Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
390 Pages
Reviewed on 12/05/2021
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Author Biography

Kevin has been an educator and writer his entire life. He lives in St. Charles, MO with his wife, who is also an educator, and daughter. He has a degree in American History from Truman State University and a Masters in Education. When not reading or writing, Kevin enjoys cycling, hiking, and board games. Intercession is his first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite

The sun refused to rise on the morning following Aoife’s birth. Eleven years later, everyone still calls her a cursed child as she leaves a trail of misfortune in her wake. Friendless and alone, she is desperate to break her curse at any cost. In a parallel storyline, we find a former activist masquerading as Brother Declan in the nearby church. However, when the Irish rebellion against British rule gathers steam again, his brothers from the activist group seek him once more. When Aoife meets Brother Declan, it becomes a turning point for both. How will the steadily growing unrest alter their lives? Can Aoife unravel the strange events surrounding her birth? Find out in Kevin J Haar’s debut novel, Intercession.

Set on an Irish island and steeped in mythology, this is one of the best novels I have read. This multidimensional story deftly explored diverse aspects of Irish history and culture. Haar presented seemingly contrasting themes and molded them together into a complete tale. In this thrilling combination of historical fiction and fantasy, scientific knowledge met with age-old superstitions while Christian dogma met with Irish folklore. Mystery, action, and adventures found their way into the storyline, further adding charm. The novel had a distinct political backdrop, describing rebellious uprisings based on opposing religious views. It served as a means to highlight the conflicts between the characters. The novel could also be categorized as a coming-of-age story, as Aoife became politically aware and started questioning everything. Her headstrong and defiant character helped her explore the boundary between the natural and the supernatural. I would wholeheartedly recommend Intercession to anyone looking for an intriguing and fulfilling read.

Delene Vrey

Intercession by Kevin J Haar is an excellent work of historical fiction. The story begins with the birth of Aoife, the daughter of Niall and Izette. As the sun does not come through on the morrow, the child is called cursed by the superstitious residents of Innis Aer, a small Irish island housing a nunnery and priory. Brother Declan hides a shameful secret that could be the end of his peaceful existence at the priory. Almost twelve years later, the fates of Brother Declan and Aoife come together. They become embroiled in a mystery that threatens Aoife’s life with her father at their Inn, as well as bringing Brother Declan to a crucial crossroads in his life. As the political strife of the outside world closes in on this small island, Aoife stands on the brink of womanhood and will do whatever it takes to be rid of the curse everyone says she is carrying. She searches for the witch that interceded at her birth. This search leads her to Niahm, believed by many to be a witch. As Aoife and Niall both intercede for others, they save themselves and some lost souls.

Intercession is such an apt title for this novel by Kevin J Haar. He weaves a story based on actual events and seamlessly blends the theme of intercession into the novel. Intercession at Aoife’s birth causes the belief that a curse rests on the girl, a notion that will affect her actions through her young life. The Saints intercede when they visit her in clear visions, guiding her on her path. Other themes that stand out are prejudice, corruption, patriotism and the ideology of freedom. The story keeps your interest until the end. Try as you might, you cannot accurately speculate on the outcome of the story. Although I do not usually read historical fiction, I enjoyed reading this book; something about Irish history and their passion resonates with me.

Jennifer Ibiam

Intercession by Kevin Haar starts on the eve of the winter solstice when Aoife was born on the remote island called Inis Aer in Ireland. She was near death, and the sun refused to shine. Niamh, a midwife who was an alleged witch, was present at Aoife’s birth, making her a cursed child. Enter the war between Ireland (Catholics), Britain, and the cry for freedom. Henry Declan, a ranking member in the League of Saint Michael, lost his brother while struggling for an emancipated Ireland. He hid at the Priory and devoted his life to God’s service. However, a fresh resistance against the Royal Army saw Aoife as a naïve link between Henry and his brothers-in-arms. This situation sucked Aoife and her father into dangerous politics, which heralded a catastrophe that may save or sink them.

Intercession by Kevin Haar is a historical novel that let me into the beautiful country of Ireland. I read about the war fought between 1919 and 1921 and was glad to find a story that spun around it. The plot and storyline were exceptional, while the character development was superb. I read how planted beliefs and superstitions could make people see the best or worst of themselves. Coincidences and random happenings become the person’s fault because of their mental programming. Also, the cold war between doctors and nurses/midwives and the struggle for superiority still exists. Aoife was a powerful character that made me catch my breath many times. She was so daring and adventurous. I loved Mrs. Plinkett, Rafferty, Niall, and Declan’s sweet personality, and I was glad that Lamorna found happiness. Kevin is a talented storyteller, and I’d love to read more.