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My books are available to purchase directly from the author. When you purchase books from the author, you are giving full support directly to the creator instead of allowing middlemen to take a chunk of the profit. Please do not buy from Amazon. Thank you for your support!

Poet, Prophet, Fox: the Tale of Sinnach the Seer

Finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Fiction

Long before history began, when Ireland was ruled by poets and tribal chieftains, the prophet Sinnach was the most powerful druid in the ancient province of Mumu. But before he was a prophet, before he was a poet, he was a just boy—a boy believed to be a girl.

Unable to suppress his true nature, Sinnach fled persecution and sought refuge in the wilderness. By his nature, his talents, and his oath to the goddess Ériu, Sinnach came to find his place in a world shaped by poetry, magic, and combat.
Yet the attainment of great power is not without consequence. Sinnach is inadvertently entangled in the dangerous affairs of both men and Síd, the Faerie Folk.

His perilous travels into the Otherworld, the conflicting passions of love, and the return of an old enemy threaten to endanger his identity, peace between the tribes, and peace between the worlds.
Inspired by the great mythological epics of ancient Ireland, this is a new myth that tells very old truths about who we were, who we are, and who we might become.

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Miach & Airmed

What might the United States of America feel like at the turn of the 22nd century, when climate change and our proactive responses to it have radically changed the way that we live? What does it mean to live in a future that is decolonizing itself, in an era of healing the wounds that capitalism has left behind? 

Into this time were born two siblings, from different ancestries and from different parts of the country, each becoming respected and successful healers in the state renamed the Dawn Land. As the Third Constitutional Convention approaches, Miach and Airmed are caught in a political conflict when they use their art to heal the American Prime Minister after a traumatic assassination attempt. Succeeding where conventional medicine failed, a doctor’s jealousy sets to challenge their skills. Thus, the siblings find themselves at the center of a struggle between modernism and the re-enchanted world that has arisen to replace it. ​

Inspired by an ancient Irish myth, this is a fable of how American society might fall in love with the world again through reconnection to the Land and to our healing traditions.

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Reviews for Poet, Prophet, Fox

“… A lyrical new myth… McDonnell’s deep understanding of ancient Irish culture shines. Mythology buffs and fans of LGBTQ fantasy won’t want to miss this arresting series debut.”
                 – Publisher’s Weekly

“…McDonnell brought me back to a home I never knew I had… I often found that on days where I felt like I had no one to lean on, I could find the support I needed in the world and characters that spilled out of the page. The world was a world I was constantly wishing to go back to despite never having physically been there before, and the characters were so real and detailed I came to feel as fond of them as my very best friends. I felt as if I had known them for a lifetime.”⁠
               – Salem Thompson, Gods & Radicals Press

“There are very few novels set in ancient pagan Ireland, and even fewer authors with the knowledge and skill needed to tell a believable story with such a setting. One of the things that struck me immediately about Poet, Prophet, Fox was that M.Z. McDonnell has clearly done a lot of research into the authentic social structure of ancient Ireland… The story of Sinnach’s life is an engaging one, and the background details make the world feel like a real place where real people live… The sense of authenticity in this book is so great that it may run the risk of confusing some readers, if they don’t realize which aspects are drawn from ancient sources and which aspects are fictional. However, that’s a risk in any work of historical fiction, and this one contains far more authentic historical material than average… “⁠
              – Chris Thompson, Gods & Radicals Press

“Poet, Prophet, Fox is an engaging and entertaining story that demonstrates the strength of a person’s true nature when they refuse to be bound to an assigned identity.”
                 – Seven Days Newspaper

“In this stirring tale of myth and magic, McDonnell takes a deep dive into ancient Irish lore to provide context for what is at once a complex and contemporary story. Extensive research and investigation, together with narrative skill, combine to create a spellbinding reading experience. Tá an-taighde déanta ag an údar agus is scéal an-speagúil scríobhta aige. Thaitin sé go mór liom.”
                    – Angela Patten, In Praise of Usefulness, High Tea At A Low Table, and other books

Poet, Prophet, Fox captured me from the first page… Particularly meaningful to me was the way MZM brought all of these characters and this time period to life. I was brought up in the culture of whiteness in America, not in that of any of my ancestors. As I work to unmake my thoughtless reliance on whiteness mythologies of superiority and entitlement, I *need* stories to fill those emptied spaces. As a queer AFAB person, it’s painful to fill it with cisheterocentrism, however connected it is to my ancestry. So, this tale, this wonderful, queer, portal of a tale, it’s exactly what I need right now. Highly recommended to other readers.
Jamie, Vermont

“I absolutely loved reading this book and devoured it within a few days. There were so many vivid details that brought the story to life, and so many twists and turns that left me wanting to discover what was next. The world around me seems more magical even after putting the book down. Queer mythohistory of ancient Ireland may very well be in a genre of its own; this book is one of a kind and I hope that it will be enjoyed by all kinds of folks with all kinds of interests.” 
                – SMP, Connecticut

“Rarely does a book capture me as quickly as this one did. Such a fun read, as well as meaningful and interesting. I’ve been recommending it to everyone! This book addresses the relevant, important, and under-acknowledged topic that is the experience of transgender people, and it does so with admirable ease and eloquence. Besides that, it is just a great narrative that artistically incorporates all kinds of plant knowledge, spirituality, herbalism, and exciting adventures!”
                – Emily Tompkins, Vermont

“This fantastically told story captured me from the first paragraph. This book is for any lover of nature, adventure, or mythology. I fell in love with so many of the characters and can’t wait for the next book!”
                – Martha Waterman, Vermont

“How the Fox Gained His Sight was the very best kind of fantasy fiction, taking me out of my ordinary thoughts and into a beautiful otherworld every time I picked it up. But it isn’t any kind of escapism — through their characters, McDonnell is working through some of the most pressing issues of our time. When I put the book down and come back to earth, I not only felt refreshed, but also more clear-eyed about what we need to do to build a better world.”
              – Jason Hirsch, Ontario

“This is a well crafted, well researched book that takes place in ancient Ireland. It is a gripping story about a young trans person finding their place in this world. A world of Druids and Faerie. I loved the description of the school of Druid training. I wish it existed today.”
                – Tom Lasher, Vermont

“I just finished reading Poet, Prophet, Fox for the second time and I highly recommend to everyone. It is very readable, lovely poetic writing, an intriguing unique story and wonderful character developments throughout the book. A book for young and old alike! Couldn’t put it down!”
            – Story, Vermont

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