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Publisher's Note:  

There was a time when Maeve O'Tullagh led a simple life; a time when she and her mother, Nuala, collected kelp on the foreshore near their cottage in Ard Macha; a time when she played among the Celtic ruins with her older brothers and daydreamed about the legendary Holy Isles, an enchanted land ruled in a past age by a beautiful goddess.
But after Maeve's sister, Ishleen, is born, her mother sinks into a deep, impenetrable trance. For years, Maeve tries to help her mother "awaken," and then the unthinkable happens: Ishleen succumbs to the same mysterious ailment as Nuala.
            Heartbroken to think that her sister and her mother might be lost to her forever, Maeve sets off on an unimaginable quest to a world filled with fantastical creatures, a web of secrets, a handsome, devious villain who will stop at nothing to have her hand in marriage—braving them all to retrieve a powerful glowing stone that will help her recover the souls of her loved ones and bring them home to Ard Macha.
            An adventure-filled and spellbinding novel, The Fire Opal will enchant fantasy readers young and old.



This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House


The Fire Opal

by Regina McBride

Review Date:
10/01/2012

Recommended Age:
12+

Overall Rating:
****

Profanity / Language Rating:

Violence / Gore Rating:
****

Sex / Nudity Rating:
**

Overall Review:  

The Fire Opal by Regina McBride is an intriguing foray into the world of Celtic lore.  McBride has created a strong and likeable heroine in Maeve O'Tullagh, a young woman driven to save her family.  The villain is fascinatingly twisted, and supporting characters are believable and well-developed.  Celtic lore is both mystical and mysterious, and McBride does an admirable job of describing an unfamiliar world without making it tedious or mundane.  As a first installment in a series, The Fire Opal does an excellent job of balancing a quest and resolution while still leaving lots of room for growth and character development in subsequent books.  The climax of this tale resolved a little too easily to be completely satisfying, the developing romance between Maeve and the Spaniard happens a little fast, but both issues have loose ends that leave lots of room for further exploration and will lead readers to pick up the next book.  Overall, a compelling tale that leaves one intrigued to learn more about Maeve herself and the mystical lore of Ireland itself.


Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language: **

 

Violence/Gore: A character kills birds and young,\; fantasy attacks; wartime violence: several shooting/killings; viewing corpses; a character is dragged by the hair; a character goes up in flames.

 

Sex/Nudlity: Characters embrace; developing romance; one character is infatuated with another; possessive touching of arms, hair, back.



Mature Subject Matter:  

Infant death, War violence, Reincarnation, Abusive behaviors, Ghosts, Death.



Alcohol / Drug Use:  

***



Reviewed By Kristen
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