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Breathing life into the ancient past of the west of Ireland

The King's Priest

"A riveting read for fans of historical fiction and folkloric tales, a gorgeous offering that features unforgettable characters and a fascinating world filled with historical shades and conflict."

Jane Riley, The Book Commentary

Shield Maiden

"Bird is adept at weaving historical events with fictional characters and plotlines, using the backdrop of the ancient landscape of Ireland. Drawing on the annals of long-ago tribal wars and palace intrigue, he weaves a fascinating tale of a time when the British Isles suffered from both internal conflict and external threats."

Paul Garrett, Reedsy Discovery

”Fans of the Viking series will find Shield Maiden propulsive and utterly delightful — with war, violence, love, and the hunger for power all mixed in the conflicting elements that move the plot forward."

Daniel Rhodes, The Book Commentary

What readers have said

The Seeds of Heimdall

"...the backstory is skilfully woven into the dialogue. Current events in the complexity of Viking Age Irish history are recounted as they relate to the characters and their clans, so are more easily digested. The intricate politics of regnal competition in a land with 150 kings and clan strife in an age of warfare are well portrayed. I love historical fiction like this which mixes fictional and historic characters. The fictional characters beef up a period of which known facts and figures are sparce. Fans of ‘military fiction’ will really love this."

Susie Helme, Author

"This is a wonderful tale that presents an intriguing tapestry of a moment in Irish history, a tale that features phenomenal conflict with rock-solid and fully drawn characters — from powerful kings to Viking Warlords, from liberation fighters to patriots who will do anything for their homeland."

Daniel Rhodes, The Book Commentary

Download the opening passage of the King's Priest

Delve into Celtic and Viking history with the

Four Masters Series

For thousands of years, the tribes of Ireland warred incessantly. Then came the Vikings. Would the foreigners subdue all or become just another bitter rival, trading strength and warcraft to the highest bidder?

The Four Masters series follows the family of an exiled Northman turned Christian priest through the trials of bitter conflict, first in their homeland of Connacht, and then beyond into the long shadow of Brian Boru, Ireland's first national hero. Rannal Halvorsen is pitted against adversaries, old and new, as he strives to provide security in each convulsive episode.

The King's Priest

The year is 971 AD and the flower of Connacht nobility lie dead below the hill at Ceis Choran. In the aftermath of the bloody battle, Rannal Halvorsen (aka The King's Priest) must deny his savage past to unite Connacht and defeat the invaders. His actions rekindle a cherished fellowship and pit him against a forgotten spectre from his former life.

The essence of the fabled Queen Medb is infused in the women who also rise to the challenge of salvaging a future from the pyre of a ravaged land. Centuries-long rivalries are renewed in a storm of events that echo the ancient sagas.

The Seeds of Heimdall

In the closing years of the 10th century, the struggle for power in Ireland intensifies. The High King, Mael Sechnaill Mór, seeks to dominate and is bent on conflict. One provincial king in particular stands in his way. In Munster, Brian Ború conceives an audacious plan to deploy Norse longships and throw off the influence of the north, Leath Cuinn.

But treason stalks the halls of Ceann Coradh and, while sedition grows, the Viking warlords of Dyflinn and Weisfjord compete for power themselves. Fortunes and futures are thrown into turmoil by the hand of regal politics, setting brother against brother in Rannal Halvorsen’s family.

In The Seeds of Heimdall, the one-time Viking raider turned priest is drawn once more into the eye of the storm, fighting for his homeland. Hard lessons must be learned by his sons, or all could be lost before they can confront the ultimate test of strength.

Shield Maiden

Late winter weather lashes the coast. Gudrun, long-lost sister of Rannal Halvorsen arrives on Scattery Island. A reluctant Shield Maiden, she serves her Northman lord among the Viking invasion fleet commanded by the exiled King of the Danes in the west. Ivar of Limerick intends to reassert his dominion, but his plan will trigger the rise of Ireland's first national hero, Brian Bóru.

In Part 2 of the series, the action moves from Connacht deep into Leath Moga where Gudrun searches for the truth behind her husband's disappearance. Rannal's family must protect the growing monastic settlement in Clonmacnoise, the target once again for treasure-hungry Viking raiders. Silver and gold have been promised to Ivar's mercenary army, but blood and death are never far from where stolen wealth lies.