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Irene Watson

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Celts and Kings by Melvin Charles Hathorn: Book Review
By Irene Watson   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2007

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Imagine waking up one morning to find that the 99 most powerful men in your country had disappeared without a trace overnight, leaving their families and lands completely abandoned, vulnerable to a powerful and greedy nation across the sea. This nightmarish situation was a reality for Ireland in 1607, when 99 Earls -- the cream of Irish nobility -- deserted their wives, children and homes mysteriously, an act that remains unexplained to this day. Melvin Charles Hathorn provides a plausible explanation for the Flight of the Earls, confronting the event's unanswered questions in his compelling and romantic historical fiction novel, "Celts and Kings."

Aventine Press (2006)
ISBN 9781593304119
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake for Reader Views (9/07)




The disappearance of the Celtic Earls in 1607 became known as the Flight of the Earls. Questions still go unanswered regarding this sudden and mysterious exodus. The question as to why the Earls, the cream of Irish nobility, left Ireland, still intrigue the Irish. “Celts and Kings” explores some possibilities and uncovers a creative speculation on the “Stone of Destiny.”

John Michaels, a college professor, known for his integrity and uncompromising stance on principles finds himself out of a job after refusing to change a student’s grade.  The student was the son of a powerful, intimidating contributor to the school’s alumni association.  Samuel Reed made it a personal matter of revenge to ruin John Michael’s career

In an effort to meet the requirements for teaching in England, John visits Ireland and to find his ancestry to qualify for dual citizenship which meets the requirement for teaching in European schools. While in Ireland, Michaels bumped into Megan O’Rourke, a former graduate student from his school. Although a happily married man, Megan and John feel powerfully drawn together in a strong mystical attraction.

Together they become involved in trying to resolve the mystery of the Flight of the Earls.  They soon find themselves involved in a conspiracy that involves an underground world of stolen art. As he gets more deeply involved in the plot John is faced with a choice which might compromise his whole value system in a way that would impact his family, his estranged father, and even the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and England.

John Michaels was influenced by the Calvinistic teachings of his minister father, and is faced with the consequences that shaped his life as he developed a wrong belief about God.  During a visit to the Sligo Abbey, John becomes fascinated with the mission statement of Celtic Christianity.

Hathorn has used a unique approach in his dialog to convey historical background, high tech security systems, and environmental issues.  He gives insights into Celtic culture, customs, traditions, and religion.  Hathorn’s background as a college professor comes through as he challenges the individual reader to be honest in examining his belief system, bias, business ethics, prejudices, and extremes in politics, and religion.

This is a book for anyone looking for Celtic lore, and Irish tradition. “Celts and Kings” is a story for all who want a glimpse into the past to see how this impacts the contemporary problems facing Ireland today. Melvin Charles Hathorn has done his research and written a creative, believable historical novel filled with intrigue, adventure, and romance.


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