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The last of the high kings
Book
2008
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Trade Reviews

  Booklist Review

Thompson follows her international bestseller, The New Policeman (2007), with this sequel, also set in a contemporary Irish countryside simmering with magic. J. J. Liddy, 15 in Policeman, is now grown, married, and the father of four. His daughter, Jenny, claims to keep company with ghosts and a magical goat, and Thompson gradually reveals the source of her odd behavior: she's a fairy changeling whom J. J. and his wife swapped with their own baby in a complicated arrangement. A convoluted, shaky scheme to return Jenny to the fairy world raises a number of troubling questions about familial love and loyalty that distract from what seems to be the story's central focus: an ancient, epic battle between supernatural forces. Particularly far-fetched is the part of J. J.'s teenage sister, Hazel, who agrees to publicly fake a pregnancy as part of the ruse. But as in Policeman, Thompson will captivate readers with her depiction of the suspenseful battle between unseen, ageless forces and with her character Jenny, who has the power to rescue or destroy worlds that grown-ups have ravaged.--Engberg, Gillian Copyright 2008 Booklist

  Kirkus Review

J.J. Liddy of last year's The New Policeman now has a wife, a musical career that takes him away from home and four children. Son Donal's a musician too, but Jenny, the second child of the four, has never taken to music or even school and roams the countryside. Hazel is a typical teen; Aidan the toddler consumes all of his mother's attention. A magical púka in the form of a large wild goat has taken to accompanying Jenny near the beacon hill barrow, introduced in the prologue as a place of sacrifice in ancient times. Jenny's friendship with the barrow's ghost signals danger, although exactly what the threat is only gradually becomes apparent as Donal's elderly friend Mikey Cullen, self-styled Last of the High Kings, announces his intent to climb the hill. J.J. and his children must face the many magics loose in the universe with courage. The diversity of protagonists diffuses the narrative, resulting in an unexpectedly bland return to the Liddy clan; nevertheless, expect high demand from readers of the first. (Fantasy. 10-14) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
<p>Traveling to the land of eternal youth was the only way J.J. Liddy could stop time from leaking from his world to T'ir na n'Og. But fifteen years after returning from the land of the faeries, J.J. wonders if that long-ago visit is responsible for the strange things now happening to those around him.<p>Why does his daughter Jenny roam barefoot through the wilds, when she should be in school? When did the mysterious white goat begin to patrol the hillside? What is the secret project that J.J.'s son Donal is attempting? And who is the ghost guarding the stone beacon at the top of the mountain--and why has Jenny befriended him?<p>Finding answers to these questions will take J.J. and his family on the most important and dangerous journey of their lives. If they fail, it will undo all the good that J.J. accomplished fifteen years ago. But if they succeed, they will defeat the forces that are gathering to destroy all of mankind, and finally secure the future of the last of the high kings.
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