This was a really interesting idea, and when the author reached out to me to see what I thought of it, I happily had a gander.
This is an interactive story, similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure story! It takes place slightly before the events of Defence of Ráth Bládhma, and so you can read/listen to it to get a feel for the type of story that the Fionn books tell without spoiling any of the story to come.
This is the story of Ultán, who is an older warrior who is visiting Ráth Bládhma with some of his people. His compatriot Fiacail tells him that a warband of fifty men are coming for Ráth Bládhma, and between the settlement itself and their visitors, there are only three fighting men, and so Fiacail sends Ultán out to take out the scouts they sent. And the shenanigans that are had are then partially up to you. ^_^
The first cool thing here is that you can experience this story in English or in Irish, which is neat as hell. As the story is inspired by the stories of Fionn mac Cumhaill, who was a pretty big name in Irish folklore, this was neat. You can also have it narrated in either English or Irish. Again, that was neat. You can change the language of the audio too, whenever you’d like. As someone who only has a tiny bit of experience with the Irish language, it was interesting hearing it and comparing it to the words in English.
I appreciated that there was the option to turn on the narration or to just read it. I don’t often have a great deal of patience of reading long pieces of text from a computer screen, and so the option of just having someone tell me what is written there is nice. That said, sometimes the narration and the text would differ slightly (nothing that changes the context of what’s going on) but the me that was listening and reading along was like ‘wait…’ so ideally, I would say choose one or the other if that’s gunna bother you.
The narration was alright. It wasn’t spectacular, but it certainly told the story well enough. The most important part in this case, I think, is that the Irish words were pronounced correctly. Considering the story is only about twenty or so minutes long, it was perfectly fine.
So all told, I’d recommend this story to anyone interested in Irish folklore, or wanting to start in on the Fionn series. It’s a great little tale, told in quite a unique way. 4/5 stars!~
You can read/listen/experience it here, for free: https://darkdawn.irishimbasbooks.com/
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