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Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect in every way, 30 April 2009
This review is from: The Hounds Of The Morrigan (Paperback)
I first read this when I was a young gal with her head full of adventures and, now aged 35 (still with a head full of adventures!), have been obsessed with it ever since. I loaned this to my stepfather who devoured it as quickly as I had and it remains one of his favourites, too. An absolutely spellbinding story that has you hooked from the very first paragraph, one can easily see how this magical tome was 10 years in the writing. The mythology is fascinating and made me seek out more, the characters just leap from the page and the mixture of dark, laugh-out-loud humour and heart-stopping malevolence stays with you long after you have finished reading. The final pages leave me with tears rolling down my face and the urge to start reading it again straight away. I loved it so much that I sat down and wrote a letter to the author, thanking her and asking her to please write a sequel - surely these characters should live on?!

I was sad to read a couple of years ago that Pat had died. I'd never sent that silly letter and I wish I had. The following is from her obituary in The Guardian newspaper:

"By 1982 the book was about two-thirds written, and Pat decided to submit it to publishers. On six occasions it came back within two to three weeks, clearly untouched. Then a friend suggested she send it to the Oxford University Press. "Finish it and we'll publish," said OUP, and in October 1985 The Hounds of the Morrigan was duly published, and Pat was amused to find herself, over 50 and in poor health, a best-selling author much in demand and translated into five languages.

The few brilliant chapters of the unfinished sequel are almost worth publishing alone: a Christmas card scene, candelit shop windows, carol singers and a robin... and into this cheerful scene rides the great Irish witch the Morrigan with her wild sisters, bringing mayhem and magic and mischief.

∑ Patricia Mary Shiels, writer, born January 22 1931; died May 3 2007"
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