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4.0 out of 5 stars Good attention to detail
This is a piece of well researched Nordic historical fiction. The use of colloquial language, character and place names together with the customs and practices of the time, interweave seamlessly with the heroine's story.

The story centres around Emer's gift of being able to see the future through her dreams. When she meets Atli it is this gift which will make...
Published 3 months ago by Tracey Madeley

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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun little story
In Emer’s Quest, we are taken on a journey to a time when hunger, disease, disputes and battles shapes the lives of peoples in our past. Emer, a young women (well a 15 year old girl), with a gift for dreaming of the future, sets off on a perilous journey to save her father, who was lost at sea in a storm (which she sees in one of her dreams).
When she learns...
Published 4 months ago by DIZZY


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4.0 out of 5 stars Good attention to detail, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
This is a piece of well researched Nordic historical fiction. The use of colloquial language, character and place names together with the customs and practices of the time, interweave seamlessly with the heroine's story.

The story centres around Emer's gift of being able to see the future through her dreams. When she meets Atli it is this gift which will make her valuable to him. He will want to keep her within his sphere of influence and marry her to his eldest son, Hari. It is difficult to know if the harsh environment, or being a woman, makes her physically weak. She suffers in the beginning from the long journey following her father and at the end of the novel she stumbles through the heath trying to evade her captors. However she does have other less traditional skills, which can be seen when she wins a contest against one of the women with a bow and arrow.

Emer is portrayed very sympathetically, especially compared to the spiteful Drifa, although I feel her character is limited by the times she lived in. Inner monologue is limited as the book centres more on the action of the story to move things forward. There also appears to be little identifying speech, there does not appear to be any words, or phrases, specifically linked to her character.

The men, in contrast, are portrayed as big, strong, good fighters and protectors of the village. Atli and his son Hari are also portrayed as good negotiators and strategists, compared to the harshness of Rolf, the youngest son. Atli's life has been spent trading with his neighbours, Rolf sees more profit in taking what he wants. Hari appears to have inherited his father's intellectual acumen, but I am not convinced of Emer's ability to reawaken his interest in women and away from a monastic life.

The conclusion to this story is spectacular, with a definite sense of justice, order and resolution to the book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Fun little story, 20 July 2014
This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
In Emer’s Quest, we are taken on a journey to a time when hunger, disease, disputes and battles shapes the lives of peoples in our past. Emer, a young women (well a 15 year old girl), with a gift for dreaming of the future, sets off on a perilous journey to save her father, who was lost at sea in a storm (which she sees in one of her dreams).
When she learns that he has been captured and enslaved her only chance of saving him is to marry the son of Alfi a chief. Her new father-in-law requires her to dream to foresee his future.

Emer is not received with welcome arms by some of Alfie’s family and kinsmen. Hari, her future husband to be is one of them. He is considered a weakling, who prefers not to fight in battles. However, Hari turns out to have hidden strengths as Emer becomes entangled in a tale of jealousy, rivalry and murder.

Although not historical fiction, the author does pay a great deal of attention to details of history and location. It reminds very much of Anglo Saxon times. The characters are strong, the descriptions good, and the pacing is okay (a little slow in some chapters). The story does have some errors, at one point someone is referred to as Neil instead of Njall. Overall a fun read, if this is the type of story you like, then I would highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lovely tale, 20 May 2014
This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
This novel reminded me of a folk tale, both in the simplicity of the writing and the tone, yet the story has depth and complexity, and paints a believable picture of early Britain. The historical details are handled well and the characters are nicely drawn, the plot well-thought out and pacey.
This book would be an excellent platform for the introduction of older children into historical fiction, but will also be enjoyed by older readers.
I was given this book to review, but will definitely be reading other work by this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fabulous journey through the mists of long-forgotten centuries to the Isles of West Britain at the time of the Vikings., 5 May 2014
This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
Emer’s Quest, the final novel of the Manannan Trilogy, is as gripping and enjoyable as the first two. Emer, last of three generations of women with a gift (or a curse?) for telling the future from dreams, sets off on a perilous journey to save her father lost at sea in a storm. When she learns that he has been captured and enslaved, it appears her only chance of securing his release is to marry the weakling son of a chief rather than her childhood sweetheart (or even the handsome younger son of the chief!)… but only because of her ability to read the future. However, her new husband turns out to have hidden strengths as Emer becomes entangled in a tale of jealousy, rivalry and murder, her own loyalties tested to the limit.
Again, Michele McGrath takes the reader on a vivid journey to a time when hunger, disease, disputes and the constant threat of battle shaped the lives of the peoples of the island we now know of as the beautiful Isle of Man. Her characters are strong, her descriptions powerfully evocative, and the pacing is well-timed. Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, 15 Jun 2014
This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
A young girl, blessed (or cursed) with the ability to glimpse the future sees her father’s ship wrecked at sea during a prophetic dream. Setting out to prevent him from launching she finds herself almost perishing in the storm itself. A simple premise which begins a convoluted human drama. The “quest” in fact is merely the act one of what is structurally a three act novel.
I found much of Emer’s Quest very engaging and the well crafted prose often soared to almost poetic heights, my favourite being the, “huge dark cliffs like the wings of some great bird” which seem “to rise out of the sea and surround her.” Lines such as these reminded me somewhat of early Anglo-Saxon poetry.

The exception to this well told tale came with the section soon after Emer’s marriage which despite the hint of menace and attempts to create an ominous mood, I found too slow paced and little more than talking heads.

Although not historical fiction, the author Michele MacGrath Edwin does pay a great deal of attention to details of history and location. Some might find this laborious but I personally found them enjoyable and informative and felt they gave authenticity to the narrative’s setting and era. The author regularly interjects to explain Scandinavian terms such as when guests engage in entertaining “lygisogur” or lying stories . “Lovsigemann” we learn is the title for someone who reads and pronounces the law whilst Emer’s boat must follow the “Awin Vooar” or long river. One more I enjoyed was “Luanistyn” the traditional day for betrothals and marriages.
Emer’s Quest I feel has far more in common with an Icelandic Saga than it does with traditional high fantasy for the supernatural plays an extremely limited role whilst of central importance are such things as heroic fatalism, honour and defiance in the face of mortal danger.
Overall, it is a well crafted tale and the author’s passion for the locations and the history shine through. For those who prefer epic fantasy though with mythical characters, beast and magic then this might not be the one for you. For everyone else however I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fantasy and history combo, 28 May 2014
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Kerry (Leesburg, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Emer's Quest (Manannan Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition)
I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. This book is part historical novel and part fantasy. For lovers of this genre it would make an interesting read. The author brings up some "true to life" for the time issues that make the setting come alive. Due to some formatting issues it took me some extra time to read but those can be easily fixed. I had wanted a little more character development maybe with some tweaks to the dialog. There was a good bit of telling and not showing but there was also a great deal of knowledge that needed to be conveyed and if it had been drawn out I would be reading this book for another few weeks. In this book the author also had the tendency to re-explain a moment that, as a reader, I already understood. There were a couple logic flaws that messed up the story. Emer's mother was pregnant when she left home but later in the novel in Emer's internal dialog she says her mother had not been increasing since Emer had been born.
I enjoyed the references to the Norse gods and heir rituals. The author did quite a bit of homework it seems which made the book fun to read.

Overall I think fantasy readers or people with an interest in that period of History will like this book and I encourage you to give it a try.
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