Bookshelf spotlight: Tir Alainn

Anne Bishop is most known for her Black Jewels trilogy, and the following books in that series, but by far her best series in my opinion is the Tir Alainn trilogy.

This trilogy centres around the Fae and Witches. The Fae are largely self-absorbed, taking from humans what they want but otherwise not caring about the mortal world. But there is a mystery taking place in the Fae world, resulting in the loss of their clans. No one knows which clan will be affected next or what the cause is. The Fae have long lived apart from the human world and with that many things have been forgotten. Little snippets give hints as to what might be important and could be linked to the disappearing parts of the Fae world, but none remember what they mean. One of the Fae, Morag, the Gatherer, is more interested in the human world, probably in part due to her purpose which also leaves her somewhat separate from the other Fae. She has been noticing an increase in the number of souls to be gathered in the human world, women that have died violently, and is concerned about what is happening. At the same time, she is trying to determine what is causing the loss of the Fae roads and clans.

The Witches are also undergoing change and danger. A violence towards Witches is spreading from the East where witch-hunts are rife. In the village to the West where the series begins, Witches have become outcasts, spurned and at times persecuted by the locals – though from memory I think this was largely linked with the local lord. However now things are changing and the villagers are getting more hostile. It seems that the hatred behind the witch-hunts to the East is spreading.

That’s pretty much all I can tell you without including spoilers. There is a lot more to the series, and it is well worth the read.

This was a series that I started reading as it came out. I was pretty sure I had all three books, but either I read books two and three from the library, or they are amongst the books that I have lost after lending them to family members (both are equally likely). So I’ve not been able to reread it in years because I only had book one.

The Pillars of the World, book one in the Tir Alainn trilogy by Anne Bishop

Last year, I asked my local bookshop if these books were available any more. Luckily for me they are in the print-on-demand list, and even better, using the original covers, so I have a matching set. Well, mostly. There are slight differences including the paper and therefore the weight of print-on-demand vs the originals.

Shadows and Light, and The House of Gaian

It’s good to know I can finally reread these again. Maybe I’ll be able to schedule these for later this year – along with the 100 other books I want to read/reread this year 😆.

Here’s the blurb to book one, as maybe it will spark your interest more than my limited description.

The youngest in a long line of witches, Ari senses that things are changing – changing for the worse. For generations, her kin have tended the Old Places, keeping the land safe and fertile. But with the Summer Moon, the mood of her neighbours has soured. And Ari is no longer safe.

The Fae have long ignored what happens in the mortal world, passing through on their shadowy roads only long enough to amuse themselves. But the roads are slowly disappearing, leaving the Fae Clans isolated and alone.

Where harmony between the spiritual and the natural has always reigned, a dissonant chord now rings in the ears of both Fae and mortal. When murmurs of a witch-hunt hum through the town, some begin to wonder if the different omens are notes in the same tune.

And all they have to guide them is a passing reference to something called the Pillars of the World.


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