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by Liz Gavin
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When ancient gods ruled and Druids kept Faith alive, the Celts thrived as a democratic, matriarchal society. Then savage Roman soldiers swept across Europe, killing and enslaving. The Celts did not succumb without a fight. Their Old Ways survived centuries of ruthless domain until another menace loomed: a tortured god worshiped in cold stone buildings. The sacred shores of Avalon began to drift away, the mists threatened to hide the island from mortal eyes forever.
Against the bleak backdrop of war, the gorgeous Scottish Highlands stood tall, sheltering its inhabitants from greedy invaders. Yet the reach of the eagle banners was long and the highlanders turned to the Goddess for protection. However, the sacred groves felt silent and grim as Avalon faded away. Once sad, pealing bells began to sound strangely comforting while the high walls of monasteries offered an alluring barrier from violence. Caught in the middle of this centuries-old war, a young High Priestess might be Avalon’s last chance.
Wise beyond her years and powerful like no other Priestess in her lifetime, Rowen had served the Goddess faithfully, forsaking her family and the company of her soulmate. When the Lady of the Lake asks for another sacrifice, it might be one too many for her scarred heart. How could she obey the Goddess without betraying Caddaric? Could she trust Eochaid, who embodied everything she despised and hated? Would she be able to fulfill her duties without losing her soul?
Caddaric had been Rowen’s companion in countless lives; but, now, they existed in different realms. Beautiful Rowen lived in the mortal world while sweet Caddaric remained in the sacred isle of Avalon, watching over her. Could he step aside to allow another man – a flesh and blood man – to become her protector?
Eochaid had sworn to protect the Old Ways. The rude warrior never quite understood his faith yet his loyal heart belonged to the Goddess. A gorgeous, fiery High Priestess was not in his plans. He would risk his life to protect Rowen; but, would the Goddess safeguard his heart? Could he defend the bewitching maiden from himself?
When stakes were so high that a simple mistake could cost their very world, a priestess, a Druid, and a warrior must learn to trust one another and the mysterious ways of the Goddess. Their success would save Avalon. Their failure would tear the island from the human realm forever, condemning it to oblivion.
Failure was not an option.
This is a standalone, historical/paranormal romance. Its mature themes - violence, religious war, and pagan rituals - might not be appropriate for audiences under 18.
I very much enjoyed reading this book. I think the author spins a great story that reads easily and is very creative.
The main heroine is well thought out. As a priestess of Avalon, she is a strong character in a time when Catholicism stamped out other religions. Historically in many cultures, women were not held in such high esteem, but many pagan cultures did. This makes a character from that time far more interesting in my opinion.
It was interesting how the author took you back to understanding what it would be like for a priestess of that time. How she had to stand strong for her village and not show her weaknesses. But, you as the reader get an insight to those weaknesses as if you are a trusted friend.
There was something that did bother me about the book, and that was the use of every day slang that the characters used in their speech. Because the book was written as a historical, paranormal romance, I was expecting more of an ancient sounding speech. This was a little disconcerting for me at first, but, the story line was so well done, it didn’t distract me for long.