Druids

( 14 )

Overview

“Mine was the vast dark sky and the spaces between the stars that called out to me; mine was the promise of magic.”

So spoke the young Celt Ainvar, centuries before the enchanted age of Arthur and Merlin. An orphan taken in by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul, Ainvar possessed talents that would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, magic, and battle— talents that would make him a soul friend to the Prince ...

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Overview

“Mine was the vast dark sky and the spaces between the stars that called out to me; mine was the promise of magic.”

So spoke the young Celt Ainvar, centuries before the enchanted age of Arthur and Merlin. An orphan taken in by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul, Ainvar possessed talents that would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, magic, and battle— talents that would make him a soul friend to the Prince Vercingetorix . . . though the two youths were as different as fire and ice.

Yet Ainvar’s destiny lay with Vercingetorix, the sun-bright warrior-king. Together they traveled through bitter winters and starlit summers in Gaul, rallying the splintered Celtic tribes against the encroaching might of Julius Caesar and the soulless legions of Rome. . . .

The author of the international bestsellers Lion of Ireland and Red Branch delivers a rich, magical epic of Druid destiny during the Gallic Wars. Ainvar, "The Traveler, " possesses amazing mystical powers that will help to unify the free Gauls to fight the invading Romans. "Vividly portrays the Druid rituals."--Publishers Weekly.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Splendid and compelling.”
—ANNE MCCAFFREY

“Llywelyn imaginatively and vividly portrays the druid rituals and their close ties to nature, and authentically depicts daily life among the Celts as well.”
—Publishers Weekly

“A masterpiece . . . From page one, the fires of your imagination will burn with a white heat. . . . Beware the druids! Unless you have twenty-four hours of non-stop reading time, don’t touch it. . . . Thumbs up. Five stars. Bravo.”
—Tulsa World

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Caesar's Gallic Wars are recounted from the viewpoint of the losers in this highly readable evocation of the culture of the European Celts. Ainvar of the Carnutes, a young orphan druid-in-training, receives instruction for the ``manmaking'' rituals with prince Vercingetorix of the Arverni, forging a bond that will later unite them in an effort to free Celtic Gaul from Roman domination. As young men they travel through the Province (southern France, long settled and ruled by Rome), the warrior studying military strategy, the priest observing the society and developing arguments against assimilation, which has proved tempting to many of the free Gauls. When Vercingetorix is king of the Arverni and Ainvar the chief druid, the two strive to unify the intensely individualistic, frequently warring and suspicious tribes, with little initial success. But when Gaius Julius Caesar, pro-consul of Rome, seizes on the migration of the Helvetii to escape German depredation as an excuse to take action against Free Gaul and the Germans, the other kings place themselves under the leadership of Vercingetorix, who mounts a swiftly moving campaign against enormous odds. Llywelyn ( Red Branch ) imaginatively and vividly portrays the druid rituals and their close ties to nature, and authentically depicts daily life among the Celts as well. (Mar.)
Library Journal
As every Latin student knows, ancient Gaul was divided into three parts, all conquered by Caesar. Llywelyn tells of that conquest from the viewpoint of the defeated Gauls. Her story is told by the Druid Ainvar, whose``soul friend'' Vercingetorix leads the Gauls in their doomed defense of freedom. Llywelyn is most successful in her evocation of Celtic culture and Druidic beliefs, based on harmony with nature. Once Caesar and Vercingetorix join battle, however, the story bogs down in endless marches, raids, and battles. The characters serve the needs of the plot admirably but are never fully fleshed out and compelling in their own right. Less successful than Llywelyn's earlier novels (e.g. Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas , LJ 3/1/86), this one is still likely to please those who enjoy meticulously crafted historical fiction.-- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N.Y.
School Library Journal
YA-- Epic historical fiction. Ainvar, Chief Druid of the Sacred Grove in Gaul, narrates the story of young chief Vercingetorix's attempt to unify the Celts and defeat Julius Caesar and the invading Romans. Llywelyn explores the Druids' relationship to nature, juxtaposing it with the chaos of battle, the regimentation of the Roman army, and the inevitable destruction of Vercingetorix and his men. In addition to the rousing fight to the finish and the mystique of symbolic Druid rites, period artifacts such as a brooch to hold Ainvar's cape, a comb of bronze, and an amulet of gold are interwoven with daily activities. YAs who are fascinated with this era will devour this novel.-- Pam Spencer, Jefferson Sci-Tech, Alexandria, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804108447
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 404
  • Sales rank: 287,247
  • Product dimensions: 4.19 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

Morgan Llywelyn has been heralded as the high priestess of Celtic legend. She is the author of many novels, including the international bestseller Lion of Ireland, 1949: A Novel of the Irish Free State, The Wind from Hastings, and Red Branch. She lives in Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2002

    Splendid and Compelling! A Masterpice!

    A magnificant retelling of history! A perfect image of Celtic Gaul! Never has so sirring a book fall into my hands as DRUIDS. A great perception on ritual, sacrifice, and above all: LIFE.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2011

    This is a "page turner." I didn't want to put it down.

    I enjoyed every adventure, it has suspence and kept my attention. Lots of research was done and the book is authentic. The characters are most interesting. Looking forward to the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    Marvelous Piece of Fiction. Amazing View of History

    As was stated above, any Latin student could tell you that 'all of Gaul was divided into three parts' and could tell you in detail Gaius' truimphs in those three parts. But only from his biased Roman viewpoint. It is more then refreshing to see it from the other side. The Romans robbed so many lands of their beliefs and heritages yet they have ridden through history as a great, glorious people. Glorious in terror. Glorious in rape of culture. This book can be an eye opening experience, or simply another way to varify your views of the Roman Empire and Julius Caesar. A great man? Yes. A man to be admired. Most definitely not. Et tu Brute? Well thank the Gods for Brutus!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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