Age of Saints

Written by Christy Nicholas
Review by Anna Bennett

Sixth-century Ireland springs to life in Christy Nicholas’ Age of Saints, a tapestry of historical detail woven with Irish fairy tales and folklore. Conall is a 17-year-old boy with a sister he loves, a stepfather whose temper he attempts to avoid, and a magical brooch his father left in his care before disappearing in the night. When stepfather Sétna’s violence reaches unprecedented heights, Conall and his sister, Lainn, run for their lives, beginning an adventure that will take them further than either could imagine. Surviving the perilous winter conditions will be just the start: from a Faerie Queen and the maddening tricks of her people to the unpredictable consequences of each decision they make along the way, Conall and Lainn will need to rely on their wits, survival skills, and the mysterious magic of a Druid’s brooch.

Despite being the seventh in a series, Age of Saints is a self-contained novel that readers can pick up independent of the rest. With a fine attention to detail, Nicholas produces a beautiful story of sibling love and protection against all manner of peril. Pacing moves swiftly once the storyline is established, and while it makes for a quick and enjoyable read, I was left feeling a little loss in the development of some points. Descriptions and details are well-written and easy to imagine, and the rest of the series will quickly follow on my to-read list. Readers of fairy tales, historical fiction, and fantasy will delight in this installment of Nicholas’ Druid’s Brooch series.