Book: The Hunger Man
Publisher: NineStar Press
Publication date: June 6, 2016
Length: 384 pages
Reviewed by Meredith
At the outset of the Great Irish Potato Famine of 1845-50, a family of Irish revolutionaries attacks a British food convoy and kidnaps a young English officer named Julian Hawke. This first act of overt rebellion unleashes a series of events that both inextricably ties the O’Rahilly clan to Hawke and to the gay seanachie (storyteller) Ciaran Leath, but also seals their fates.
The only daughter, Muireann O’Rahilly, an aspiring physician, fails to resist the strong mutual attraction between her and Hawke. Hawke tries to balance his love for Muireann and his growing love for Ireland with his duty to suppress the budding rebellion. Ciaran Leath, who falls in love with both Julian Hawke as well as an angelic young tinker man, foresees both the coming famine and the disintegration of his adopted O’Rahilly clan, but finds himself unheard and powerless to protect them—or himself. Encountering spirits of the dead and other bad portents, Ciaran Leath invokes his old benefactor, the ancient Faerie Fin Bheara, but in doing so learns something devastating about himself and of what he is capable. When the O’Rahilly clan sets its sights on assassinating Queen Victoria, whom Hawke is sworn to protect, during her 1848 state visit to Cork, the stakes loom large for all involved, and the story turns inexorably toward a tragic end.
Against the backdrop of the terrible beauty and exquisite misery of southwestern Ireland during the famine years, this part-comic, part-romantic struggle against starvation, oppression, and one’s own worst impulses plots an epic arc from London and Dublin to Cork and New York City. Magic, Faeries, haunts, spirits, legends, ancient kings, monsters, and lovers richly populate this clash between the British Crown and the Irish people, and there can only be one survivor.
Scott Pomfret is a stunning writer. The Hunger Man only proves that point further. The passion escalates with each page. Scott clearly has a lot of education in Irish History and Mythology.
Bravo to that!
I was floored with his knowledge.
This was an odd book at times, I’ll admit that. And I was confused since I know very little about Irish history. I don’t know Gaelic either so Google was my friend. But nonetheless I was thrust into this haunting beauty that was The Hunger Man.
If you love Irish Mythology, great storytelling with twists of mythology and magic; this book will be your nirvana that’s for sure. It’s beyond captivating. Scott is for sure a gem in the genre and well deserving of high praise.
The Hunger Man is a deep, passionate, magical, sorrowful, emotional, and poetic tale. A must read for the ever expanding creative hungry mind.
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