Promise Of Mercy

Promise of Mercy25 years after a viscous battle was fought on the planet Etrusci there is a new conflict. Deirdre and her sisters have returned to their home planet after their training  with the Finnian Shock Forces. They find that  their mother, High Priestess Celinia, and other leaders of the clergy have been taken hostage, and their father, Colonel Liam O’Connor has disappeared. As they struggle to find their father, Deirdre finds evidence of a plot to start a new war and Liam has made friends with a rebel war criminal. Will Deirde kill the rebels or show them mercy.

Promise Of Mercy by Kurt D. Springs is the sequel to Price Of Vengeance but it’s also a stand alone novel. I loved how fast paced this novel is and I liked it a little more than the first book for the simple reason that I was more familiar with the setting in this story. I liked the characters and the setting so much that it was nice to revisit it.

The thing I liked the most about Promise Of Mercy is the world that Kurt D. Springs has created. Everything is described in great detail and I enjoyed hearing about how they use their dreams to travel and how their weapons work. I also liked the concept in the story of someone having to show kindness to their sworn enemy. Promise Of Mercy is a great Science Fiction adventure set in a world that resembles ours in several ways but is different enough that it feels totally original. This is a great book for anyone who likes a well told story in a fantastic setting.

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Price of Vengeance

Price of VengeanceLiam is a stranger in a strange land, he was born to a family of farmstead workers. At the age of two the farmstead he lived in was destroyed by a race of giant bug like creatures called the chitin. He was adopted by the by Marcus the High Councilor of New Olympia and his wife Lidia. Liam lived for 20 years in  New Olympia on the planet of Etrusci under the watchful eye of his brother Randolf. As an adult Liam and his brother are part of the military defending Etrusci against the chitin.

Liam is well liked in New Olympia but he doesn’t feel like he belongs and no one remains from his birth family. Little does he know that a full-fledged war is about to break out between the chitin and the people of New Olympia. Liam will soon find out that there is a higher intelligence left over from an old galactic civil war controlling the chitin.This intelligence may also be responsible for destroying his people. Liam must learn who he truly is and use his powers to get vengeance on the traitor who is trying to take over New Olympia.

Price of Vengeance by Kurt D. Springs is a fast paced Science Fiction adventure which includes genetically manipulated life forms, strange creatures that communicate telepathically and a way to use dreams to communicate and travel. This is the part I enjoyed the most of this book. Kurt has done a great job of creating a new world that mirrors our own in several ways but still feels different. Though it’s on another planet, the families are like our own and someone from another race feels like an outcast even though the people don’t treat him that way. Also the way the people follow a certain religion but a few people seem to interpret it differently also mirrors how people view religion in our society.

My favorite part of the book was learning about the people’s telepathic abilities and the whole concept of dream walking. I also liked the concept of  having to believe in what you’re doing in the dream for it to have an effect. At one point one of the characters compares dream walking to astral projection which is something people believe in our world. The book also gets into genetic manipulation which leads to people using their dreams and telepathy.

Price Of Vengeance has created a world with a back story that I loved hearing about. My only problem with the book was that in the beginning it jumps right into the action and you know very little about the world they are on and its inhabitants. For a bit I was wondering if I might have missed a book that set up the action in this story. Eventually the action slows down and we get to learn about the history of Etrusci.

If I was going to compare this book to any Science Fiction movies it would be Starship Troopers and Star Wars. This book does a great job of describing battles and how weapons work on the planet Etrusci. There are also some great characters in the story and I liked hearing about their belief system. There is a great message in this book about how seeking vengeance can twist you as a person and turn you into someone who you don’t want to be. Price Of Vengeance is one exciting read and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Guest Blog Post: Kurt D. Springs

Irish Inspiration of the Finnian

by

Kurt D. Springs

Price of Vengeance            I would like to extend my thanks to David at The All Night Library for having me as his guest blogger. I also thank him for agreeing to review Price of Vengeance and Promise of Mercy. As anyone who’s read my bio knows, I spent some time in Ireland. I lived there for two and a half years while pursuing my Master of Literature degree in archaeology through the National University of Ireland in Galway and have returned several time for archaeological pursuits. Why do I love Ireland? Is it a paradise? Well, not really. Like anywhere else in the world, it has its problems. I love it in spite of the problems.

Perhaps it would be best to start with what drew me to Ireland. First, I fell in love with traditional Irish music. Later I became enthralled with Irish Mythology. When I was studying at the Harvard Extension School, I took two years of Old Irish. For those who don’t know, it’s the Irish language spoken around AD 700 to 900, or 1300 to 1100 years ago. Part of the course involved readings of Old Irish stories, such as the tales of Cú Chulainn from the Táin Bó Cúailnge. Then chance brought the opportunity for a summer dig in the area of County Clare called the Burren—a rocky, karst landscape on the western coast of Ireland. I was hooked.

When I began my studies at NUI Galway, I became friendly with people in the Celtic Studies department. I audited a session on Old Irish tales and tried to learn Modern Irish, which some call Gaelic. While I never turned myself into a native speaker like I wanted to, I did enjoy my time in the Emerald Isle. For my field work, I traveled extensively through the Northwest of the country in the Counties of Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo, and Mayo. I also visited the western tip of Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. All the people were very friendly and helpful.

When the time came to create a heritage for Liam in the Price of Vengeance, Irish folklore gave me the initialPromise of Mercy idea. Of the Irish myths and legends told around the fire, the tales of Fionn mac Cumhaill (Finn McCool in English) are some the best-loved. Finn McCool became leader of the Fianna who were the bodyguards of the High King of Ireland. I’ve also seen it written as Finnian, and that was the spelling I latched on to.

The Finnian in my story are not Irish. They are descendants of the subjects of a eugenics program to produce super soldiers. There is no specific, genetic connection between them and Irish people of Old Earth. However, one of the founders was from Ireland, and one of the few people who could still tell the old stories orally. When they were children, these future warriors used to sit and listen enthralled by the ancient tales. Among these early “Finnian” was Aisling O’Connor. She led the rebel faction that overthrew their founders. When she turned the founders over to Earth for trial, she had the opportunity to visit Ireland. Having no ancestry of their own, she took elements she liked and constructed a heritage that her people could identify with. Among other things, they adopted the Irish language and gravitated to the old art of story telling.

While the Irish is the strongest element they borrowed, it wasn’t the only element. They adopted various martial arts from around Earth. Some Native American tales also made it into their oral traditions. They also evolved a society based around strong family ties.

The Ireland of today is becoming more like the rest of the Western World. Many of the old ways are passing. Some hold on stubbornly, but the needs of the modern world, such as mobility, have strained the old ties of family. Television and other media are replacing the old oral traditions. But the friendly nature of the Irish still lingers.

One note on linguistics: people will often see how I use the word “ye” when the Finnian are speaking in “Galactic Standard.” I often get comments that I use it inconsistently. To set the record straight, “ye” is an Old English word that a number of Irish have adopted into their speech. They use it just as the speakers of Old English used to. It is the plural form of you.

7824275Kurt D. Springs is presently an adjunct professor of anthropology and archaeology in New Hampshire. He holds a PhD. in anthropology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, as well as a Master of Literature in archaeology from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a Master of Liberal Arts in anthropology and archaeology from the Harvard University Extension School. His main area of interest is megalithic landscapes in prehistoric Ireland.

Kurt also writes reviews on Kurt’s Frontier for Invincible Love of Reading.

Professor Springs currently lives in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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