***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
This review is not going to be as detailed as I would have liked because I've read quite a bit in the few days since finishing it. The problem with reading so many books is they start to blend in your mind and it's sometimes hard to separate one from the other.
Rosemary and Jimmy are two Toronto teenagers sent as a punishment to Ireland to spend the summer working on their uncle's small farm. To wrapped up in their own wants and needs to listen to their parent's edicts, their father send them away to keep them from the bad crowd they've fallen into back home. Neither is excited about the journey. When their curious nature has them following their uncle's strange hired help they are pulled into a summer adventure that they will never forget and that will change all of them forever.
The premise of the book is based on Celtic Mythology and the tale of the Ta`in Bo` Cailnge - The Cattle Raid of Cooley. The children come upon the hired help - a modern day druid in the midst of a spell and are pulled to another world, one where Ireland's Mythical past is still taking place. They are pulled into Queen Mauve's Army when one of her sons finds them in the woods.
Jimmy is enlisted as a chariot driver for the Ulster outcasts who have joined Mauve's army to avenge their leaders ruined honor. Rosemary becomes a companion to Finnabar, queen Mauve's only daughter and falls in love with one of her son's Maine. The two grow as they learn to survive without modern conveniences and are drawn into the causes of the ancient people.
In a twist of fate Jimmy meets Cuchulainn, the hero of Ulster and changes side to help defend the man who becomes his closest friend. Lost in his own pursuits of friendship and honor he doesn't think of the worry or danger his actions cause his sister who is still with the enemy troops.
Throughout the adventure the two teenagers risk life and limb as they learn about the ties of family, honor and love. Their own growth helps the angry druid who accidentally brought them along recover a part of himself that is lost and reconnect with the people he is among.
While the growth of all of the characters involved is tremendous I would have liked to have seen more of the love story between Maine as Rosemary as well as the relationship between Jimmy and Cuchulainn. Even with the magical ending, I was left wanting to know what happens next for the two children and the people that changed their lives.
The book is a delightful read filled with action, adventure, fantasy, love and friendship.