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Shining Ones

Shining Ones
Ever feel you're different from other people?

For police officer Tessa Holly, it’s not a feeling; it’s a fact. She can change her body any way she chooses. She will never grow sick or old.

Born a descendant of Ireland’s magical Tuatha dé Danann (Clan of Danu), Tessa expects to follow her clan’s Rules in all things—friendships, career, even marriage.

But when her brother and a human girl are seized by enemies bent on stealing Danann longevity, the Rules don't help. To rescue the captives, Tessa must rely on a man no one trusts as her guide through cairns, castles and cathedrals of Ireland and Britain in search of her people’s greatest treasures.

Along the way, she discovers a power greater than all others. If she uses it, she could save—or destroy—her people.
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About the Book
The American branch of the old Irish bloodline of supernatural powered families mix it up and the results are both new allies and enemies in this action-packed fantasy novel. As the Americans leap frog across Ireland in their quest to gather the ancient icons needed for the thousand year rite of their clan, they discover new abilities, meet famous heroes from the long lost past and find romance.

Chock full of Ireland's most scenic ancient ruin sites, you'll find the imagery compelling and magical. 4 stars
I'm excited to write this review. Forgive me if I sound like a fan.

Shining Ones is one of the most interesting books I've ever read on Fay realms. The story is energetic since the first paragraph. The characters cross borders through Fae paths that connect the United States to Ireland, Scotland and England in an exciting Quest.

The world of Fae descents mingles with human realms. Family, fights, love, a bit of everything good and appealing to find in a book stands proud in a plot that is simple but efficient. The author is careful to set the scenes in different places and not a single one of them is boring. There's always action and magic going on.

The characters are from different age groups and it gives the book a nice family touch. Shining Ones reminds me of some old RPG books but it is so much better. I'm glad something so good and creative fell in my hands.

It made my weekend and I have no problem to declare Shining Ones a five star book.Good work Sanna Hines!
I was immediately attracted to this book because it is a fantasy that centers around Irish legends and myths. From the first pages where the author, Sanna Hines, provides maps of Ireland and a pronunciation guide for character names I knew I was in for a challenge.

Beginning in Keshcorran, Ireland with the introduction of Bres the Beautiful and Cliodhna of the Fair Hair the flavor of the story is set. The couple drives to a cave where Cliodhna begins to sing. This is the catalyst that sets the tale in motion. There can be no question the story will draw the reader into a mythical world where past meets present and adventure ensues. Even the quick transition to New Hampshire and the introduction of one of the primary female protagonists, Tessa Holly, is not jarring but neatly handled. Hines lets the reader know this book is about an Irish clan of beings who have lived for hundreds of years and are able to travel distances in the human world as well as to an “Otherworld”.

Tessa immediately fascinated me because her human persona is a police woman in Salem, New Hampshire. Although in reality she is a small woman, she is also a shapeshifter and able to change her appearance as needed. Drawn into the sudden disappearance of her nephew Cory’s girlfriend Lia, Tessa drives furiously across the state. Lia entered a cave in New Hampshire when she heard mysterious singing. It’s obvious Lia has been lured away by the singing of Cliodhna far across the ocean.

It’s here that the author introduces Sam McHugh a/k/a Aidan Orbsen, the father of the missing Lia. While at first Tessa is annoyed by this attractive man there is the suggestion this could change over time. Although Tessa considers him a “conceited ass” she refers to his face as “perfect”. More interesting is the fact that Tessa recognizes Sam as a rich man’s son who had been accused of murdering his wife. This causes Tessa to wonder about Lia’s sudden disappearance and whether the man might have had a hand in it. It isn’t long before Tessa realizes there is much more going on here than is apparent at first glance.

Thus begins the adventure that will draw a hefty group of characters into a fantasy adventure that spans worlds and generations. Hines has created a fascinating landscape but it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the characters. Some have more than one name or identity. Coupled with the unusual names and pronunciations this often slowed down my reading. In spite of this the author is able to connect the diverse groups of people using time and magic to show their relationships. Other than the sometimes confusing name changes the story flowed well, taking the characters through the challenges of locating a variety of magical items that would assist in recovering the kidnapped Lia.

While her father and boyfriend search for Lia, accompanied by Tessa and members of her family, the girl is held captive on a yacht off the coast of Ireland. Surprises await her as she learns she has a special power and is not just the girl next door. The cast of characters on the yacht are Formorians, enemies of the Clan of Danu (Tuatha dè Danaan), and they need Lia to complete a ritual that will change their lives.

The conclusion of the book did leave me feeling vaguely lost and I wonder if there is a sequel in the future. Although the conflict between the Danu and the Formorians seems to be resolved there is a hint of more to come. I would love to find out what happens to Lia and Cory, Tessa and Sam, and the other characters who have survived.

There’s plenty of action, mystery, and romance in this book to satisfy any reader. Integrating the modern world with the magical world of ancient Ireland is a task Hines handles with skill. A well written if somewhat complex fantasy, it is a solid tale that I am pleased to recommend.
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