The Gold Son by Carrie Anne Noble (2017)
I enjoyed Carrie Anne Noble’s first novel, The Mermaid’s Sister, but I loved her second one Gold Son.
I can’t think of any other novel I’ve read that explores the folk-mythology of Irish Leprechauns, so this seemed a very original theme; I will never think about the 'little people' quite the same again!
Tommin is cursed at birth to be part leprechaun, something he has no idea of until he reaches his teens, and a strange visitor calls upon him to invite him on journey. He knows the stranger is trouble, but his back is against the wall, and he feels he has no choice. So begins a descent into a life of addiction and crime, and as centuries pass by, his hope of escape seems less likely.
The characters were great – the Leprechaun villain was particularly devilish, and it took me no time at all to fall in love with the hero and heroine, Tommin and Eve. The backdrop of 19th-century Ireland was a perfect fairy tale setting. Then came the magical underground world, and all seemed to be comfortably and enjoyably following on in the usual fantasy settings, until I was just as surprised as Tommin to find myself catapulted into the 21st-century, in a bit of time-travelling that I didn't see coming! But despite my aversion to modern-day settings, I thought it worked really well, and cast a whole new layer of meaning to the timeless theme of Tommin’s journey to redemption.
The whole story was full of twists and turns and kept me on the just-one-more-chapter ride for an entire Sunday afternoon until I reluctantly reached 'The End'.