10821512Fans of Patrick Taylor, Ballybucklebo or any of the colorful characters bound within the pages of his Irish Country series would be remiss not to Add A Dublin Student Doctor, the 6th in the series, to their collection.

Doctor Fingal Flahertie O’Rielly is probably one of if not the most colorful and memorable characters within the series, the giant bulwark of a man with a heart bigger than his body can hold and a voice louder than the winds in a rainstorm.

Just as an Irish Country Girl was the story of his eccentric and kind hearted housekeeper Kinky Kincaid, so too is A Dublin Student Doctor the story of the dear O’Rielly as he fights and claws his way through medical school against the advice of his father and despite the animosity of another class mate.

Throughout the Irish Country series we have had numerous references to O’Reilly‘s past.  His wife, his life in medical school, his time in service during both World Wars, so needless to say I personally was excited for this one to hear O’Reilly’s life in his own words.

And for the most part it was everything I was looking for.  It starts off with O’Reilly already in medical school with flashbacks early on about how we wound up there in the first place.  Father was a professor who wanted his sons to follow in his footsteps, so naturally he isn’t happy about his son’s choice to be a country quack and refuses to fund his son’s tuition or living expenses.  However his mother one had dreams of being a nurse so she encouraged him in his dreams and finds a way for him to achieve them: military service.

The rest is history from there.  We already knew O’Reilly was in the war, we follow him through his years in med school, making friends and meeting the greatest love of his life, but then that’s where the story ends.  We hear nothing about the woman he marries before he comes to Ballybucklebo, or about his second term in military service, at least not as he lives them.  I was mostly disappointed about the wife thing as that was one of the things I was most looking forward to learning about, but other than being a little disappointed about not learning about one thing, I really enjoyed Dublin Student Doctor.

Book seven, An Irish Country Wedding is already out and about but I haven’t

Circling back to something I set aside a while ago because I was scared: The Vacant Throne, book 2 in The Band of Four series by Ed Greenwood.

49388Aglirta is known as the Kingless Land. Once prosperous and peaceful, it has fallen into lawlessness, studded with feuding baronies engaged in a constant state of war . . . but the land is kingless no more.

The legendary Sleeping King has been reawakened by the efforts of the valiant Band of Four:
-Hawkril, a bold and brave warrior gifted with great strength and fortitude
-Craer, the crafty and clever thief
-Sarasper, the learned and wise healer
-Lady Embra Silvertree, the mystical Lady of Jewels, a powerful sorceress

With the aid of the Dwaerindim Stones, the King’s curse has been lifted . . . but it will take more than the Dwaerindim to restore him to the long vacant throne of the land. Ambitious and devious barons are ready to challenge him for the throne, while dark, inhuman forces wait for the chance to bring Aglirta under its evil shadow. The Band of Four must quest for a powerful secret that will restore the kingdom to its former glory.