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Checkmate: Clans and Castles

451 pages6 hours


Nominated for 4 awards... Readers Favorite says, "The narrative is lyrical and the voice is irresistible. Yes, the prose sings in the reader’s ears like beautiful music and it is peppered with wonderful dialogues, which are well-composed to read naturally and to deepen the plot and conflict. P.M. Terrell’s characters are wonderfully developed and readers will love them. There is a lot of drama taking place throughout the narrative and the action is intense and unrelenting. Checkmate: Clans and Castles is a gripping treat for fans of historical novels, a well-crafted, not-easy-to-put-down story that will transport the reader into a turbulent period in Irish history." ... Midwest Book Reviews says, "Terrell introduces a new level of excellence to the historical novel. Using the mastery of an artist, Terrell paints colorful word pictures and descriptive phrases that are so exquisitely well-chosen that the reader is magnetically drawn into the plot, taking on a role as an active participant in the intrigue of the story."

A window into the ancestors of anyone of Scot-Irish descent...

In 1608, William Neely left Wigtownshire, Scotland for Ulster. He was looking for his place in the world but what he found was the adventure of a lifetime.

Surrounded by powerful clans that had ruled Ulster for more than a thousand years, he came to know some of the most mighty chieftains of the time, including the formidable Cahir O’Doherty, who launched O’Doherty’s Rebellion with the burning of Derry and the killing of Sir George Paulet of His Majesty King James’ service. It would put in motion a chain of events that would transform Ireland and it would mark Cahir O’Doherty as the Last Gaelic Irish King in Ireland.

Cahir O’Doherty became the Lord of Inishowen as a teen after the death of his father. Known as The Queen’s O’Doherty due to his loyalty to Sir Henry Docwra and the English Crown, he saved his clan lands on the Inishowen Peninsula and his people from the fate that had befallen other Irish clans.

Peace would be short-lived, however, when Henry Docwra, Governor of Derry, was replaced by the ruthless Sir George Paulet, who ushered in a new wave of hatred for the Gaelic Irish. It would all come to a head on one fateful night when O’Doherty took the commander at Culmore Fort hostage along with his wife and son. Gaining access to the weapons at Culmore Fort, he led an invasion of Derry, burning the village to the ground. It would touch off a wave of events that would unite the major clans of Ulster, leading to a bombardment of Burt Castle, a counterattack in the Inishowen Peninsula and the burning of Ulster; a major battle at Kilmacrenan and finally a siege at Tory Island.

And when O’Doherty’s Rebellion was complete, it would usher in the age of The Plantation and mass immigration of Lowland Scots, encouraged by King James I to transform all of Ulster.

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