"In life, Clodagh O Lochlainn had been a disgrace to her clan, tormenting her former priestly lover, jeering at her husband, robbing her relatives.. Abandoning preparations for the celebration of her fiftieth birthday, Mara, Brehon of the Burren, takes up the task of solving the murder"
Satisfyingly complicated,with a poignancy that was arresting, a very fine tale by a talented author. Mara is a favorite character and this period in time is pivotal for many reasons.
English law was at odds with but parallel with Brehon law, in this place especially. Mara herself weighs the two constantly to see which is fairer or more humane. So very telling that in this case Mara is thinking about Thomas More's book Utopia, for more than one reason.
Education of all eventually plays a place in the dispensing of the verdicts fines. The reader can clearly see why Mara is thinking about which children should be educated and how as she watches Fachtnan with his daughter Orla.
The story ends with Mara thinking that this Utopian educational facility would be a memorial to Turlough Donn O'Brien someday.
To weave a satisfactory mystery in with the history of the O'Davoren clan of law scholars and the O'Briens of Thomand,Corcomroe and the Burren is masterful indeed. I recommend you start at the beginning of this fine series.Cora Harrison's historical detail and her perspective on the period never fails and the characters are vivid and memorable
The pre-order link is up for this one so put it on your Christmas Wish list.
Ruins of the O'Davoren law school at Cahermacnaghten