Read Holder of Lightning Online

Authors: S. L. Farrell

Tags: #Fantasy, #Young Adult, #Science Fiction

Holder of Lightning

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page





Chapter 1 - A Fire in the Sky

Chapter 2 - A Visitor

Chapter 3 - A Song at the Inn

Chapter 4 - The Fire Returns

Chapter 5 - Attack on the Village

Chapter 6 - Bog And Forest

Chapter 7 - Seancoim’s Cavern

Chapter 8 - The Cairn of Riata

Chapter 9 - Through the Forest

Chapter 10 - The Taisteal

Chapter 11 - Two Encounters

Chapter 12 - The Lady of the Falls

Chapter 13 - Smoke and Ruin

Chapter 14 - Áth Iseal

Chapter 15 - Niall’s Tale



Chapter 16 - Lár Bhaile

Chapter 17 - The Rí’s Supper

Chapter 18 - Secrets

Chapter 19 - An Assassin’s Fate

Chapter 20 - Love and Weapons

Chapter 21 - A Familiar Face

Chapter 22 - Proposals

Chapter 23 - Answers

Chapter 24 - The Traitor

Chapter 25 - Preparations

Chapter 26 - A World Changed

Chapter 27 - Bridges Burned

Chapter 28 - A Return

Chapter 29 - Awakening

Chapter 30 - Release



Chapter 31 - Taking Leave

Chapter 32 - Ballintubber Changed

Chapter 33 - A Battle of Stones

Chapter 34 - The Gifting

Chapter 35 - O’Deoradháin’s Tale

Chapter 36 - Ambush and Offer

Chapter 37 - The White Keep

Chapter 38 - The Vision of Tadhg

Chapter 39 - Training

Chapter 40 - The Rí’s Request

Chapter 41 - Cloch Storm

Chapter 42 - Dún Kiil

Chapter 43 - The Dream of Thall Coill

Chapter 44 - Juggling Possibilities

Chapter 45 - Torn Apart



Chapter 46 - Decisions

Chapter 47 - Voices

Chapter 48 - Glenn Aill

Chapter 49 - Leave-taking

Chapter 50 - Roads Taken

Chapter 51 - The Tale of All-Heart

Chapter 52 - The Protector

Chapter 53 - Bethiochnead

Chapter 54 - Fire and Water

Chapter 55 - A Return

Chapter 56 - Covenant

Chapter 57 - The Battle of Dún Kiil

Chapter 58 - Retreat

Chapter 59 - Death on the Field

Chapter 60 - The Gift of Death



Chapter 61 - The Banrion


High Praise for
Holder of Lightning


“Farrell’s formidably long and richly detailed fantasy debut launches a new series that’s sure to delight fans of Celtic fiction. Much intrigue involving a multitude of mostly well-drawn characters and little bloodshed make for a relatively leisurely plot by the standards of this subgenre. Powerful scenes of magic-wielding and the vividly depicted Celtic society, though, should hook persistent readers, who will be glad for the glossary of character and place names, a guide to the Daoine calender, a list of the holders of the Lámh Shábhála and more at the end of this challenging book.”—
Publishers Weekly


“Besides great, fast-paced fun, full of politicking and betrayal, Farrell’s tale is a tragic love story with a surprisingly satisfying ending.”—


“Portraying a young woman’s journey to self-acceptance and self-mastery, Farrell’s first novel, a series opener, will particularly appeal to fans of Celtic-based fantasy.”

Library Journal


“Farrell weaves Celtic lore with elements of epic fantasy to create a rich and imaginative world in this first book in a new fantasy series,
. Despite the occasional derivative notes in the plot—readers will be reminded of that granddaddy of fantasy,
The Lord of the Rings
—the book still has the power to capture the reader with its entertaining blend of Celtic magic, heroic and romantic characters, and dynamic plot. This series opener is recommended for libraries with strong fantasy collections and is sure to be popular with teen fantasy devotees, who will eagerly await the next book.—


“An absorbing tale full of wonders, largely self-contained despite being only the first in a series.”—

Copyright © 2003 by Stephen Leigh

All Rights Reserved.



DAW Book Collectors No. 1243



All characters and events in this book are fictitious.
All resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental.








The scanning, uploading and distribution of this book via the Internet or any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal, and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.







First Paperback Printing, January 2004





eISBN : 978-1-101-09927-8



S.A .

This one’s for Devon
who made me write a “real” fantasy


And for Denise, who is part of all that I do.


My appreciation to Padraic Lavin, Treasa Lavin, Daragh O’-Reilly and Johnny Towey, who comprise the musical group OSNA, whose self-titled CD
(Celtic Note, CNCD 1002) I purchased while in Ireland. Whenever I wanted some special inspiration or needed to fall into the mood of the novel, I put their CD in the player. I’ve been unable to find any other recordings by this group in the U.S., but this is one fine effort. Thank you for the sonic inspiration! You can find Celtic Note at
on the internet.

And while I’m mentioning the music which was always playing in the background, I should also give a nod to Capercaillie and Cherish The Ladies, groups that also found quite a lot of time on the CD player during the course of the writing.

THE CELTIC WAY OF LIFE by the Curriculum Development Unit (The O’Brien Press Ltd., 1998) is a small but interesting book giving an overview of daily life among the Celtic people of Ireland, and it served as a quick source of inspiration for some of the aspects of life in the fictional Talamh an Ghlas.

For a more detailed and in-depth look, THE COURSE OF IRISH HISTORY by Professors T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin (Roberts Reinhart Publishers, 1995) proved invaluable. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in a detailed and well-researched overview of the history of Ireland.

My apologies in advance to speakers of Irish Gaelic. Through the book, I have borrowed several terms from Irish and though I’ve made my best attempt, any mistakes in usage are my own and are due to my limited understanding of the language.

Many thanks to Sheila Gilbert for seeing the story and loving it, and for making me part of the “family” at DAW.

If you’re connected to the internet, my web page can be accessed from
—you’re always welcome to browse through.




A Fire in the Sky

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