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Druids
     

Druids

4.4 14
by Morgan Llywelyn
 

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An exciting reimagining of the ancient Celts, young Ainvar is an orphan taken by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul. Ainvar's talents would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, and magic. And with his friend the warrior king, they would attempt to rally the splintered Celtic tribes against the encroaching might of Rome....

Overview

An exciting reimagining of the ancient Celts, young Ainvar is an orphan taken by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul. Ainvar's talents would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, and magic. And with his friend the warrior king, they would attempt to rally the splintered Celtic tribes against the encroaching might of Rome....

Editorial Reviews

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
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780688088194
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/01/1991
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
416

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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Druids 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
JSalmon More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
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