Books
  • Old Friends
  • Old Friends

    By Tom O'Neill

    Quick Overview

    Uprooted from city life by the death of his father, Dark is beckoned into a rath as he wanders the fields near his new home.
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    O’Neill’s powerful new tales of adventure, heroism, treachery, weakness and redemption entwine with ancient Irish folklore.

    Dark realises that he, like his eccentric uncle Connie, belongs to two very different worlds.


    Uprooted from city life by the death of his father, Dark is beckoned into a rath as he wanders the fields near his new home. There, he meets people big and small whose magnificent stories of warriors, monsters and the fairy people provide an escape from his crumbling school and home life and take him deep into the world of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna.

    O’Neill’s powerful new tales of adventure, heroism, treachery, weakness and redemption entwine with ancient Irish folklore as Dark realises that he, like his eccentric uncle Connie, belongs to two very different worlds.

    'Wonderfully irreverent, engrossing … a tour-de-force of storytelling.’ Gemma Hussey, former Minister for Education

    'Gripping and gory and vivid.’ Máire Uí Mhaicin, academic and folklore specialist

    ['O’Neill] takes his young teen readers time-travelling with protagonist Dark through tales that straddle the knowable and the imaginary. There is nothing implausible about the emotions that course through these latter-day folktales that bring LED lighting to fairy raths; no false notes dim their sense of loss and betrayal or, indeed, O’Neill’s idiomatic style. This is a book straight from the oral tradition – it would sparkle if read aloud’ The Irish Times

    'Tom O’ Neill manages to bring new twists and new ideas into the tales in this book. You get really engrossed in the characters’ lives and they seem real, not just myth and legend anymore. Tom O’Neill really brings the characters, and the stories themselves, to life. I really liked this book and was absorbed in the story from the very beginning.' Bríd, age 14, Leitrim

    '… rich with the colour, depth and atmosphere of tales embellished over many retellings … This is a book to be savoured and read again and again by all who … appreciate a good story …' Inis magazine

    Tom O’Neill is one of a very close knit family of eleven brought up on a farm in County Carlow. His working life started in science teacher training in impoverished schools in South Africa and he is currently involved in computer based education as well as running a farm in Kilkenny.

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    Description

    O’Neill’s powerful new tales of adventure, heroism, treachery, weakness and redemption entwine with ancient Irish folklore.

    Dark realises that he, like his eccentric uncle Connie, belongs to two very different worlds.


    Uprooted from city life by the death of his father, Dark is beckoned into a rath as he wanders the fields near his new home. There, he meets people big and small whose magnificent stories of warriors, monsters and the fairy people provide an escape from his crumbling school and home life and take him deep into the world of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna.

    O’Neill’s powerful new tales of adventure, heroism, treachery, weakness and redemption entwine with ancient Irish folklore as Dark realises that he, like his eccentric uncle Connie, belongs to two very different worlds.

    Praise

    'Wonderfully irreverent, engrossing … a tour-de-force of storytelling.’ Gemma Hussey, former Minister for Education

    'Gripping and gory and vivid.’ Máire Uí Mhaicin, academic and folklore specialist

    ['O’Neill] takes his young teen readers time-travelling with protagonist Dark through tales that straddle the knowable and the imaginary. There is nothing implausible about the emotions that course through these latter-day folktales that bring LED lighting to fairy raths; no false notes dim their sense of loss and betrayal or, indeed, O’Neill’s idiomatic style. This is a book straight from the oral tradition – it would sparkle if read aloud’ The Irish Times

    'Tom O’ Neill manages to bring new twists and new ideas into the tales in this book. You get really engrossed in the characters’ lives and they seem real, not just myth and legend anymore. Tom O’Neill really brings the characters, and the stories themselves, to life. I really liked this book and was absorbed in the story from the very beginning.' Bríd, age 14, Leitrim

    '… rich with the colour, depth and atmosphere of tales embellished over many retellings … This is a book to be savoured and read again and again by all who … appreciate a good story …' Inis magazine

    About the Author

    Tom O'Neill

    Tom O’Neill is one of a very close knit family of eleven brought up on a farm in County Carlow. His working life started in science teacher training in impoverished schools in South Africa and he is currently involved in computer based education as well as running a farm in Kilkenny.

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