The Last of the High Kings

by Kate Thompson

It’s been fifteen years since J. J. Liddy returned from T’ir na n’Og,... read more

It’s been fifteen years since J. J. Liddy returned from T’ir na n’Og, the land of eternal youth in Irish lore. In that time, he has become a husband, father of four, and celebrated fiddler. But his world is not as perfect as it appears. His uncontrollable daughter Jenny is more comfortable outdoors and shoeless than she is at school. His son Donal has his mind wrapped around something that he won’t discuss with anyone but an elderly neighbor. And then there’s the presence of a strange white goat on a hilltop near their home. Jenny says it talks to her. Music tied together Kate Thompson’s first book about the Liddy family, The New Policeman (Greenwillow, 2007), but despite J. J.’s desire for harmony, his family and environment are in a state of discord now. The world-renowned musician must use all of his senses to recognize the sour note. What J. J. doesn’t know is that Jenny has learned she is a changeling from the fairy world. The goat she speaks with is a Púka, and the mythical creature leads Jenny to distrust her human family and the world in which she lives. As Jenny makes a dangerous deal with the Púka, J. J. takes an even greater risk that returns him to T’ir na n’Og. When Donal’s secret project is at last revealed, the Liddys are able to save their family, and the entire world, from a destructive underground force by rightfully crowning the last of the high kings of Ireland. (Ages 11–15)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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