Luke Mountfathom is the son of two powerful Draiochta, an ancient order of magic users sworn to use their power to aid the Irish government. But Ireland is on the brink of war, and Luke and the Draiochta find themselves fighting to preserve peace.
Rich, folklore-inspired fantasy set in a time of civil and political unrest in Ireland is the perfect backdrop for Luke’s journey from child to adult. As he begins to face daunting decisions that will shape his future, the struts and supports of childhood are slowly removed as the world he grew up in shifts around him. The book captures the tension and political unrest of the time without getting bogged down in exposition. The prose is sumptuous and poetic, bringing the magic and wonder of the House of Mountfathom to life through vivid imagery.
There are times when the pacing is sacrificed somewhat in favour of painting a more striking picture of the scene; the story has a tendency to meander, and loses some of its driving force at times. Some readers may also feel as though they’re being thrown into the deep end, as the book launches straight into rather cryptic, lore heavy scenes full of the magical and unfamiliar. However, the arrival of Killian, the book’s secondary hero who is introduced around the mid-way point, brings a new degree of vigour and life to the story, and greatly helps with the pacing issues.
The House of Mountfathom is a strikingly original, beautifully crafted story that will appeal particularly to fantasy fans with an interest in Irish folklore.