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Review: Roan, The Tales of Conor Archer - Vol I | KFP Articles
Review: Roan, The Tales of Conor Archer - Vol I PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 February 2013 21:35

Apart from a trip to Pere Marquette State Park on the Missouri river, where a large painting of the Piasa bird has been recreated, I had heard very little about the Indian myth.  In Roan, ER Bar brings the river culture of the Midwest to life by blending the Indian myth of the Piasa bird with Celtic myth in the beautiful setting of southeast Wisconsin.  The Piasa bird, known as "bird of the evil spirit" features strongly in this head-first adventure into the confluence of the spiritual worlds of ancient myth and christianity.  This is a story about how Conor Archer, a young man from Chicago, must learn to deal with the extraordinary gifts that he has been given.  When Conor travels to the small town of Tinker's Grove on the Wisonsin river, the ancient myths of Ireland and America come alive as if that small town stands outside time and place.

Author ER Barr does a brilliant job of raising the reader's awarenes to the spiritual battle for souls but its the tight knit Irish Catholic community in Tinker's Grove that will capture your heart.  After the passing of his mother, Conor makes his way to the support and love of his Aunt Emily, a wise old soul who can help Conor deal with a series of events the young man can hardly understand.  Tinker's Grove is a charming but mysterious place with its looming monastery on the hill, the wise and holy abbot Malachy, and its long held Irish traditions.  The town may have its demons but it has its saints as well.

piasa 240 x 165Caithness McNabb with her powerful family and their bio-tech business partner play an important role in developing the larger theme of this book which is the battle to harness the power of creation for good or evil.  The actions of the McNabb clan are a strong contrast to the mythical world that lies hidden on the Wisconsin river.  A world of myth unravels before Conor's eyes when the descendents of the Roan, the shape shifting non-human beings from Celtic myth, are caught in a battle for their lives that involves a centuries old Wesh Prince Madoc and his men, the Piasa bird and modern science.  If Conor Archer can come to know himself and recognize the true reality of the world in which he is immersed, then he can spare the world of much evil but if he doesn't it could change his fate and the fate of those around him.

Roan, The Tales of Conor Archer tells a story that develops in very rich and interesting ways.  The story evolved at every turn holding my interest throughout.  There are aspects of this story that apply directly to the issues of our current day, other aspects that pull from the wisdom and beauty of a traditional Catholic world, all of which is told within the context of a theologically rich unfolding of ancient myths.  There is something in this book for everyone whether you be a lover of Tolkien fantasy, philosopher, theologian or just a fan of a good story. 

The pages of this book are about more than faith, family and rural community.  They unfold a world of magic that brings with it a rich understanding of the sacramental nature of creation.  The myths contained in this book bring you to an encounter with the hills and rivers of southeast Wisconsin in all their beauty and centuries old tradition.  For folks that appreciate a good story you will not be disappointed.  For those folks that appreciate the value of story for communicating truth and hard to grasp realities, Roan, The Tales of Conor Archer is a must read. 

 You can learn more about Roan, The Tales of Conor Archer at www.erbarr.com and can read the first couple chapters for free at http://www.erbarr.com/SampleChapters.aspx

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