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Tir Alainn Trilogy by Anne Bishop

Tir Alainn Trilogy by Anne Bishop, the first book is Pillars of the World, a story about witches of Wicca and strong women and men

I think most people know about Anne Bishop through her Dark Jewels Trilogy, which I did not care for that much, and which seems very different than the Tir Alainn trilogy to me. A guy I was dating lent this trilogy to me back in high school, and I’m glad he did, otherwise I might not have thought that well of Anne Bishop (though I still think she has a strangely split writing personality). I think these partially appeal to me because of my inner hippie, but they are also good quality fantasy. Basically, these books are a retelling of the various witch persecutions throughout our history, but in a world where witches have magic in the traditional make a plume of water smack you in the face sort of way. There is a lot of influence from the Wicca religion in the books, including the general opinions about a matriarchal society, fae and the evils of men. (I’m only mostly kidding on that last one.)
Pillars of the World by Anne Bishop

Title: The trilogy is Tir Alainn, the first book is The Pillars of the World
Author: Anne Bishop
Length: Trilogy, and each book is about 450 pages (paperback)

Strengths:

  • Just grisly enough to make you really hate the bad guy (unlike other Anne Bishop books…)
  • Nice, wholesome main characters, though each book focuses on a different story that are all brought together
  • Nice, wholesome good guy to win over the hearts of the kick-butt females
  • Surprisingly true to the Wicca religion’s teachings about magic, the fae, etc
  • Traditional magic in some sense, but a new take on it for the bad guys

Weaknesses:

  • There are some grisly, gory parts that might be hard to stomach (though again, really not as bad as other Anne Bishop work I’ve read…)
  • If you have a problem at all with witches, definitely not the book for you
  • No omg plot twists, making it a much more character focused story (not necessarily a bad thing)

Summary: I loved Anne Bishop after I read these books (then I read The Dark Jewels trilogy), and I highly recommend them to anyone who has had a passing curiosity about Wicca since this trilogy is so heavily influenced by the lore of that religion. Other than that, it is a generally good female power, fantasy trilogy that has very endearing characters. It’s a traditional outcasts fighting back against their oppressors story. There will likely be crying though, so watch out for those airports (that actually happened to me with this trilogy I think….). So go out there and get the first book, Pillars of the World!

PS: I’ve just started The Dresden Files on a recommendation of a professor of mine, so maybe those will be next up. In all likelihood though, I’ll wait until I get more of them read and write about one of these other books I read a while ago.
Currently laying on my desk waiting for a review: Magic Bites (Kate Daniels series); Dies the Fire (The Change series/trilogy?); American Gods; Masters of Solitude; Bell, Book and Murder (a collection). So if you have an opinion, feel free to post it.

Also, I changed the formatting etc of my posts in an attempt to avoid huge blocks of text, opinions?

-A

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