Two boys are growing up in County Kerry, Irish Tomas Sullivan and Anglo-Irish John Burke, close friends from different tribes. This is Ireland in 1919, and their friendship will be torn apart in the War of Independence and in the Civil War that follows.
The entwined fates of the Burkes and the Sullivans are played out over three generations, in Kerry, Spain, Northumberland, Mount Athos and finally back in Kerry, where the two families meet again.
Subtle, gripping, beautifully written, ashes In The Wind is rooted in the history of Christopher Bland's own Anglo-Irish family, and brings to vivid life the people and places of 20th-century Ireland in a story of love, violence and redemption.
Head of Zeus * Saga
11 Sep 2014 * 416pp * £5.99 * 9781781859322
'A convincing and exciting page-turner'
'[A] superbly written saga of Ireland's bloody struggle... Bland's writing is lyrical and often beautifully descriptive'
Exciting, poignant and ultimately consoling debut novel... fluently readable, sturdy and elegant prose of almost superhuman fairness'
'Ambitious and engaging'
Mail on Sunday
An epic novel. A vivid testament to the power that the traditional form still has... It is extraordinarily gripping and moving'
Melvyn Bragg, New Statesman
'Captured the atmosphere of those ruined Ascendancy houses and the menacing gentleness of the Irish villages and countryside absolutely beautifully'
'A really striking first novel with a strong narrative that's actually about something'
'A compelling narrative'
The Racing Post
'An ambitious and enjoyable debut'
The Sunday Times