Nineteenth century Ireland. In the depths of Winter, blacksmith Gavin O'Malley faces a bitter choice. Will he lose his heart to the lovely fae Aislinn, or give his soul to save her?
Set in the year 1898 in the fictional Irish town of Killbanning, IRON tells the story of two people from different worlds, a faery princess and a mortal blacksmith, who are forced together by circumstances and unexpectedly find comfort and salvation in each other's arms. Staying true to the tradition of Irish literature, this is a somewhat tragic tale of vows fated to be broken, destinies that cannot be denied, and a doomed love that will somehow manage to overcome all these obstacles and transcend time.
County Clare, Ireland
Anno Domeni, 1898
Gavin O'Malley was a blacksmith; as was his father and his father before him. His forge stood just outisde the small sea-side village of Killbanning. For three generations, there was not to be found, anywhere in the region, a horse that did not owe its shoes, nor a wagon its wheels to the O'Malleys. In fact, you would have been hard pressed to find so much as a single nail anywhere in that part of the county that had not come from the Killbanning forge.
"Tis honest work," Gavin would say, when asked about his craft and, being as he was a man of few words, he seldom said more.
A blacksmith's life is rarely a long one. Gavin's father and grandfather had both died from the black lung. Gavin knew this, of course, and accepted it as his fate. There were some who said he wished for it, though they were careful not to say it loudly or anywhere within his hearing as the smith had the muscles that went with his profession and a temper as hot as the fire he tended.
In his youth, he'd been of a far different temperament. He'd often laughed and more than often smiled and seldom it was, indeed, that you'd have found him without a song on his lips. But neither smile nor song had graced those lips in many a year, not since the love of his life, his wife Mairead, had died giving birth to their first child; a boy, who'd died along with her.
After a decent interval had passed, the old mothers of the village, having judged that the worst of the blacksmith's grief had likely subsided, decided he must surely be wanting to wed again. And then, many a pretty miss or a bright lass - even a handsome young widow or two - longing for a husband to care for and a hearth and home of their own to tend to, was trotted round to visit him. The hope, of course, was that one of them might catch his eye and a marriage result. But O'Malley showed no interest in any of them. If anything, he seemed to grow more sullen and less cordial with each visit that was paid him; and so he was eventually given up as a hopeless cause and a confirmed bachelor and allowed to go his own way and peace be with him, the poor man.
But it was often said of him, afterwards, that when Gavin O'Malley had laid his young wife and child to rest in the churchyard that cold, winter's day, surely he must have laid his own heart in the ground right along with them.