Saturday 3 March 2018

Review of THE CLOAK OF FEATHERS by Nigel Quinlan

What a joyful read this was. A celebration of all things Irish, steeped in the traditions of Irish myth

and legend, and written in the lyrical style that these stories were told (both in Irish and English). Like the action of the plot, the sentences tumble over each other, ramble and race, and only stop to take a breath at the end of each chapter. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, and the page detailing the arrival of the Fair-- Oops, I nearly said the word. Ahem. The page detailing the arrival of the GOOD FOLK is one of the best I've read anywhere. 

But most of all, this was fun - hilarious fun. From ghost pigs, banshees on bicycles and an epic hurling match between the residents of Knockmealldown and creatures from the Otherworld, every page will have you laughing out loud. LOLLING, isn't that what the youngsters say? But there are no LOLs here - just old-fashioned sniggers, smiles and belly-laughs. Though it's set in modern times, the story harks back to a more innocent Ireland, the one we all grew up in, the one before smartphones and internet and LOLs. And for this reader, at least, I welcomed this with open arms.

Quinlan is carving out a unique brand in modern Irish children's literature by resurrecting the Ireland of myth and magic, and lacing it with his own quirky sense of humour. He is a modern seanchaĆ­, and is doing, as far as I can tell, something nobody else is doing. Eddie Lenihan would be proud!

I liked THE MALONEY'S MAGICAL WEATHERBOX but I loved this. It felt like a more structured piece with tighter plotting.

5 stars! And I don't give them out often.

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