The Last of the High Kings
New Policeman Trilogy
by Kate Thompson (Author)
A recurring theme in Kate Thompson’s award-winning fiction is the cross-current between the realistic and the fantastic, the modern and the mythological. In particular her deep affinity with the power of the creative arts, storytelling and music, especially that of Irish traditional music, provides a sophisticated and intertextual framework for her recent fiction. In The Last of the High Kings, the sequel to the The New Policeman, she has achieved yet another fluently paced fantasy that is embedded in a sensitive but unsentimental exploration of Irish family life. We are reintroduced to JJ Liddy, now grown-up and married to Aisling, with his four vividly drawn children: Hazel, Jenny, Donal and little Aidan.
The quest for enough time is yet again elusive in this busy household, with JJ torn between careers as international traditional musician and fiddle-maker with his private life as husband and father. But it is the intractable and otherworldly Jenny, beloved but distant, who provides the catalyst for this engaging fantasy story. Through her friendships with both the white mountain goat, who is more than he seems, and with the lonely ghost boy on the summit, guarding the ancient beacon there, Jenny is to be faced with a choice between the world of humans, the only world she has known, or the world of Tír na nÓg, the Land of Eternal Youth. This is an elegant and original novel, which combines imaginative flair with an accessible and rich reading experience. Age: 11+