Misfortune of Song

Written by Christy Nicholas
Review by K. M. Sandrick

Beginning in 1846 Ireland, Misfortune of Song is the fifth in the Druid’s Brooch series, which traces the passage of an heirloom with magical powers across centuries and generations. The latest installment takes a young woman back to the time she first recognized the magical powers of her family’s brooch.

The time is 12th-century Ireland. Maelan, warrior and counselor to the King, seeks to present the gift given to his family from the faeries to his granddaughter, Orlagh, after she is settled in marriage to a suitable husband. Orlagh, however, craves songs of love, much as those that had been sung years ago about her grandfather’s love for her grandmother. She consequently is smitten by the bard Temuirr, whose melodies capture her as a “fish in a net” and whose faery harp “floats on sound.”

For a time, Orlagh defies and runs away from her grandfather, but she eventually follows the path Maelan has set for her. Upon her acceptance of the brooch and the power of prophecy it brings, she learns that while the song from the past has been silenced, there are many songs for her to sing in the future.

The first of the Druid’s Brooch series was published in 2015. Misfortune of Song, like the other books, is a stand-alone novel. It deftly weaves strains of romance, intrigue, and action over the recurring themes of family, heritage, and, of course, magic.