O’Quinn’s books–for the birds?

It came to me today while watching my cat Zen mentally chase a mockingbird from inside the window, through the glass, and into the trees outside. The Dawn of Ireland books by my alter ego Erin O’Quinn are replete with birds. Birds don’t simply appear overhead, or in a nearby tree. Instead, they usually play a vital role in the story; or they are used as a symbol.

  mockingbird

Take the mockingbird, for instance (the state bird of my adopted Texas). This handsome, intelligent bird is the namesake of one of the “Little People” who figure prominently in THE WAKENING FIRE (Book 2 of the trilogy). Mockingbird Feather, also a prominent character in SILK & FIRE, is one of the mighty Feather Clan of dwarves–the sister of Jay and Raven and the mother of one of Caylith’s best friends Magpie.

 jay bird       white owl

In the first book, STORM MAKER, the handsome Jay Feather is a master manipulator of the feathered nation of birds. He summons a pair of owls, Speckle Wing and White Face, to play a vital role in finding the captive hero Liam. A raven named Talon and a Magpie named Claw serve to embarrass Liam’s brother, the next man in line for the throne of the High King. Raven grasps his leather thong while Magpie lifts his kilt-like skirt to reveal his nonexistent underwear.

                               raven (left) and magpie     These same two scalawags later terrorize a pair of scheming druids and play a part in the downfall of Caylith’s enemy Owen Sweeney.There is a wonderful variety of smallish birds called corn crakes who are protected today, but who in ages past lived by the thousands on the craggy coastland and small islands off present-day Donegal. These birds figure importantly in the third Dawn trilogy, CAPTIVE HEART, as they serve as unknowing cover and call-signalers for Caylith’s rescue crew on Tory Island.

  red kite

In a later book titled WARRIOR, STAND TALL, red kites–to this day the national bird of Wales–become a symbol of the scavenging, greedy Saxons who have come to feast on the homeland of ancient Cymru (Wales).

There are more birds in the novels. In one scene, for instance, a whole congregation of hundreds of birds from throughout the northern province of Ulster fly to Jay Feather for a meeting of chittering and squawking. I invite you, the reader, to find even more birds, and to enjoy not only their beauty but their marvelous and mischievous ways when you begin to read the books of Erin O’Quinn. As a nudge, reader, STORM MAKER is now available at

http://www.bookstrand.com/storm-maker  (buy link)

Slán, Erin… Leave me a comment!

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