Friday, May 31, 2013

Pull of the Yew Tree: The Chronicles of Crom Abu by Pauline Toohey

Pull of the Yew Tree: The Chronicles of Crom Abu. Pauline Toohey. Indigo Dreams Publishing. May 2013.  380 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9781909357181.

It's the 1400s and three families or clans seem to be friends and yet highly mistrust each other: the Fitzgerald, O'Toole and O'Byrne.  They agree to stand together as the battle begins between the Yorks and the Lancastrians.  

As time goes by, the truth comes out in nasty, snide remarks that show true colors of loyalty and betrayal.  But the worst will come later as the battles actually begin.  For now, they have just put down a rebellion of John Butler and his southern rebels.  Jarlath is totally devastated by the death and terrible wounds inflicted on both sides; he yearns for a day when peace will rule the Irish and England will not demand more and more loyalty in order to be left alone to live their lives in peace. 

Things are about to get much worse, as Jarlath Fitgerald and Ainnir O'Byrne fall hopelessly, desperately in love.  They spend a very long time in pain because Ainnir's father has already promised her hand in marriage to Donal O'Toole, the family that raised Jarlath.  

Broken hearts cannot mend when hurting so badly, and their fierce tender love is moving and sweet to the reader, albeit complicated by so much pain. Suffice to say this review isn't a spoiler but amazing circumstances will work out this problem, including more battles, more death, more anger, more harsh and passionate words, and more and more and more.

The Pull of the Yew Tree is a beautiful story filled with a mixture of real and imagined characters who lived in a volatile time testing the best of men and women.  This reviewer would have loved to be there to see it all and can't wait until the next book in this "Chronicle of Crom Abu" series arrives!!!! Wonderful historical fiction and a delightful read, Pauline Toohey - kudos to you for such fine writing!

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