The Books

Resonance coverResonance

What does it mean to be alive? What is it worth to stay alive?

Ireland, 1890: two ruthless immortals prowl the theatre district in search of food for their ‘Angel’. Ancient, pitiless and caring for none but their own twisted family, they will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on life.

A seamstress, the young man who loves her and a penniless American magician soon find themselves imprisoned in a snow-bound country estate, the latest additions to the family’s warped collection. Here, they are nothing but food, nothing but entertainment, and soon they will be nothing at all.

Far from their homes and fighting for survival, Tina, Joe and Harry will soon come to understand that far more is at stake than just their lives.

Resonance AUSresonanceIREResonance Spain

Praise for Resonance

Into the Grey/Taken Away

Into the Grey USAAn evocative and chilling ghost story. After their nan accidentally burns the family home down, twin brothers Patrick and Dominick move with their parents and baby sister to a small cottage by the sea. The family has spent many a happy summer there but never a winter – and against a backdrop of howling storms and wild seas, the haunting of the twins begins. Into the Grey won 2012 Children’s Books Ireland (CBI) Book of the Year Award and the CBI Children’s Choice Award, the 2013 Readers Association of Ireland (RAI) Book of the Year Award and has been shortlisted for the 2014 Japanese Sakura Medal.

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Praise for Into the Grey/Taken Away

coverThe Poison Throne

When young Wynter Moorehawke returns to court with her dying father, she finds her old home shadowed with fear. The king has become a violent despot, terrorizing those he once loved. His son and heir Alberon has fled into exile and now there are whispers everywhere of rebellion. Meanwhile, Alberon’s half-brother Razi has been elevated to his throne. He struggles to meet his King’s demands while remaining loyal to his beloved brother and to his friend-Wynter. Now, she must choose- her father or her dreams, her friend or her king, her duty… or her love.  The first book of the Moorehawk Trilogy, The Poison Throne, was first published in Ireland in 2008. It won the 2009 Readers’ Association of Ireland Award for best book, was included in the White Raven Collection (2009) and short listed for the 2009 Irish Book Awards in two categories (best newcomer and best children’s book). It was long-listed for the 2010 Australian Inkys Award.

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Praise for The Poison Throne


The Crowded Shadows

The Crowded Shadows

Every tyrant who ever threatened the Kingdom is gathering to Alberon’s table, and the forest is alive with spies, wolves, and bandits. Within these crowded shadows, Protector Lady Wynter Moorehawke travels alone and unprotected, determined that she shall find the rebel prince and heal the rift that has come between the King and his legitimate heir. But who is an ally and who is a foe? In this, the second volume of The Moorehawke Trilogy, old friends and even older enemies ensure that Wynter is never certain of who                                          she can trust.

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Praise for The Crowded Shadows



The Rebel Prince

Wynter Moorehawke has braved bandits and Loup-Garous to find her way to Alberon-the exiled, rebel prince. But now that she’s there, she will learn firsthand that politics is a deadly mistress. With the king and his heir on the edge of war and alliances made with deadly enemies, the Kingdom is torn not just by civil war – but strife between the various factions as well. Wynter knows that no one has the answer to the problems that plague the Kingdom – and she knows that their differences will not just tear apart her friends – but                                         the Kingdom as well.

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Praise for The Rebel Prince



Praise for The Rebel Prince

The Booksmugglers (Dec 2010)
Suffice it to say: in a perfect world, I would love all the books that I read as much I loved the Moorehawke trilogy.full review here.

The Irish Times Dec 2010
‘classic high fantasy with some innovative twists … a stirring, dramatic story – just right for this dark and wild time of year.’

Listed as one of Irish Times top YA choices 2010 (Dec 2010)

Books Ireland Dec 2010
‘a fantasy Europe … so vivid that you can practically smell the blood of a slaughtered traitor.’
‘Power struggles, myths, lore and language – not to mention strategic planning, double dealing and grudges that span generations – keep the reader drawn to a world that is as vivid and as violent as Tolkien’s middle earth.'(Dec 2010)

BookBag Oct 2010
an amazing conclusion to what’s probably become one of my three favourite fantasy trilogies of all time, while Kiernan’s thought-provoking writing has made her jump right to the top of the list of authors whose next works I’m eagerly awaiting. Strongest possible recommendation – although obviously I’d suggest you grab the first couple before reading to get the full story! READ FULL REVIEW HERE.(Oct 2010)

Bookgeeks Oct 2010
If the last novel was about secrets and the power they have to harm, this one is about revelations, the unfolding of what is behind actions, the danger inherent in convictions. The Rebel Prince is a fitting final chapter for the series. Wynter’s progress from dependent young girl to insightful and self-confident woman is a carefully done, and Kiernan’s world, full of mysterious wandering tribes, rich history, and the possibility, struggle, and power of change, is well worth a visit.(Sept 2010)

Listed in Top 50 children’s reads  Dymoks List.(Oct 2010)

Magpies (NZ) (Sept 2010). ‘

Fantasy at its best – a well-constructed savage world, vividly described action and an admirable heroine. The scope is vast and the battles bloody. The denouement is breathtaking.

RTbookreviews Magazine ( 2010)
(four stars)
This third in the Moorehawke Trilogy continues the fast and bloody pace, while still capable of being read as a stand-alone. Each character satisfyingly grows exponentially into his or her own potential. Although having been primed to adore him for the first two books, readers might find Alberon hard to sympathize with and harder still to love. A must-read for any fan of the series, or of the genre.

Publishers Weekly: review (Feb 2010)
Celine Kiernan, Orbit, $14.99 paper (243p) ISBN 978-0-316-07707-1
Politics, revenge, and high-strung emotions dominate the dramatic conclusion to the Moorehawke Trilogy.  A blend of complex and delicate political maneuvering and teen soap opera … enough action and emotional payoff to make this a worthy wrapup that will content fans of the earlier books.

Readplus (Australia)
fantasy at its best… gripping and demonstrates the values of loyalty, trust and caring. Full of emotion, action and beautifully developed characters, this is one series I will not be lending to anyone for fear of not getting it back!

Children’s Books Ireland’s BookFest – Recommended Reading Guide
‘final book in the excellent historical fantasy trilogy …tight writing, passion and violence, plus plenty of skulduggery and intrigue combine to make this a compelling read’

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Praise for The Crowded Shadows

The Booksmugglers (Dec 2010)

Suffice it to say: in a perfect world, I would love all the books that I read as much I loved the Moorehawke trilogy.

Listed in Top 50 children’s reads  Dymoks List.(Sept 2010)

Bookbag, Sept 2010
Extremely high recommendation, and book three is now pretty much top of my personal ‘Most Wanted’ list.

Publishers Weekly, May 2010
Compelling and complex, romantic and suspenseful, populated by memorable characters and intricately detailed, this impressive middle volume will leave readers demanding the conclusion.

Romantic Times Magazine, June 2010

chosen as RT Top Pick for 2010.
Kiernan’s fantastic sequel to The Poison Throne continues its alternate history of medieval Europe at a thrilling pace. The growth of its three main characters is steady and realistic, the conflicts that face them are brutal and appropriate. Kiernan’s authentic voice translates into a young adult novel that will appeal to a broad spectrum of interested readers.

ReadPlus April 2010
utterly compelling with some scenes … so heartbreaking that they are unforgettable… a beautiful lyrical writing style … mind blowing  … will stay with me forever. This is outstanding fantasy writing and the trilogy deserves a place in every library.

Irish Times Top 30 Children’s Books of 2009
Irish Independent ‘Excellent, dark teen novel’
Easons Book of the Month October 2009

CBI Bookfest Guide 2009 -‘a satisfying read’

Sunday Independent
‘At the forefront of Irish fantasy writing’

Inis Magazine’
This is a book to be read, reread and treasured’

Inis Magazine
‘The Crowded Shadows more than fulfills the promise of The Poison Throne and the completed trilogy is likely to stand with the best of this genre … richly imagined cultures and dense, detailed style make her parallel Europe a compelling and utterly convincing creation and her mastery of storytelling and character will have readers reluctant to leave it’

Booktopia January sci-fi and Fantasy Bookbuzz
Irish author Celine Kiernan is back with book two of her excellent Moorhawke Trilogy, The Crowded Shadows is a cracking theatrical historical fantasy set in medieval Europe.’ The Irish Independent
The brilliant follow up to one of my favorite debut novels from 2009 … character driven, with wonderful dialogue and great depth … breathtakingly powerful and always unpredictable.

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Praise for The Poison Throne

The Booksmugglers (Dec 2010)

Suffice it to say: in a perfect world, I would love all the books that I read as much I loved the Moorehawke trilogy.

Psychovision review (Sept 2010)
(Le Royaume Empoisonne)

Que dire pour conclure, si ce n’est que je me demandais sincèrement s’il était possible d’attribuer la note de 10 sur 10 à un ouvrage … mais en ce qui me concerne, je me suis laissée porter par cet excellent roman qu’il m’a été difficile de lâcher avant de l’avoir lu d’une seule traite jusqu’à la toute dernière page. Et ça mérite bien un 10 !

Listed in Top 50 children’s reads  Dymoks List.(Sept 2010)

Long listed for Australian libraries “Inky Award” (Sept 2010).

SFREVU (April 2010)
New and thrilling …
has me jumping up and down with excitement! The Poisoned Throne is a slowly building, character driven piece – one set to surprise a lot of readers by the sheer force of its storytelling and the promise of its scope. I for one am looking forward to the next two novels, which I understand will expand on the supporting characters and the surrounding world.

RTbookreviews Magazine (2010)

Kiernan will stun you with her debut novel, as her extraordinarily drawn characters invite themselves into your head for a nice visit. With deep societal intrigue and political machinations at the fore, her investment in the “what if” of medieval Europe is sure to captivate. You won’t put this book down before it is through with you.

SFX magazine (#195 2010)

Told with great assurance and attention to detail, this is an exciting fast-paced story – very much anchored in the fears, loyalties and vulnerabilities of its sympathetically drawn characters. It makes for an absorbing read – Kiernan’s plotting keeps the pages turning nicely. In quieter moments, she shows an acute sense of how to build tension, and when to twist the knife.

Publishers Weekly: starred review (Feb 2010)

The Poison Throne Celine Kiernan. Orbit, $14.99 paper (480p) ISBN 978-0-316-07706-4
Atmospheric, complex, and intense, Kiernan’s debut fantasy, set in a sort of alternate 15th-century Europe, mixes vengeful ghosts and talking cats into political intrigue. Fifteen-year-old Wynter Moorehawke’s return to court after five years away should be joyous, but she fears for her dearest friends, the children of insane, tyrannical King Jonathan. Crown prince Alberon is nowhere to be found, and bastard son Razi is being unwillingly groomed to replace him. The king will go to any lengths to secure his throne, even unlocking the mysteries of a horrible killing device long thought destroyed. Wynter must keep her friends and family alive as she slowly pieces together the king’s secrets. The beginning of what promises to be a powerful trilogy with YA crossover appeal, this epic starts strong and doesn’t falter one iota, ending with a cliffhanger that will leave readers demanding more. (Apr.)

Galaxy Books (Dec 2009)  ‘
Part political, part mystery, and part love story, The Poison Throne had me completely engrossed. This is one of those rare novels for young-adults, which crosses almost seamlessly into adult fiction. Kiernan does an extraordinary job of drawing the settings (I swear I was walkin the halls or using the hidden tunnels of the castle!) and developing the characters without getting lost in detail or wordiness. With one of the smallest cast of characters in a book I’ve read in ages, I just fell in love
with them all! The fact that the characters were forced to make impossible decisions, when they themselves were only teenagers, just broke my heart. This is a story about relationships, love, duty, and about doing what is hard because it’s

Viewpoint Review (Nov 2009) ‘exciting and terrifying’

Magpies (NZ) (Sept 2009). ‘brilliantly realised setting … provides context for themes of friendship, loyalty and responsibility … highly recommended … even for those who are not fantasy fans.’

Hughes & Hughes Booksellers: “Book of the Month” (October 2008).
Eason’s Booksellers: featured in the Diamond Catalogue (October 2008)

Roddy Doyle – This is marvellous, vivid writing, and story telling at its absolute best. It reminded of the first time I read Philip Pullman – I was utterly engrossed.

The Irish Immigrant (“Book of the week”) Although written for young adult readers Celine Kiernan’s first novel will, I am sure, enjoy a much wider readership. The first of “The Moorehawke trilogy”, it tells the tale of a young girl and her father and their attempts to lead a normal, and safe, life in a fourteenth century kingdom set somewhere in southern Europe. The characters are few, but they are drawn with such exactitude, with such sympathy for their predicaments, that they linger on in the reader’s mind when the final chapter has been read.

Children’s Books Ireland’s BookFest – Recommended Reading Guide (also selected as ‘Editor’s Choice’)
The narrator’s voice is strong and the writing stylish. An excellent story from a debut Irish author.

Sunday Business Post (Ireland) – Kiernan’s characters are well drawn, and her complicated plot – surrounding a young woman caught up in a courtly intrigue – is made palatable by well-delivered messages of friendship, familial love and tolerance at the book’s heart.

The Irish Times – While there are some Irish echoes in Celine Kiernan’s striking debut novel, The Poison Throne the setting, both in place and time, is unnamed: the former hints at a kingdom somewhere in southern Europe, the latter would seem to be the 14th century. Here is a territory ruled over by King Jonathon, presiding over a court and country undergoing radical social and political change. When 15-year-old Wynter Moorehawke and her lord protector father return to their country after some time away, they soon find themselves entangled in the decidedly murky and violent world of royal intrigue. Add some talking cats and some appearing and disappearing ghosts and we have the material for a fascinating historical fantasy, characterised by vivid, colourful writing, some wonderfully reconstructed 14th-century speech and a fondness for the expressive simile: “…his voice as subtle as snow falling on snow”. Warmly recommended, for readers of 14 and well beyond.

Children’s Books Ireland – “The first in a trilogy, this novel, set in a fictionalised fourteenth-century Europe, is a remarkable combination of court intrigue, adventure and romance. Densely written, the narrator’s voice is strong and the writing stylish. An excellent story from a debut Irish author.”

The Irish Independent – “Teen novel that will baroque your world. Kiernan’s epic fantasy adventure set in an imagined version of 14th Century Europe has all the ingredients of an international bestseller: political skulduggery, passion, violence, loyalty and betrayal. …Although much of the novel takes place in two rooms, it’s a testament to Kiernan’s writing that the book still manages to be compelling, exciting and full of suspense. The torture chamber scenes require a strong stomach but add to the dark, Dumas-like atmosphere. The writing is extraordinary, almost baroque, layered with metaphors and similes; at times it threatens to overpower the plot but somehow in this meaty, satisfying novel, it works. This book is the first part in a trilogy, recommended for both teen and adult readers.”

‘I was amazed to find such excellence of style and plot from a debut author. I couldn’t stop reading the story until I was finished, and was left dying for more.’
Antonena Gall, Editorial Director of the Arabesque imprint of AST, Russia’s largest publisher

‘Do you remember that sensation of growing incredulity as you read on through a manuscript? I mean that feeling of absolute happiness that an editor experiences when she realises she is not reading a few rough pages from a would-be writer, but the polished work of a narrator with a strong voice. A writer who has reached her destination. That was what I felt as I entered Celine Kiernan’s universe.’
Claudia Casanova, Editorial Director of Oniro (Grupo Planeta, Spain)

“It is quite rare to find a high fantasy trilogy with such fine writing, wonderful composition, appealing characters and an exciting plot full of suspense. This will surely be a huge success with readers of all ages.”
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Praise for Into the Grey

The Philadelphia Inquirer 2014

… Irish fantasy author Celine Kiernan has totally nailed it with Into the Grey, a complex, harrowing story of history, hauntings, and long-ago losses.

…The whole book is powerful, but there’s one scene depicting the family in the kitchen – Pat trying to keep from becoming hysterical as things with Dom grow ever weirder – that is as unsettling as one of Poe’s ghastlier moments.

If you’re in the mood for a scare this autumn, Kiernan’s beautiful novel comes highly recommended. Just read it in the daylight maybe, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Booklist Magazine 2014 (USA)

In stark eerie passages, Kiernan tells a gripping story as much about the love between brothers as it is about ghosts (Sarah Hunter)

VOYA Magazine 2014 (USA)

This award-winning export from Ireland is an atmospheric ghost story set in the 1970s… Readers will be rewarded with a ghost story that encompasses heartache from two generations and the love brothers have for their twins, both living and dead. (Kristin Fletcher-Spear)

The School Librarian Magazine 2014 (UK)

…haunting supernatural thriller is well written and hard to put down …The plot is complex …  original, refreshing. challenging and enjoyable …hope that it will be widely read by students and librarians

BCCB Review Oct Edition 2014

American readers may not be familiar with the Irish Republican tensions and the period’s cultural landmarks, but they’ll be right at home with eerie, heartbreaking ghosts and a boy’s implacable loyalty to his beloved brother

The School Library Journal 2014 (USA)

… The protagonist’s journey of self-discovery uncovers numerous family secrets, forges unlikely allies, and proves that the power of friendship, loyalty, and love are far stronger than he ever imagined. Kiernan’s beautiful and haunting novel is full of mystery and suspense with continuous plot twists and turns. The narrative voice is compelling and honest while capturing the emotional terror the teen has to face. The refreshing, multidimensional characters drive the story line and readers will connect with them because of the poignant and touching moments. A captivating read that combines Irish history with the supernatural.

Kirkus (starred review) 2014

Irish fantasist Kiernan (The Poison Throne, 2010, etc.) explores the dynamics of love and loss… narration is marked by vivid descriptions and consistently polished, well-paced prose: ‘Yesterday morning, I’d had a brother. I’d had a best friend. He’d been fun. He’d been interesting: my slow-burn, articulate counterweight. Now I was lopsided, a boat with one paddle, rowing frantically and spinning in a slow, maddening circle around the space that should have been him.’ The otherworldly goings-on are grounded in the family lives of the village … adding intriguing nuances to the psychological drama. A gripping, highly original ghost story. (Fantasy. 12 & up)

The Sunday Business Post (Ire) Jan 2012

‘young teenagers will be gripped by this supernatural thriller … The novel’s key theme of loss is explored … with poignancy and some humor. An impressive work that… offers thrills along with an important but understated lesson in humanity.’

Readplus, Dec 2011

Celine Kiernan’s mastery of imagery and ability to enthrall, will keep the young adult spellbound in her new novel Taken Away; added to this mix, is an edgy and faintly disturbing tale of ‘Loss. Theft. A Haunting.’ … I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as being suitable for placing on school library bookshelves. It is a well-crafted introduction to a darker genre of fantasy prose.

The Irish Times, Nov 2011

A truly haunting story.

The October Advocate, Oct 2011

Clever… Inventive… Genuinely creepy.

Full magazine here

Robert Dunbarr, Sept 2011

The literacy skills inherent in Celine’s first novel The Poison Throne and fully enhanced by the two remaining novels of her ‘Moorehawke Trilogy’ have now been further enriched by what, in my opinion, is her most impressive fiction to date. This is writing of an extremely high order, eloquent in its imagination and warm in its empathetic humanity. It evinces the author’s understanding of what has been the subject of great literature since time immemorial, with what in another of his poems Wilfred Owen called ‘the eternal reciprocity of tears’. I heartily recommend it to all readers of 14 and well beyond, and I wish it every possible success.

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The Saturday Independent, Ireland, July 2015
Top Summer Reads for Toddlers to Teens:

‘In Resonance, Celine Kiernan blends the supernatural, sci-fi and romance to superb effect: highly regarded, her work is considered as compelling “and unsettling as Poe’s ghastlier moments”.’

The Irish Independent, July 2015

Chosen as one of the 13 best summer reads for young bookworms.

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2 Responses to The Books

  1. Ella McFarlane says:

    will there be a fourth in the Moorehawke Trilogy, i think there should be.

    • Hello Ella, I’m so sorry for the lateness of this reply! I thought I’d got back to you ages ago and now I realise I’d just left you hanging! I apologise again and hope you don’t think me unbearably rude.

      I had actually always planned to write and sequel to Moorehawke (in fact two sequels: one a graphic novel which deals with how Christopher finally gets his vengence on the wolves, and one set a few weeks after the epilogue of Rebel Prince in which our friends travel to the snowy north to deal with a supernatural threat amoung the Merron)

      Sadly the trilogy, while having many wonderful and dedicated fans, never made the kind of money that encourages publishing companies to invest in sequels or prequels. So my plans fell to the side. It didn’t help, I think, that the sequel had zombies in it and that GOT (with all that snowy zombie action) became as big as it did 🙂

      I’ve been happily working away and publishing other projects since. But I’m still very fond of these characters and their story still itches inside me. I hope one day I might have a chance to return to them. Until then, they are the readers to play with, and I love to see the many drawings and creative projects with which Moorehawke readers keep Wyn, Chris, Razi and Sól alive

      big hugs to you


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