Winter, 670 AD. King Colgú has invited the leading nobles and chieftains of his kingdom to a feast day. Fidelma and her companion Eadulf are finally home for an extended stay, and have promised their son, Alchú, that they'll be able to spend some time together after months of being on the road, investigating crimes. Fidelma and Eadulf are enjoying the feast when it is interrupted by the entrance of a religieux, who claims he has an important message for the King. He approaches the throne and shouts ‘Remember Liamuin!' and then stabs King Colgú. The assassin is slain, but does enough damage to take out Colgú's bodyguard, and to put the king himself on the verge of death.
As King Colgú lies in recovery, Fidelma, Eadulf, and bodyguard Gormán are tasked with discovering who is behind the assassination attempt, and who Liamuin is. They must journey into the territory of their arch-enemies, the Uí Fidgente, to uncover the secrets in the Abbey of Mungairit, and then venture into the threatening mountain territory ruled by a godless tyrant. Danger and violence are their constant companions until the final devastating revelation.
Atonement of Blood is a mystery of Ancient Ireland from Peter Tremayne.
Unimpressive sleuthing and minimal suspense mar Tremayne's 24th book set in seventh-century Ireland (after 2013's The Seventh Trumpet). Colg , King of Muman, has invited his sister, Fidelma, now an advocate in the law courts, and Eadulf, her husband, to a feast in honor of the late Colm n mac L nine, "a great poet and churchman." During the festivities, a man in religious garb attacks the monarch, crying "Remember Liamuin!" The assailant manages to stab Colg before being killed himself. The only clue to his identity and motive is his cryptic exclamation. Fidelma undertakes to determine the reason for the attempt on Colg 's life, even as her seriously injured brother lies at death's door. Having characters define Irish words in dialogue (e.g., "When you married our cousin you were accepted as a deorad D , an exile of God, with an honour price in your own right") may strike some readers as clunky.