At last, the haunting sequel to Morgan Llywelyn's phenomenal epic Druids. The Greener Shore unfurls the story of a brave and mystical people who learned to manipulate the forces of nature-in order to control magic. As druids in Celtic Gaul, they had been the harmonious soul of their tribe, the Carnutes. But when Julius Caesar and his army invaded and conquered their homeland, the great druid Ainvar and his clan fled for their lives, taking with them the ancient knowledge. Guided by a strange destiny, they found themselves drawn to a green island at the very rim of the world: Hibernia, home of the Gael. Here they would depend for survival on an embittered man who had lost his faith-and a remarkable woman who would find hers. Burning with hatred of the Romans, Ainvar can no longer command his magic. But his mantle falls on unexpected shoulders. In a beautiful, war-torn land of numerous kingdoms and belligerent tribes, Ainvar and his beloved wife, Briga, struggle toward an uncertain future.
Devotees of Llywelyn's glorious Celtic fantasy, Druids (1991), will welcome this sequel, a beautifully told adventure story that avoids the usual adventure story cliches. After Julius Caesar triumphs over Gaul, the druid Ainvar and his three wives sail west, steering clear of Roman-occupied Albion, to the brilliant green island of Hibernia (so-called because a Roman expedition mistakenly assumed "winter lasted all year" there). Soon after landing, Ainvar encounters the Tuatha De Danann, the diminutive original folk of Eriu (the island's Gaelic name). The Tuatha De Danann, who usually are invisible to people, ask only to be remembered. Ainvar is distraught when they no longer appear, but is comforted to learn from a bewildered warrior that the Tuatha De Danann once unexpectedly revealed themselves to him. Later, Ainvar briefly inhabits a wolf's body and hears the piercing scream of the death-predicting banshee. Throughout, Ainvar's "senior wife," Briga, provides both wisdom and support. Not just fantasy fans will appreciate this gentle, quietly dignified tale. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Celtic pride!
Posted June 11, 2009 by Rowan73 , Akron, OHGreat book for those with an interest in Celtic historical fiction.
June 25, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Greener Shore by Morgan Llywelyn
THE SUN IS THE SYMBOL OF THE GREAT FIRE OF LIFE, CREATED BY the Source of All Being. I remind myself of this whenever the glare of the sun makes me squint.
I, Ainvar, salute the Source of All Being.
The Source of All Troubles is Caesar the Reprehensible. I should have recognized that from the beginning. I keep going over and over events as if by tumbling them in my hands like pebbles I can change their shape. I cannot. Even a chief druid cannot redraw the Pattern.
But I can see it. Oh yes. Looking back, I can see it so clearly. At some crucial point the tribes of Gaul must have disrupted the harmony of the Pattern, thus precipitating catastrophe. Which means that at some crucial point the druids failed.
At first the Gauls had welcomed traders from the tribes of Latium as they had welcomed the Hellenes before them. The Latin language was not beautiful to the Celtic ear, being hard and abrupt rather than musical, but we shared the vocabulary of trade: a nod, a grunt, a slap of hands. In this manner arrangements were concluded and goods exchanged. Gaul offered salt and iron and grain; the speakers of Latin brought wine and olive oil and luxury goods from the Mid-Earth Sea. Traders from each side were able to provide enough to satisfy the other side. Everyone benefited. For a while.
Then one tribe, the Romans, proved they did not understand the concept of Enough; they wanted More. Their traders brought warriors to stand at their shoulders while they made unreasonable demands. The Gauls swatted the more importunate traders away as one swats a fly. The Romans kept coming. Tendrils of a poisonous weed, they extended their reach until at last we realized their true and deadly intent. Led by someone called Gaius Julius Caesar a figure of walking excrement that needs three names to make it feel like a man the Romans meant to steal everything from us, even the land on which we lived. Our sacred Mother Earth.
If I close my eyes I can still see the glorious victories we won; the desperate battles we lost. And then the final battle. And the subsequent destruction of all we held dear.
The destruction of the Great Grove of the Carnutes blew us away like chaff on the wind.
I chew on my memories as if they were food, but receive no nourishment from them. When I dream, I dream of the lost skies of Gaul.