The Tales of Conor Archer, Volume 1

FIVE STARS: Forward Clarion

Barr excels at world-building, using existing Native American and Celtic lore to create a rich mythic heritage all his own.

Roan: The Tales of Conor Archer: Volume 1, by E. R. Barr, skillfully interweaves Celtic mythology, shape-shifters, and coming-of-age to create a promising start to an intriguingly magical fantasy series...

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From debut author Barr comes an urban-fantasy novel about an adolescent boy on the cusp of mysterious change and the strange town within which he seeks refuge.

As a young man in Chicago, Conor shares an apartment with his mother: “They weren’t well off, but they weren’t dirt poor either.” The boy is handy with a tin whistle and makes a little extra money playing in a local Irish bar as his mother slowly dies of cancer. One night, he meets a stranger who informs him that he, Conor, is one of the “Dark ones.” Without supplying any further details, the stranger then proceeds to bite Conor on the hand and vanish into the Chicago River. Afterward, a series of events, including the death of Conor’s mother and a letter from an obscure aunt, brings the boy to the small town of Tinker’s Grove, Wisconsin. Arriving with a severe fever, he’s soon whisked to the local monastery with the aid of friendly townspeople, who have a chocolate Labrador retriever named Troubles. As the man in charge of the monastery explains to the ...

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