Author: Darby Kaye
Series: Bannerman Boru (Book 1)
Publication: Spence City (December 2, 2014)
Description: On the run across America from a vengeful shape-shifter, Bannerman Bann Boru has only one thing on his mind: keeping himself and his young son, Cor, alive. At any cost.
Then he meets Shay Doyle, healer and member of a secret group of immortal Celtic warriors, the Tuatha De Danaan, who live in modern-day Colorado. When Cor is injured, Bannerman is forced to accept her help. He quickly realizes that the golden-haired healer is shield-maiden tough and can hold her own on the field of battle with the big boys. And Shay soon discovers that there is more to Bann then meets the eye.
Now, with the shape-shifter Cernunnos teaming up with the local pack of Fir Bolgs (Bronze Age creatures with a nasty taste for children), Bannerman, Shay, her wolf-dog Max, and the rest of the Doyle clan must figure out how to battle one insane god.
My Thoughts: THE STAG LORD is Darby Karchut's first adult novel. It is set in the same world and her YA Griffin Rising series and middle grade Finn McCullen series. It mines Celtic myth for its fantasy background. It is the story of Bannerman Boru who is on the run with his eight-year-old son Cor. They are trying to get away from a crazy Celtic god named Cernunnos who has sworn revenge on all the descendants of High King Brian Boru. Bann will do anything to keep his son safe. But he is staying away from other Tuatha de Danaan because the ones around his home failed to support him when Cernunnos killed his wife in his young son's presence.
Bann and Cor have been travelling in their old camper for a year and have arrived in High Springs, Colorado, where they meet Shay Doyle who is a healer and the rest of the Doyles who are also Tuatha De Danaan. Shay heals Cor after a fall and takes both Bann and Cor home with her. But trouble soon follows in the persons of the Fir Bolgs who are other Fey and minions of Cernunnos and in the Tulley clan who want Bann to move on and take his trouble with him.
The Tuatha De Danaan are warriors who battle goblins and other Fey. They are long-lived as is evidenced by Bann who is over 100 but looks to be just 30. They are trained to fight and can call on supernatural powers to increase their strength, speed, and endurance. However, they can be hurt and can die.
This story, besides being a fantasy with battles, was a story of relationships. Bann's relationship with his son Cor formed the heart of the book. But there was also Cor's relationship with Shay's dog Max which was more than just the relationship of a boy and a dog. The other relationship was that of Shay and Bann. Bann is still feeling guilty about the loss of his wife. Their marriage was troubled at the time of her death because they wanted different things for themselves and Cor. But Bann still loved her. Shay is getting over a bad relationship with a Tulley and doesn't want to fall for a man who might be moving on in a while. But Bann and Cor quickly work their way into her heart. And Bann comes to realize that Shay is also a warrior who can, and will, stand at his side through all sorts of trouble.
This is the first book in a series. I can't wait to find out what happens next.
"Truly. A warrior, ye are, Cormac Boru." He nailed his son with his eyes, willing Cor to understand what he was about to say. "For it is how a warrior overcomes the enemy, not what the enemy does to him, that makes him a true hero. Ye ken?"I received this review copy from the author. You can buy your copy here.