What is the story behind Calabrese and Cuchulainn? How did they meet and develop an unexpected, but very loving relationship? How did they find each other? How did they become lovers?
In the book A Dance with Dragons, Robin D. Owens tells the story of Calabrese and Cuchulainn. The pair were part of a powerful clan that dominated much of Ireland. When the clan's stronghold was taken by another clan, Cuchulainn and Calabrese traveled to accept the surrender of their fallen warriors. Once there, they discovered a woman who claimed to be the daughter of the High King.
This woman nursed the hope that her son Scadal Mac Nessa (the champion of Ireland) would come to her rescue. However, when Nessa was taken away from the castle by the rebels, Cuchulainn and his forces were betrayed by their sworn enemy, Scadal Mac Nessa. They laid low for a while, until they were able to get back into the castle using the help of a dwarf and a horse. They then used these two things to storm the castle and kill Scadal Mac Nessa.
What is interesting about this tale is that it provides a counterbalance to the tales told about Cuchulainn and Scadal. This one tells us a different side of the story. It shows the depths of how two strong characters can fall in love and how they manage to overcome personal weaknesses. It shows that although they may be battling for Irish pride, they can still work together. In fact, the story is so touching because it portrays such a human trait.
How did Cuchulainn fall in love with Calabrese? Why was he so drawn to her? What did he see in her that made him fall in love? Where does the relationship begin and end?
One of the most fascinating aspects of the story is how the two men were able to overcome their fears and hatred for each other. Why did the men fall in love? What did they have in common? How did they overcome their differences? What motivated them to do what they did?
The Calabrese and Airey tale ends with a happily ever after. Both men live happily ever after, but Cuchulainn's happiness is short-lived because he dies of a bullet while fighting an army of undead. Airey, on the other hand, becomes the Queen of Ulster. She rules the kingdom of Ulster for a short time, until a man named Conchobar Mac Nessa comes into her kingdom. He is of royal blood, but he is a humble craftsman. He makes her queen and he also repairs her fallen battle fleet.
This tale is an excellent example of how a story can be written if you are not particularly experienced in historical fiction. Although there are some incredibly intricate details, the book reads as if you read it for fun only. It is extremely light-hearted and entertaining. It is also perfect for those who prefer stories with a little fantasy as well.
Maeagh Mac Donough is an archaeologist. One of her jobs is to excavate old monasteries in Ireland which were used by Medieval knights as retreats. These castles, known as fortresses, give her a chance to study the way the knights lived. What she discovers may surprise even those who are familiar with Medieval history. For example, she discovers that many knights would eat meal only once or twice a day, and that they slept on straws made from horsehair.
Maeagh's husband, Brian Conchobar, tells her many exciting stories about their married life. It is clear that he loved her. When he tells her of his departure, he leaves her a letter that begins, "I leave you now in the hand of my son Conchobar of the North. I leave you without my sword Orffed." This immediately draws her attention.
She does not know who this boy is. In fact, no one outside of the immediate family knows who he is. This will become important to Maeagh as she gradually starts to follow the clues to find out who this boy is, and why he is being forced to leave.
The Stitches of Time is a fascinating novel. This book is at its best when Maeagh is following the clues to figure out the identity of the boy who has been left. This leads her on a journey through time, which helps her to understand her family better. This book is also well worth the reader's time. Recommended.