Children of the Veil
The Aisling Chronicles
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: October 26, 2016
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: to find her mother in whatever dimension she’s imprisoned. But to do that, she has to face her estranged father, and to do that, she needs a shot of whiskey…or seven. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, she wakes up with one hell of a hangover and a whole barrage of questions.
Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love.
With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: find her mother and free her. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, her search leads to more questions than answers. Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to help Elizabeth, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her. Diving into the shadows of her mother’s secrets throws them into a Fae rebellion that will test their love, and rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means making a choice between finding her or saving her own soul.
The Children of Lir
I first encountered the legend of the Children of Lir not in a book, but by stumbling into Dublin’s Garden of Remembrance just off O’Connell Street one evening. The quiet, solemn nature of the place arrested me. All slate brick and green grass, the shadows stretched long across the still fountains, and the dark water reflected the glittering gold letters commemorating battles long past. A mosaic of Bronze Age symbols and iconography peeked through the shallower depths, and at the end of the pool rose an incredible iron statue.
I was a graduate student then, working tirelessly on my PhD in Irish Literature. It’s a curious thing to commit yourself entirely to another culture. There were times—in libraries, in archives, in conversations, and places—where I felt adrift, out of my element. There was so much to know. So much to read. Irish literature, from Maria Edgeworth to James Joyce to Seamus Heaney, draws so much from Irish history and mythology. Being a good, responsible scholar required a Casaubon-like commitment to understanding this complex web of cultural knowledge. But in the end, it’s the kind of web you can only be born into. I once tried to explain The Simpsons to my German foreign exchange partner and had to give up. There are just certain things that don’t translate.
I didn’t know the legend then. Or maybe I did and it was just a mush of mythology that I was trying to cram into my brain before my preliminary exams. Graduate school is stressful. But here was this statue, this beautiful statue rising up from a clear pool of water, spectral children twisting and turning in an agonizing dance. And then, above them, a burst of feathers, the graceful silhouettes of swans stretching their long necks up to the sky. I didn’t know the fairy tale then, but I knew hope when I saw it. I could read transformation, rebirth in its design. And years later, when I sat down to write CHILDREN OF THE VEIL, I drew upon this idea for my Fae rebellion, using the fairy tale to inform the demands of my rag tag team of unlikely heroes.
In the story of The Children of Lir, a jealous stepmother casts a spell on her husband’s children and transforms them into swans. The children are essentially exiles, forced to spend nine hundred years wandering the world until they return home to Ireland where a priest blesses them and returns them back to human form. It’s a simple story, but in an Irish context, the symbolism of banishment and transformation runs deep, and the possibility of rebirth and redemption are stories we should never forget.
Photo attribution: By Mo ainm – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15867198
I have to admit, I was utterly perplexed for the first few chapters, but once the story got going I was just as engrossed as I’d been in the first book all those months ago. I certainly would have appreciated a bit more of a segue into this book, but if you are a binge reader, then you will have no trouble whatsoever in following right along from one book to the next. Charlotte is a hot mess in this particular installment, so we aren’t seeing as much of her strength at the beginning, but I’m all for showing all the sides of a character, it makes her so much more human even though she’s…not. Entirely. And poor Finn just can’t seem to quite get it right but he is definitely trying. I absolutely love how this doesn’t really feel like Urban Fantasy with all the times in Tir na Nog and traveling otherwise outside the Earthly realm, yet we have the classic elements of the genre- action, adventure, swooning, brooding and myths brought into the modern world. If you aren’t familiar with Celtic mythology, not to worry as the author does a fabulous job explaining the more esoteric bits, and giving us all-too-accurate descriptions of a myriad of nightmarish creatures as they appear. Overall, I’m very much a fan of this series so far and am anxious to see where Halverson takes us next! *not so subtle hint that I’m ready for book 3*
About the Author:
As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshmen. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children. CHILDREN OF THE VEIL is the follow up to her debut urban fantasy novel, THROUGH THE VEIL.
Signed copy of THROUGH THE VEIL, Book 1 The Aisling Chronicles
Signed copy of CHILDREN OF THE VEIL, Book 2 The Aisling Chronicles
A select collection of pins, patches, and stickers from Creepy Company
$50 Amazon Gift Card- OPEN TO US ONLY