(Review) The Door On Half-Bald Hill by Helena Sorensen

Publisher and Publication Date: Rabbit Room Press. 2020.
Genre: Fiction. Fantasy. Allegory. Ancient Irish story.
Pages: 302.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of fantasy fiction. Readers who enjoy a slow, but revealing yarn of a story.
Rating: Excellent.

Amazon link

Link for a helpful pronunciation guide to several of the words in the book.

Review: The Rabbit Room.
Review: Muddy Musings.

Helena Sorensen website.

The Door on Half-Bald Hill is a story of Ireland before Christianity.
The religion is Druid. A Druid is a “teacher, philosopher, and sorcerer.” They are the keeper of the people. They guide, prepare, and minister to the people. The people depend on the Druids to properly guide them with wisdom about life.
Idris is a young man who is the Bard. He is the “Keeper of the Word.” He is a Master Poet. He is apart of the Celtic priesthood. He is a professional story-teller and an oral historian; and, he brings encouragement and comfort to the people through these stories.
They live in Blackthorn, and on the island of Bailelean.
Zinerva is the Ovate. She descends into death during a ceremony to bring back words given to her from the ancients. She is supposed to be a healer. Her words should help the people. Instead, they bring more despair.
This period of time for the people is infertile, gray, dormant, and bitter.
Idris feels compelled to bring the people hope and life. He embarks on journeys through “The Six Hills” and to Half-Bald Hill to find the answer.

My Thoughts:
I love everything about this book.
~I love the front and back cover. It is one of my favorite front covers.
~I love the pen and ink illustrations.
~I love the title.
~I love the map.
~I love the plot, characters, atmosphere, pace, conflicts, narrative, and theme.
~I love the Celtic words.
~I love the answer that’s behind, and yet, encompasses the story. It’s a love story that surpasses romance tales.

The Door on Half-Bald Hill cannot be read from cover to cover like your eating a Big-Mac and biggie fries. It’s a story that is reflective, it has meaning and purpose, it is a story that shows the depth of love for people.

When I began reading the story I was overwhelmed with the sad plight of the people. However, I felt the story held an anticipation of something. The story held back for an unexpected, and, as yet, unknown answer until the end.

I’m amazed at the creativity for the story. Helena Sorensen said while traveling she saw hills from the road side. This gave a prompt in her mind that began the creative juices flowing for this story.

The Door on Half-Bald Hill is intense and emotional. The descriptions of the people, their demeanor and behavior, is both sobering and sad.

I’m going to be sad if this is the only book written about Blackthorn!


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