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Firebrand

by Gillian Philip

Meet the Sithe. They are fairies who cross from the otherworld to ours. But they are not the milksop Victorian variety. They are Celtic fey - violent, capricious, battle-hardened, bloodthirsty, life-loving and definitely randy. So when Seth and his brother end up in 16th century Scotland, things get more than a bit out of control. And if you think the Sithe are bad, there are always the Lammyr to prove that you are mistaken.

Extract

Conal is a dead man limping to his death-fire, and I know it.

I can't do this alone. And the priest isn't watching for my mind. Either he doesn't care any more, or he's so in thrall to the coming spectacle that he wants to concentrate on nothing else. He can't. He's in a trance of ecstasy. It's in ecstasy, I mean. It's loving it. It's what it was born for. You can't blame it.

It isn't watching, and that's why I can talk to my brother one last time. I can let him know that I haven't let him down, that I haven't failed after all, that his black despair when they sealed the dungeon vent wasn't the end of everything. Finally, at the end of his life and possibly at the end of mine, I've done something right and I've done it for him. I've returned the favour he's been doing me since I was eight years old.

Parallels

Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
The Tain (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) by Anon, translated from the Old Irish Epic Tain Bo Cuailnge by Ciaran Carson
 

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