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Brian Cullen

Brian Cullen is a former professor of classic literature who lives near Lunenberg, Massachusetts, and in Ireland. He lives in a house filled with books and music in a world of his own creation.

Seekers of the Chalice: Great premise, bad execution

Seekers of the Chalice by Brian  Cullen

Seekers of the Chalice is the story of a small group of heroes who set out to recover the Chalice of Fire, a symbol of peace for Ulster, after it is stolen from the Red Branch by a traitor.

The premise behind the book, which is an attempt to do a high fantasy retelling of the traditional Celtic myth Táin Bó Cúailnge, is great. However, the execution falters. The characters are flat, the dialogue stilted, and the plot is an endless series of near identical battles against every imaginable dark creature. Pixies and goblins and werewolves, oh my!

Cullen commits the cardinal sin for a writer by telling — not showing — the story. His attempt to lay out the entire back story in the first few pages leaves Seekers of the Chalice feeling like lecture notes for a class on Irish Mythology. It then morphs into a bad novelization ... Read More