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HFC Editorial Review of "Uprising" by C. R. Dempsey

Author Bio

C R Dempsey is the author of ‘How to be a saint’ and ‘Bad Blood’. CR has always had a deep interest in history and this has heavily influenced his fiction writing, but he likes to have a sense of humour about it. C R spends lots of time working on his books, mainly in the twilight hours of the morning.

C R Dempsey lives in London with his wife and cat. He was born in Dublin but has lived most of his adult life in London.

Please click on the link below to join the mailing list where you can keep up with all C R Dempsey news.

C R can be found at:,,, Twitter: @dempsey_cr

Book Blurb

One man fights to destroy his family, another to save his.

Only one can be victorious.

Ireland 1594. Eunan’s village is destroyed, the rebellion appears over. As the forces of the English crown pillage the countryside, the rebel leader goes into hiding. Eunan’s past has come back to haunt him.

Eunan goes forth to seek the rebel leaders. He must take control of his family lands and turn them from supporting the crown to declaring for the rebellion.

All that stands before him are the forces of the crown, the deserted ranks of the rebellion and the minor matter of his own family.

Meanwhile, Seamus faces a dilemma. Consequences from the past loom large. He must save his own family, but to do so could stop the rebellion in its tracks.

Who will succeed if the other needs to fail?

‘Uprising’ is the next instalment of the gripping ‘Exiles’ historical Irish family saga.

If you love fast-paced action and adventure orientated historical fiction, then you will love this book.

Buy ‘Uprising’ to discover this exciting new series today.

Editorial Review

Luck deserted me long ago if she was ever acquainted with me!”

One man fights to destroy his family, another to save his. Only one can be victorious.

This is the continuing saga of Eunan Maguire and the land battles of Ireland in the mid-1500s as they fight the English who are flooding their lands in the name of Queen Elizabeth I of England. As already noted in the previous book, Bad Blood, Eunan’s village lay in ruins and the rebellion appears to be over. While the English continue to pillage the countryside, destroying village after village and killing hundreds, the rebel leader, Hugh Maguire, and his men go into hiding. Eunan’s past and his insecurities come back to haunt him and he goes forth to seek out the rebel leaders in an attempt to refire the doused rebellion. He is determined to take control of his family’s lands and turn them from supporting Queen Elizabeth to supporting the rebellion once more.

I highly recommend you reading “Bad Blood” first in this series so you can get a full sense of what is happening in the time period and you can get an overall view of Eunan’s life, as well as his companion, Seamus.

Seamus has a different dilemma in this book as he is captured with threats to his family looming over his head. To save them, his actions might stop the rebellion in its tracks. But the English, who hold no quarter against prisoners, especially these Irish rebels, tend to make good on their threats so Seamus is forced to a task, knowing if he fails, his wife and the families of his Irish kinsmen will be murdered.

Once tenuously bonded to one another, Eunan and Seamus now find themselves in two precarious situations – and the resonating issue of who will succeed comes to the fore. If Eunan succeeds, then Seamus fails and his family destroyed; if Seamus succeeds, then the rebellion is squashed once and for all, and Eunan’s ultimate desire to rebuild his village and support his clan would fail.

As in the first book, the author’s love for the era and the immense amount of research done is astounding as the book feels very authentic and true to the time period. I must insert a disclaimer here, noting that some of the action, the fighting, is quite brutal and at times, I found myself rushing through the imagery just to get on with the story. While the author presents this very authentically, very “Braveheart’-like, for the most part I tend to shy away from such thick bloody scenes and flip past pages in order to get back to the heart of the story. For fans of Game of Thrones, or Bernard Cornwell, this might be a good fit for you.

Overall, though, this is another action packed adventure filled with rich historical information about Ireland in the 16th century embedded in the storyline.

Eunan emerges a bit more than in the first novel and his quivering nature is revealed in this passage which shows that even the other characters in the book recognize this feature of Eunan’s personality - “Desmond knew him too well. A quivering boy in the body of a man, trying to steady himself. A boy who thought the path to adulthood was to have an axe in his hand and the threshold when he found someone to use it on, a boy crying out for guidance, a sense of belonging and some unconditional love.”

But Eunan finds his voice and the courage, shouting “Let us vanquish our enemies with the CRY OF THE MAGUIRE!”

“That’s what war and being a Gallowglass is all about, splitting some man’s head open in a wet and windy bog so that the person giving the orders can gain revenge, feel more important, or gain more cows.”

And this statement is this series in a nutshell – the back and forth fighting between clan leaders and the leaders of two countries as they seek revenge, feel more important, and gain more cows; all the while the common soldiers are used as chattel, or expendable pawns, as the leaders make treaties behind their backs and selling out others to make alliances and gain more land. As I stated before in my previous review of “Bad Blood”, this is very ‘Braveheart’ kind of action, as you are reminded of the betrayal of Robert the Bruce which led to the arrest and execution of William Wallace to ensure his place on the throne of Scotland.

I found this book, along with its companion, a harsh read, yet a refreshing new eye on the era since most of the Tudor books focus on Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth. The pure essence of the book is Irish, with authentic dialogue and depictions of the stark realities of living in this time period, and filtering over into the subsequent reign of King James as he recalls most of the Scottish mercenaries from Ireland as his show of support for Queen Elizabeth in an attempt to garner favour as her supposed heir. This part two of the series captures more of the story of Eunan than the first, at least to me, while the history-laden narrative laced in a more balanced way; and for anyone who loves GOT stories, well this has it all – including a bloody battle at a wedding ceremony.

Along with the first book in the series, which I recommend you read first, this book “Uprising” is awarded four stars from The Historical Fiction Company.

Dee Marley



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