstone, discovering how McIntyre-Williams brought these characters back together was handled very well, and not as obvious as it could have been handled or has been in many other novels.
Adding to the Celtic feel of the novel was the dialogue and use of ancient Celtic lore, words and creatures. Though sometimes the words may have bin somewhat tough to read over, I can appreciate the author’s intent and research in writing the dialogue and using the Celtic roots in this manner.
I only had a couple of minor problems with the book-if it was shortened and tightened a bit and the story would have been smoother. Also, this is more the publisher and not the story/novel itself, but there were quite a few instances where paragraphs were split strangely (almost in mid-sentence), and a number of instances where quote marks were not correctly placed in the dialogue.
Overall, Clovenstone is an enjoyable novel with good world building, believable characters and sense of rich Celtic lore and mythology.
Ruth McIntyre’s Web site can be found at http://www.clovenstone.com. Here you will find much background that give you a better appreciation of the authors efforts and indeed, the world of Clovenstone.
Reviewed by Rob H. Bedford