Written by Sanford Begley
Michael Hooten has a trilogy about a Celtic Bard. The trilogy is named Cricket’s Song. It starts with A Cricket Learns to Sing moves through A Cricket At Court and finishes with The Cricket That Roared. It is a YA but don’t let that stop you. The story follows a destined lad from childhood through being triumphant and the true Bard of the land. Following the legends of the Bards of ancient Ireland, while not actually being Ireland the pace is crisp and sweet.
There is never a feeling that the author is writing down to his audience, in fact it is written well enough that the YA category is a misnomer. Too many YAs read like the author is talking to a 5 year old, this reads more like a man telling the story of a friend’s life. He has sex in the books but never blatantly and has the main character have a code of ethics and honor with regard to sexuality. Sex in this series is more about love than fun, and those who indulge in it for fun are subtly portrayed as less honorable than those who put love first.
I have some quibbles about his mixing of the myths of Eire but they are probably the result of different sources for his information than mine. And, of course, the magic works in this world. There are reader cookies strewn throughout the story and much gentle humor. The author manages to spread a message about honor and living honorably without smacking you in the head with it. altogether a sufficiently satisfying read that I will be reading his next series, also about a Bard. Go forth, by, read, and enjoy a primer on Celtic myth and legend.