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Lady of the Light

Lady of the Light

4.4 7
by Donna Gillespie

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Auriane, warrior maiden of the Chattian tribe, was sworn to remove the cursed Romans from the lands of the Rhine. Then fate intervened: she was captured, brought to Rome in chains, and trained to fight in the arenas as a gladiator - only to fall in love with a Roman aristocrat, Marcus Arrius Julianus, and become his wife.

Marcus and Auriane have lived in


Auriane, warrior maiden of the Chattian tribe, was sworn to remove the cursed Romans from the lands of the Rhine. Then fate intervened: she was captured, brought to Rome in chains, and trained to fight in the arenas as a gladiator - only to fall in love with a Roman aristocrat, Marcus Arrius Julianus, and become his wife.

Marcus and Auriane have lived in tranquility for years but, without his knowledge, Auriane is a traitor to Rome. Plundering her husband's coffers for nearly a decade, Auriane has provided her people with enough wealth to arm themselves. Now, Auriane's betrayal has been discovered, and if her duplicity reaches the Roman authorities, her life - and the lives of her family - will be forfeit.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gillespie (The Light Bearer) continues the adventures of her larger-than-life Germanic heroine, Auriane. In the first installment, Auriane, the daughter of a great "hero-chief" of her native Chattian tribe, was captured by the Romans and trained as a gladiator before being rescued by Marcus Arrius Julianus. Now, seven years later, Auriane and Marcus live in the frontier province of Germania Superior on a sprawling estate with their daughters, Avenahar and Arria Juliana. The idyllic interlude is interrupted when the Chattians, who are being threatened by another Germanic tribe, the Cheruscans, look to Auriane for their salvation. Torn between her people and her family, Auriane rejects pleas to return to personally lead the Chattian resistance, and instead steals from her husband to secretly fund the Chattians' defense efforts. When her activities are discovered, Auriane is tried for treason and sentenced to death. Compounding her troubles, Avenahar runs away and joins the Chattian resistance, an unknown assassin stalks Marcus and a political rival kidnaps Arria Juliana. This is historical fiction for adrenaline junkies: the pace is furious, the action ferocious and the suspense unrelenting. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The sequel to Gillespie's elaborate Roman epic featuring proud warrior Auriane (The Light Bearer, 1994) finds the now middle-aged woman on the verge of retirement while comfortably ensconced in her lover Marcus Julianus's estate with two daughters. It is a.d. 105, and Emperor Trajan rules over an uneasy conglomerate of nations in the Roman Empire. At the imperial border of Germany, where the ancient rivers Mosella and Rhenus meet, the Chattian chieftain's daughter Auriane has lived in romantic accord for seven years with Marcus Julianus, the revered, aristocratic Roman official and father of her nine-year-old daughter, Arria. Secretly, however, Auriane has been involved in a dangerous smuggling operation for her ragtag guerrilla tribe, the Chattians, and is torn between her love for Marcus and her desire to help her people in their ongoing insurrection against Rome. And her fearless, hot-headed 13-year-old daughter, Avenahar-whose father, a Roman slave, Auriane was involved with during a time she'd rather forget-is determined to become a warrior like her mother. When her father's fighting companion Witgern, leader of the Chattian Wolf Coats, seeks out Auriane to help them, Auriane refuses out of love for Marcus and her children, yet she is forced to flee anyway (with Avenahar quick at her side) once the Romans find out she is the fugitive smuggler. Gillespie is an engaging, credible narrator of these far-flung events, and delights especially in the details of Avenahar's womanhood ceremony, enacted deep in the ancestral Holy Wood in the presence of numerous elderwomen and sorceresses. When Avenahar bolts at the news of who her father really is, Auriane sets off to find her and withMarcus's help enlists the might of the Roman army, although our feminist warrior is fed up with this senseless violence and vows to spend her last years as a seer. Gillespie provides yet another invincible female heroine in Auriane's daughter Avenahar-look for her apotheosis in the next installment.

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.02(w) x 8.97(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Donna Gillespie lives in California where she is at work on the next book in the Light series.

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Lady of the Light 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is both beautifully composed and artfully put together. I found not a wasted sentence. There is a polished brevity to the scenes that shows a new mastery on the part of this author. The forward movement of the story is brisk and relentless and calamity lurks at the end of every chapter - I never felt a slowing of tension throughout the whole book. This family struggles to stay together as they are ringed by wolves. This story is put together like a puzzle box - every piece matters. I had to read it twice to appreciate how this was done. The reviewer who called this book a study in economy really got it right. The rich background of each scene somehow never intrudes on the action. The dialogues are inspiring - so many characters have quotable lines that I almost lost track. Here is that sort of novel it's so difficult to find these days - a solid work of adventure that is also deeply meaningful. I agree with others who pointed out that the portrayal of the powerful position of women in early Germanic society is utterly convincing and makes this book a rare gem. I ardently wanted to believe that there was, once, a great teacher called Ramis dispensing wisdom with roots reaching back into archaic times. And there is such honesty and intimacy in the portrayal of Roman life. This volume beautifully complements Light Bearer - it fills in precisely those details of Marcus' and Auriane's lives that I was so avid to know and manages this with such deft storytelling that those details always felt necessary to understanding the continuing crises of the present. This book has everything: horror, mystery, psychological tension, betrayals, horrific battles, sweet victories, tragic love. If this book doesn't become a classic there is no justice.
harstan More than 1 year ago
By 105 CE, years have passed since Germanic Chattian tribe ¿princess¿ Auriane was taken prisoner by the Romans and survived as a gladiator, before meeting and marrying Marcus Arrius Julianus (see THE LIGHT BEARER). They live a comfortable life with their two offspring Avenahar and Arria Juliana in the Germania Superior province. However over the years together, Auriane has funded the Chattian resistance movement by stealing from her wealthy husband. Now her tribesmen plead with her to return home to lead them in war against another Germanic tribe, the Cheruscans. She wants to, but decides not to however, her seditious activity is uncovered and Auriane goes on trial and is convicted for acts of treason at the same time her teenage daughter Avenahar, who learns she is not of Marcus¿ seed, joins the Chattian resistance and a political adversary abducts their other daughter. --- This is an exciting historical fiction that continues the saga of Auriane and sets up the next warrior woman generation Avenahar for a future tale. The tale is filled with action while also bringing to light life on a frontier province of the Roman Empire. However, the LADY OF THE LIGHT predominantly is owned by the larger than life heroine who must choose between the love and loyalty to her family especially her spouse or her heritage. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Donna Gillespie tells a compelling story in a magnificent way. It's refreshing to find a writer who uses the English language so beautifully. Both Lady of Light and it's predecessor are worth reading.
VerasChild More than 1 year ago
What a story! Totally enjoyed it. Twists and turns....and the writing if of excellent quality. Would recommend to anyone, the storyline is so good! Worth a try from your regular nitch. The first book is what got me hooked ("The Light Bearer"), so read this one first...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RebeccaEnzor More than 1 year ago
Along with the first in the series - The Light Bearer - Lady of the Light is my favorite book. Gillespie's descriptions put you in the ancient Roman provinces and Germanic tribes, and her characterizations are deep and substantial. The relationship between Marcus and Auriane (and all other characters in the book, no matter how minor) seem very real and very well thought-out. I've re-read this book many times, and keep it on my nightstand always.