LIATH LUACHRA: THE SEEKING by Brian O’Sullivan (COVER REVEAL)
Liath Luachra: The Seeking is the third in a set of novels called the ‘Irish Woman Warrior Series’ and relates the adventures of a young woman warrior and her war party, Na Cinéaltaí – The Friendly Ones – in 1st/2nd century Ireland. This book is the first in a two-part story to be completed this year.
Although the first book in this series (Liath Luachra: The Grey One) was originally conceived as a prequel to my ‘Fionn mac Cumhaill Series’, the character’s powerful personality and backstory ended up driving that narrative into places and situations I’d never really anticipated. The end result was a kind of ‘Gaelic Grimdark’, a gritty adventure far darker than I’d originally envisaged and one which took on a life (and a series) of its own.
As you’ll see below, the cover of Liath Luachra: The Seeking avoids many of the usual visual tropes found on fantasy covers. That goes against all the usual marketing advice for books but reflects that fact that the books I produce tend more to ‘mythological fiction’ rather than pure ‘fantasy’ – two quite different things from an Irish perspective, even if they’re often lumped together in commercial genres. Some may feel confronted or disturbed by the confrontational image, which reflects not only a pivotal scene in the story but the feral and violent nature of the character. Those who’ve read the original books and are familiar with the character, however, will certainly ‘get’ it.
Bryan Mahy – the designer/illustrator I worked with – was given the task of rendering the character in a form that was immediately identifiable as female but, critically, not sexualised – a challenge I felt he rose to with success.
The back cover blurb outlining, the plot, reads as follows:
How do you kill a ghost?
In the bleak Luachair valley, Liath Luachra’s winter seclusion is disrupted by a desperate plea for help. Raising a fian (battle group) to rescue a comrade’s abducted sister however, she quickly discovers this simple ‘Seeking’ is far more perilous than anything she could have imagined.
Traversing the wilderness of ancient Ireland in pursuit of an enigmatic raiding party, the woman warrior encounters old enemies who seek to undermine her and new allies who cannot be trusted. Meanwhile, within her own war band, secrets have surfaced that threaten her leadership and her trust in her warriors.
Faced with horrors she’d thought long forgotten and confronted by a chilling spectre from her past, Liath Luachra must revert to the very worst part of herself to survive.
But you cannot chase – or kill – a ghost.
From 1 March 2021, ebook copies of Liath Luachra: The Swallowed will be available through the Irish Imbas website HERE
From 1 March 2021 (or soon, thereafter) paperback copies of Liath Luachra: The Swallowed will be available through Amazon.
From 1 April 2021, ebook copies will be available through all the usual ebook stores.
Review copies can be requested through email@example.com