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Book Review: ‘House of Eire’ by June Gillam

Like a spider wrapping its victims one fine thread at a time, June Gillam will manage to do the same to readers. The layers of the story add on one thin thread at a time until we find ourselves stuck in the middle of it, struggling to figure it all out. Thankfully though, unlike a spider’s victims, readers are happy to be caught in this situation and the outcome is quite satisfying.

Gillam’s writing style, at the beginning of the book, seemed kind of heavy to me—I struggled past the first few pages, feeling almost burdened by the amount of details bombarding me. But once I got into the style and rhythm of the book, I got hooked. Not just that—the details became part of the tools Gillam uses to capture her readers. While there are some sections that remained a little difficult to wade through, they were few and far in between.

Another great thing about Gillam’s style of writing is that Ireland really comes to life both for those who have and have not been there. It was an interesting experience to be caught in a description only to be taken by complete surprise by the plot of the story.

Speaking of which, secrets and mysteries abound in House of Eire. There are details pertaining to the story that clearly were broached in the prequels; however, this didn’t affect the reading experience in a negative way, as Gillam skillfully brought in the necessary information in a way that didn’t seem overbearing or awkward. Similarly, the characters were brought to light in a natural and easy way, many of them quite relatable despite being very different from me—and, for that matter, from each other!

Word of caution: You might be starting a long term relationship once you have finished reading this book. I started with House of Eire and now I feel compelled to read the prequels, as well as to give any sequel a try. Thankfully, there are only two prequels at the moment, because I can’t really afford another couple of days of being trapped in Gillam’s web, what with having to live life and all.

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