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This is the turbulent and heartbreaking story of Sive, a girl of the Otherworld who must flee her world of plenty to live as a hunted beast. Surviving hardship, danger and crushing loneliness, she finally finds refuge -- and unexpected joy -- with a mortal champion, Finn Mac Cumhail, the great hero of Irish legend. But Sive's ordeal is far from over. She has a gift the Dark Man craves, and the smallest misstep will give him his chance to snatch her away from all she holds dear. Set in the wild, magical landscape of Iron Age Ireland, Shapeshifter is a tale of rapacious evil, quiet courage and the healing power of love.
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sh a p est eh i f r H O L L Y B E N N E T T
sh a p esh i f t e r H O L L Y B E N N E T T
Text copyright ©2010Holly Bennett All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Bennett, Holly, 1957 Shapeshifter / written by Holly Bennett.
ISBN 9781554691586
I. Title.
PS8603.E5595S53 2010 jC813'.6 C20099072645
First published in the United States,2010Library of Congress Control Number:2009942219
Summary: In order to escape the sorcerer who wants to control her gift of song, Sive must transform herself into a deer, leave the Otherworld and find refuge in Eire, the land of mortals.
Orca Book Publishers is dedicated to preserving the environment and has printed this book on paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover artwork by Juliana Kolesova Cover design by Teresa Bubela Text design and typesetting by Nadja Penaluna Author photo by Mark Peter Drolet
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 5626, Stn. B Victoria, BC Canada V8R 6S4
Orca Book Publishers PO Box 468 Custer, WA USA 982400468
www.orcabook.com Printed and bound in Canada. Printed on 100% PCW recycled paper. 13 12 11 10 • 4 3 2 1
To my mom, wo taugt me tat dîvîng înto a good book îs one oF LîFe’s great pLeasures.
C o n t e n t s
Map +v I Preface+v I I
Part I: Sive+1
Part II: The Dark Man+1 2 9
Part III: Oisin +1 8 1
Pronunciation Guide +2 3 8
The Legend of Sive+2 4 2
p r e faC e
ose o you wo ave readTe Warrîor’s Daugtert wî aready know about my ove aaîr wît Irîs mytoogy. But or te newcomers among you, ere’s a bît o background: Two tousand years ago, Ireand was înabîted by te Iron-Age Cets. Muc o wat we know o teîr îves and beîes comes to us troug te wonderu storîes tat someow survîved în ora orm troug many, many genera-tîons untî inay tey were wrîtten down by eary Crîstîan monks (wo were supposed to be copyîng out te Bîbe). Fu o adventure, tragedy, magîc and raw uman emotîon, tese storîes seem to me just beggîng to be brougt aîve or a modern audîence. But sînce I am so oten drawn to te secondary caracters—te ones you don’t ear so muc about—rater tan te eroes, and sînce I ove makîng up storîes rater tan just reteîng tem, my approac as been to îmagîne an “untod tae” tat îes beînd te egend. SapesîFterîs te story o Sîve, a young woman rom a magîca ream wo was te ero Fînn mac Cumaî’s irst wîe. At irst I tougt ît was a story about ear and ost ove. But as I got to know Sîve better, I reaîzed tat ît îs reay a story about courage, and about ove’s transormatîve power. îke any good caracter, tere îs more to er tan irst meets te eye. For curîous readers, I ave încuded a versîon o te ancîent egend o Sîve on page 242.
The year Sive became a woman, two things happened that would shape the course of her life: She found her animal form. And the dark druid, Far Doirche, fixed his eye upon her.
p a r t i S I V E