After nine years in America, Clare Macleod and her father are returning Ireland, the place of Clare’s birth. Ever since her mother died, they have wandered, moving from place to place, searching for a home away from the sea of painful memories.
Clare has learned to disbelieve, to roll her eyes at the idea of fairies and magic. She has learned that fourteen-almost-fifteen is far too old for that sort of thing. But it wasn’t always that way. And now that she and her father are returning to their house at the edge of the sea, she begins to remember, remember the stories her mother used to tell, remember her younger self drawing and writing and dreaming fantastical dreams. She may have forgotten, for a time, but Clare is no ordinary girl. She is watched over by the sea and the sky and the wind itself, is guarded by places of ancient magic and power. And as a shadow rises in this first place she can really call home, she finds she has a destiny that could change the path of the world.
Beautifully told and intricately created, Katherine Catmull’s story skillfully combines Celtic myth with the modern day world. Clare is a strong and believable main character, and the supporting cast is also well done. While it came out recently, in some ways this book has the feel of one much older, and I mean that in a very good way! The author creates such vivid images, the haunting beauty of Celtic tales clearly coming through. Katherine Catmull weaves ancient stories and folklore into her own story without seeming to lose the essence of what those stories are: the magic, the strangeness, the wonder of them. Lyrically written and luminously magical, I would recommend The Radiant Road to fantasy lovers ages 11 and up.