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....

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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 , this one is still likely to please those who enjoy meticulously crafted historical fantasy.


New York-born author Morgan Llywelyn is one of the world's leading popular chroniclers of Celtic culture and history. A prolific storyteller, she has written more than twenty books over the past two decades. Her fiction has received several awards and has sold more than 40 million copies, and she herself is recipient of the 1999 Exceptional Celtic Woman of the Year Award from Celtic Women International.

In the words of Judith A. Gifford of the reference publication Twentieth-Century Romance and Historical Writers, "Drawing on the history and lore that are part of her own heritage, the works of Morgan Llywelyn concern themselves with Celtic heroes and heroines, both real and mythical, bringing them and the times they inhabited to life with stunning clarity." Pauline Morgan, writing in the St. James Guide to Fantasy Writers, has explained, "[t]he majority of Morgan Llywelyn's books may be regarded as fictional biographies. Each book takes a person, often historical or legendary, and relates the story of their life. Most of the novels with a fantasy connection rely heavily on Celtic mythology, particularly that of the Irish.

Morgan Llywelyn now lives outside of Dublin, Ireland, and has become an Irish citizen.


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