, , ,

Quest For The Scepter — Available For Pre-Order

Quest For The Scepter — Available For Pre-Order

Quest For The Scepter, the first book in The Scepter And Tower trilogy, is now available for pre-order for Kindle. (The print version pre-order is coming soon.)

First In the Scepter and Tower epic high-fantasy trilogy

A Scepter Stolen. A World in Peril.

The prince who was prophesied to retrieve the Scepter from the Deamhan Lord has been killed. Can his exact double, a lowly blacksmith’s nephew named Tristan, take his place?

An Impossible Trek

Ahead lie the Fell Bogs, haunt of mesmerizing marsh spirits. Beyond that— the oppressive dark forest of the Waldreich, reign of misshapen wolves and the treacherous, treetop-dwelling Naz. Into such dangers and more, Tristan’s Company must follow a trail of ancient clues.

Tristan tells his life-long friend Caitir she must stay behind. But this intrepid lass has other ideas.

The Arch Druid Stands Against Them.

In service to the Deamhan Lord, the arch druid Faolukan pledges to stop the group with all the magic, sorcery, and monsters at his command, including Tristan’s worst fear—a dark, subterranean cavern where stalks the creature of shadows, the barghest whose name is Thrag.

Against such odds, how can a blacksmith’s nephew and a cooper’s daughter ever hope to end the coming darkness?

This high fantasy action adventure unfolds across continents on an epic scale.

, , ,

THE MEDALLION Release — Coming December 3

The Medallion Release Is Coming

Flash! The Medallion, my next novel of historical fiction, is being released in three weeks—on December 3.

It’s the sequel to The Bonfires of Beltane, but it’s also a stand-alone book. If you’ve never read the first one, you should be able to follow what goes on in this book without difficulty. It’s a story of high adventure, perseverance in the face of evil, and, of course, love. Set in ancient, Celtic Ireland and Gaul, I’m hoping you’ll find it a page-turner.

Here’s the cover:

The Plot

Here’s a short description of what goes on inside:

Everyone knows that Ty’s sister fell off the cliffs and drowned. But a powerful compulsion—is it God?—drives him to search for her in barbarian Gaul. When Ty and his father visit the Ulster King in ancient, Celtic Ireland, Ty and his new friend, Prince Cairell, flee for the coast at midnight. But Cairell’s mysterious sister, Sorca, refuses to be left behind. Why is Ty so deeply attracted to her? Cairell’s brother pursues, planning to kill them all and secure his inheritance to Ulster’s throne.

Meanwhile, Ty’s father, Taran, returns to his island home where the druids again sacrifice to the old gods. Too old now to help, Taran knows that only Ty can save the clan. But the years pass. And where is Ty?

Ahead wait the armies of Clovis, king of the Franks, as he drives the Romans from Gaul. Beyond lies the kingdom of Burgundy, where evil Prince Gundobad plots to overthrow his brother, King Chilperic.

How, within such chaos, can Ty ever find his sister? Will he return home in time to prevent the druids from destroying his clan? Can he ever find love in Cairell’s independent-minded sister?

Available For Pre-Order Now

You can pre-order the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Medallion-Mark-Fisher/dp/1946016683

, , ,

Ancient Celtic Medicine — Part II, Brehon Laws Protected the Sick

Ancient Celtic Medicine — Part II, Irish Brehon Laws Protected the Sick

In this post, Christian author Mark Fisher concludes his review of ancient, Celtic medicine with Part II.

Last week, we showed how the druids issued judgments, kept the law, and maintained an oral record of the clan’s knowledge. But they were also the clan’s healers. We admire early Ireland as the land where the legendary Irish queen, Macha Mong Ruadh, built the first European hospital in Emain Macha.

Questionable Diagnostic Methods

Celtic Magical Lore–Importance of Trees

But was the druids’ medical tradition a successful and accurate one? In some cases, yes. In others, no. The famous Gaulic physician, Charmis, was known to have used astrology to help his diagnoses. This technique, common to all Irish physicians, was used not only to diagnose diseases, but also to assess the prognosis for cures. Quackery or not, because of the reputation of Irish physicians, it spread to and became the norm for all of medieval Europe.

A Trove of Medical Knowledge

Despite their reliance on what we might call “magical lore”, the Irish druids had knowledge of herbs that did cure people. And before 1800, Ireland could boast of the largest collection of medical texts in any one language. The Irish monks who preserved so much of western knowledge also translated the works of Greek physicians like Herophilus, Hippocrates, Dioscorides, etc….

Irish Brehon Laws Protected the Sick

The Brehon Laws

The Irish Brehon Laws codified protections for the sick. These were written laws collected from all the clans, summarized into one body of law. They ensured that the sick were given nutritious food and wouldn’t pay too much for a cure. For a person wounded without cause, the attacker funded that person’s care from the fines he was assessed. Peter Beresford Ellis also reports that, “The Law of Torts says that ‘full sick maintenance [must be paid] to a worker injured for the sake of unnecessary profit . . .’”

The Brehon Laws assessed harsh fines upon ill-qualified or incompetent physicians who treated the sick and injured. And even qualified physicians, if they worsened a patient’s condition through malpractice, ignorance, or laxity, were required to compensate their patients. The Irish laws also looked to the future by requiring physicians to find and train four medical students.

The Laws Required Hospitals in Ireland

The laws also specified that each region keep a hospital. As Ellis reports, “The law is exact on the conditions under which it was to be built and maintained. It should have four doors, be placed by a stream of running water, and be maintained free of charge or taxation by the local assembly. The existence of such hospitals is attested by the names of towns or places such as An Spidéal (Spidall, Spital, etc…). The local physician and his students were in charge. There was a full-time caretaker or hospital manager who was employed to keep away stray dogs, mentally sick people (who had their own institutions), and anyone liable to cause the sick or injured distress.”

A Remarkable Concern For the Sick

This concern for the sick and injured in Ireland is remarkable, considering the attitudes in the rest of Europe. Alvin J. Schmidt reports that: “‘When epidemics broke out,’ Romans ‘often fled in fear and left the sick to die without care.’” The Romans, in contrast to Christians, also saw helping a sick person as a sign of weakness. So here we see, on the part of the early Irish healers and their heirs, a most admirable regard for human life. The Irish showed a concern for the sick and injured unseen in the rest of pre-Christian Europe.

Sources for this post: The Celts, by Peter Berresford Ellis, and How Christianity Changed the World, by Alvin J. Schmidt.

Mark is the author of The Bonfires of Beltane, a novel of Christian historical fiction set in ancient, Celtic Ireland in AD 432. To learn more about his book, click on the link.