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Dancing With Demons (Sister Fidelma #18)

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  472 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
In the late 7th Century, the High King of Ireland is killed at night in the middle of his compound. Who killed him is not in question - there are unimpeachable witnesses that point directly to the clan chieftain responsible. Dubh Duin is, after all, found by the High King's guards in the High King's bed chamber holding the murder weapon. But with impending civil war in the ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published September 6th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 892)
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Tremayne is like a magician; he diverts the reader's attention from the central mystery with adventure and fascinating insights into the history and culture of ancient Ireland. In this latest book, he examines the tensions between the followers of the "Old Faith" and the increasing popularity of the "New Faith" in light of Rome's growing influence on Irish culture and laws.
When is this man going to write Fidelma and Eadulf as flesh and blood people who have a real relationship. Learning about 7th-century Ireland and the culture has usually made this series worth reading despite the lack of fully realized characters, but this one just lay flat on the page.
The High King of Ireland is murdered in his bed by the clan chieftain Dubh Duin, as history reports. But his motive is unclear, and the kingdoms are in unrest, so Fidelma is called in as an unbiased investigator to look into the assassination. What she uncovers is a convoluted conspiracy that threatens the peace of the land. This volume is rife with political intrigue and although it starts out a little tedious to me, as the investigation slowly unravels the tension ratchets up with each new dis ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Dale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, history, ireland
Fidelma is called upon to investigate the murder of the high king of Ireland. The murder itself seems to pose little mystery: the murderer was found in the king's bedroom with a bloody knife in his hand. On being discovered he plunged the knife into his own heart. But the king's successor wants to know whether the murderer acted alone or in concert with others.

This was a better novel than the preceding two in the series - slightly less pedantic, better plot, more interesting storyline. It is ver
Mar 13, 2012 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The High King of Eirann (Ireland) has been murdered, and while the killer isn't in question, his motives are--and since he killed himself after committing the crime, no one can ask him. The Assembly calls in Sister Fidelma to investigate as an impartial party, since they want no questions in the people's minds when the new High King is installed.

So Fidelma and her husband, Brother Eadulf are once again off on a long journey to Tara, leaving their son Alchu behind in Cashel. These books are fairl
Sep 21, 2013 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#18 in the Sister Fidelma series. 7th century Ireland had a system of laws that were light years ahead of its time (the Dark Ages). Their provisions concerning women were better than any country (including the U.S.) in 2011. There were protections against domestic abuse, divorce, rape, child molestation, etc. Family bonds were emphasized along with loyalty to one's clan. Succession of clan leadership (and even kingship!) were not based upon the oldest son but rather voted in based on the vote of ...more
Apr 12, 2016 Jospeh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the second book to the many from the series of The Chalice of Blood. This brought me to the conclusion that this book would have more of a calm setting. But I was wrong The king of Ireland was killed! What!? I totally freaked out because it was never solved. Can't wait to read the other books!
Puzzle Doctor
Aug 04, 2015 Puzzle Doctor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent entry into the Sister Fidelma canon - so refreshing to read a mystery with a complex plot and proper clues. Full review at
Once again Sister Fidelma comes through. I've read all of them to this point & she never disappoints. In fact, this was one of better adventures.
Oct 10, 2014 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, great holiday/plane read with a dollop of easily digestible Irish history thrown in for good measure
Feb 22, 2009 Calli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Always such fascinating history in these books. The intricate and just law system that the Irish had roughly six hundred years after Christ is amazing. Especially in the light of more recent history (18th, 19th centuries) showing England advanced and civilized in contrast to an impoverished, backward Ireland. At the time of these mysteries, Ireland was very forward thinking, especially in areas such as women and marriage, while the Saxons were considered extremely barbaric. Tremayne does an incr ...more
Nov 18, 2010 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fidelma is asked to be the judge in what seems to be a closed case. The high king is dead. The culprit is found, after having killed himself to prevent being tortured and implicating others. But Fidelma thinks things don't add up, so she and Eadwulf go searching. Fidelma finds herself trying to find Eadwulf. On the way to the abbey, he has disappeared. Then remants of the old faith keep popping up. I continue to learn so much about the "Dark Ages" when I read these stories.
Mar 09, 2013 Katja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story/mystery itself in this book was just average, reading about Ireland in the 7th century. I had never heard that there was a nod to democracy in the Irish ruling during that time, nor about the amazing amount of equality women received. How come none of this was ever mentioned in my religious classes, or history classes, or women's studies classes! While I'm not sure I'll read more Sister Fidelma, I am inclined to check out Peter Tremayne's nonfiction.
Graham Crawford
This was my first dip into this series and i was seriously impressed with the amount of historical research. he's no Hillary mantel - and often the characters and plot seem to be there just to move us onto the the next historical point - but hey its an REALLY interesting time in history which is important for a number of modern political legal and religious institutions. and i'm a Celtic history geek so I'm definitely going back for more.
Jan 23, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it
Shelves: club-suggestions
Another mystery set in ancient Ireland, after Catholism arrived. Sister Fidelma and her husband do a beautiful job of explaining how the catholic faith was introduced into such a wonderful society. I enjoy learning about our ancestors and the respect granted to individuals. The idea of the people empowering the kings and granting the next in line succession rights, only when they were worthy is a lesson for us all.
The High King is murdered in his bed and the assassin kills himself upon discovery. As everyone involved and those who inherit are of the same clan, Fidelma and Eadulf are called in to investigate/give stamp of approval that the obvious conclusion is correct. Of course that is not the case. As usual I had all the clues and only put parts of the conclusion together. One of the better entries in the series
Jack Lourens
Aug 30, 2014 Jack Lourens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the entire series I feel at one with the characters. Sister Fidelma is strong and well conceived. Unfortunately some of the other characters are weak by comparison. Still a good read. Recommended.
Not up to the usual Sister Fidelma standards but still an enjoyable read of my favourite brehon. The High King has been murdered and religieux from the New Religion are being killed - I wish Tremayne had spent a bit more the characters from of the Old Religion - the priestess seemed quite interesting. The Woden-worshipping Saxon was a bit of anomaly - what was he doing so far away from home?
Jul 17, 2009 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorites from the series. I like these books because they take place in Ireland (which holds a soft spot in my heart), they are interesting and very clean. I also enjoy the discussions of religion in the book as a result of the tension between the new Christian faith (new to the characters in the books) and the druids.
Mar 19, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are only a few series where I can say that not a single book has ever disappointed me and this is one of them. Intricate, well formed plot, characters with depth, rich historical detail and a satifying resolution. While it is not necessary to read the series in order, I would highly recommend it.
Jan 05, 2010 Genya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book - ties up neatly at the end. However, the author intersperses ancient Irish words within the dialogue, which is fine, except that he also adds the explanation for the words into the dialogue between the characters, which is often awkward and interrupts the flow of the story.
Mar 20, 2011 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tightly plotted mystery. And I love the historical details, but once in awhile I found myself thinking that characters were explaining things to me, the reader, not to each other, since they'd already know the culture/history. Still thought it was one of his best.
Oct 08, 2010 Debby rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Despite the author's scholarly credentials, this book felt like an anachronism. Fidelma of Cashel seems like a thoroughly modern woman, not someone from A.D. 669 ancient Ireland. Also, the solution to the mystery seemed like one I've read before.
Sep 30, 2007 Leah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Tremayne is my favorite author so how could I not give his books 5 stars!! Another excellent Sister Fidelma read! I read it so quickly that I didn't even get a chance to put it on here as "currently reading" it just went straight to "read".
Aug 09, 2008 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another cracker Sister Fidelma mystery. This one takes place in Meath along the Boyne, and in some parts feels as if its a (very) brief comment on the Troubles. Interesting, as always when I finish I want more!!
I am a huge fan of the Sister Fidelma series - so, of course, I liked this book. The newest in the series has been released, but I'm waiting patiently for the library to get a copy.

Mar 01, 2009 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Agatha Christie writes Lord of the Rings without all of the magic. Smartly written murder mystery set in Ireland 800 CE with an interesting female lead character.
While I struggle with some of the Gaelic vocabulary, I still like learning about the way of life in early centuries of Ireland--fascinating.
Aug 18, 2015 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Wow! From history, it's proven who did it. But not why? And like all mystery writers, there is a final twist at the end and not revealed in history.
May 15, 2011 "Aubri"/Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid read in the Sister Fidelma realm. Looking forward to my next foray into the world of ancient Ireland with this proud dalaigh...
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Peter Berresford Ellis (born 10 March 1943) is a historian, literary biographer, and novelist who has published over 90 books to date either under his own name or his pseudonyms Peter Tremayne and Peter MacAlan. He has also published 95 short stories. His non-fiction books, articles and academic papers have made him acknowledged as an authority on Celtic history and culture. Under Peter Tremayne, ...more
More about Peter Tremayne...

Other Books in the Series

Sister Fidelma (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1)
  • Shroud for the Archbishop (Sister Fidelma, #2)
  • Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma, #3)
  • The Subtle Serpent (Sister Fidelma, #4)
  • The Spider's Web (Sister Fidelma, #5)
  • Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma, #6)
  • The Monk Who Vanished (Sister Fidelma, #7)
  • Act of Mercy (Sister Fidelma, #8)
  • Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma, #9)
  • Our Lady Of Darkness (Sister Fidelma, #10)

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