Niamh and the Hermit

                      C. A. Snyder

“But as the days wore on, the counselors grew fearful, for though they dearly loved their Sovereign and his Lady, and as much as they cherished Niamh—who could be brought to marry her? There were no nobles’ sons good enough to withstand her radiance, nor were there any other princes—for this was before the kingdoms split, and Gavron had no male heir. Even among the honest burghers, the mayors’ sons, or the chandlers’, none were found to even withstand an hour in Niamh’s company."

About the book: The daughter of a king and a fairy, the Princess Niamh is glorious fair—perhaps overly so. Her incredible beauty proves a curse for no man can withstand even a moment in her presence without running mad. Suitor after suitor is turned away, since no one regardless of family name or credentials, is able to approach the Princess without suffering intense burning. The kingdom’s only hope rests upon a most unusual bridegroom: the Hermit. With the claws and wings of an eagle, and the head and tail of a lion, the mystery of a magician, and the piety of a saint, he alone may hold her—that is, if he can find his bride before she is led to perdition by the wicked Count and his shadowy minions.

Written in the evocative lyric style of Lord Dunsany, Niamh and the Hermit is an exploration and exultation of the classic fairy tale, blended seamlessly with all the imaginative complexity of a Tolkien-esque subcreated world. The author weaves fantasy and fable together in a beautifully written tale of love and deception, valor and weakness, hope and fury.

About the author: Emily C. A. Snyder, a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, has been inventing stories since she was old enough to babble. Her love for fantasy was initially inspired by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson and expanded to J. R. R. Tolkien and others. Ms. Snyder also teaches English and acting, and has directed plays ranging from Shakespeare to original comedies.

2003 ~ 288 pp.
3 maps ~ 21 illustrations
ISBN: 978-1-889758-36-7
with 10% discount: $13.45

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Praise for Niamh and the Hermit...

"Emily Snyder takes us through the Celtic mist to a world of mystic wonder. Imagine Tolkien's true north sailing west. Imagine Gandalf wandering in the legendary footsteps of St. Patrick. Imagine the Númenorean Faithful sailing in the wake of St. Brendan. Imagine ripples of Rivendell flowing into the living waters of Tara. Imagine Lothlorien fading into the faerie fogs of Erin. Imagine Middle Earth coloured in forty shades of green. Imagine yourself in the world of the Princess Niamh. Imagine..."
Prof. Joseph Pearce, Ave Maria College,
and author of Tolkien: Man and Myth

"Niamh and the Hermit is a rich narrative of various subplots which intertwine to offer the reader a vivid look at author Snyder's gift for world-building....The influences of Eddings, Lewis, and other writers of the genre are evident in Synder's style, though Niamh is uniquely her own—an ambitious debut and highly recommended to fans of fanciful tales." Rating: 10/10.
Kathryn Lively, author of Little Flowers and editor of
The Write Stuff E-Letter of Catholic Writing

"Niamh and the Hermit a beautifully written, morally sound, thoughtful, compelling and entertaining book. Emily Snyder ... has created the world of the "Twelve Kingdoms", shadowed in Celtic mythology, but guided by Christian morals and traditions, in which to novelize one of the world's great fairy tales. It's difficult to do justice to this sort of book after only one reading, but I was very impressed with the beautiful writing, rich vocabulary, subtleties of humor and truth and the thoughtful lessons, characters and trials that make up the plot."
Alicia van Hecke, Favorite Resources for Catholic Homeschoolers

"When I first saw this book, I feared that it might be just another effort to hook on to the Tolkien wagon. It is not. Very far from that. It is wholly original, and all I can say is that it is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The author is entirely in control of her narrative, and, drawing on the tradition of ancient Celtic tales, gives us something genuinely new. What we have here is a very noble achievement."
Thomas Howard, author of C. S. Lewis: Man of Letters

"Fantasy-lover will embrace this opportunity to glance into another world, alive and complicated. Catholics will find many familiar themes. It is not only an exciting adventure through a new fantastical world, but a literary jewel worthy to stand beside the likes of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis."
The Arlington Catholic Herald

"Emily C. A. Snyder expands the classic style of the fairy tale into a delightful novel brimming with believable impossibilities....Niamh and the Hermit is an immensely creative work, infusing the truths of the Gospel into a complex world of myth and magic." Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5.
Jill Elizabeth Nelson, Senior Inspirational Reviewer,
Romantic Times BookClub Magazine

"This gentle story is equal parts traditional fairy tale and morality play. Niamh and the Hermit has all the fantastical elements of a fairy tale....There are stories aplenty—small, traditional stories and ballads woven into the text—as well as the background story involving the king and the queen that gives the main tale a rich, timeless feel....People have compared Snyder's work to Tolkien and Dunsany. I'd like to throw C. S. Lewis into the pile. 
Cyndy Lynn Speer, SF Site

"Niamh and the Hermit is beautifully written, an elegant and artistic addition to Christian literature....Themes of sacrificial love recur throughout the story, as well as other themes of Christian faith such as humility and forgiveness and right usese of power....The book represents an artistic achievement on another level as well: It includes numerous illustrations by the author of key characters, and sheet music for the melody line of four songs related to the story. For the literary-minded reader, Niamh and the Hermit offers a delightful tale of heroism and romance, well worth the read.
Cheryl Bader, Edenstar Books & Games

"Niamh and the Hermit is highly recommended for fans of 'high fantasy' as being an original, captivating, and thoroughly enticing fable."
Midwest Book Review

"This story is only slightly less beautiful than the title character, which is fortunate since otherwise readers would be driven insane by picking up the pages. With a subtly inspirational message combined with mists and myth, this novel enchants the youthful spirit that lives within us all."
Amanda Killgore, Huntress Reviews

"There's a lot of tripe that is coming from fly-by-night presses, but if one sifts through all of it, one can find quality fantasy that blows away the stuff being written for the large houses. And I'm pleased to announce that Arx Publishing has just published one such novel, Niamh and the Hermit.... [Emily Snyder] has ... created a world that resonates with the reader. It is vaguely medieval, vaguely renaissance, and thoroughly enjoyable."
Matthew Winslow, Deep Magic Looks at Books

"The book is written by a Christian author and defintely contains allegorical content, including elements reminiscent of the sacraments, spiritual warfare, Christ's death and resurrection, and a sort of 'Hound of Heaven' motif. The book is not in the least preachy, and the allegorical elements are for the most part veiled and unassuming.... [I]t is an enjoyable read."

"If the Brothers Grimm had been raised in Ireland, they probably would have written tales like this one.... Blending Celtic mythology with a classic fairy tale structure and throwing in a dask of Tolkien, Snyder's book provides a full banquet for your starving inner child."

Click here for more information about the author.

Click here to read an excerpt from Niamh and the Hermit.

Click here for information on Charming the Moon a pair of short stories from the world of the Twelve Kingdoms.
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