HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Druids by Morgan Llywelyn
Loading...

Druids (original 1991; edition 1992)

by Morgan Llywelyn (Author)

Series: Druids - Llywelyn (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9591217,194 (3.82)11
“Mine was the vast dark sky and the spaces between the stars that called out to me; mine was the promise of magic.” So spoke the young Celt Ainvar, centuries before the enchanted age of Arthur and Merlin. An orphan taken in by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul, Ainvar possessed talents that would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, magic, and battle— talents that would make him a soul friend to the Prince Vercingetorix . . . though the two youths were as different as fire and ice. Yet Ainvar’s destiny lay with Vercingetorix, the sun-bright warrior-king. Together they traveled through bitter winters and starlit summers in Gaul, rallying the splintered Celtic tribes against the encroaching might of Julius Caesar and the soulless legions of Rome. . . .… (more)
Member:summerloud
Title:Druids
Authors:Morgan Llywelyn (Author)
Info:Del Rey (1992), 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:None

Work Information

Druids by Morgan Llywelyn (1991)

Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 11 mentions

English (11)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Druids is an historical fiction book about the Roman conquest of Gaul (modern France) from the point of view of the Gauls. Specifically from the POV of a druid named Ainvar, who shrugs off the expectation he’ll become a warrior like his father and brothers, and instead embraces his talent for magic. Llewelyn toes the line between full fantasy magic and magical realism. It’s unclear whether actual magic is happening, or if it’s just Ainvar’s interpretation of natural events and feelings, and I love this.

This book very nearly brought me to tears, a rare feat as I am not a crier (except when the anxiety hits), and was one of the first books to make me seriously emotional. The characters just feel like such real people and when - spoiler alert - one of my favorites met a tragic end, it was like losing a friend.

I’m sure the author has taken some creative liberties with history and the handful of actual historical figures that make appearances, but it’s clear she’s done her research and there’s no obvious anachronisms that stood out to my casual history buff knowledge. ( )
  Erandir | Feb 1, 2021 |
People. Trees. One. History. Atmospheric magic, prancing around. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I would have liked to have had a pronunciation guide like the one in the sequel. I sort of read out loud silently--I need to hear the names and unfamiliar words in my head, and I kept stumbling over the unfamiliar sounds of the Gallic/Gaelic names. I also have a hard time following troop movements and battles, so between that and the names, a large part of the send half of the book was lost on me.

It was a welcome change to read a positive view of the peoples that Caesar defeated. Western civilization would have taken a different turn entirely if the Nature-loving, nature-integrated Celts had defeated the mechanistic, war-loving Romans.
  smfoster | Oct 26, 2009 |
The druid Ainvar tells of Celtic life in Gaul (modern-day France), and of the coming of Julius Caesar and the Romans. The Celts worshipped under the stars and bore a healthy respect for nature. The Romans, in contrast, were obsessed with war, rigidity, and man-made structures. Ainvar's friend Vercingetorix is a Celtic prince determined to stave off the Roman invasion. The story is a sad tale of the conquering of Gaul, for Vercingetorix, of course, ends up a prisoner of Caesar's and is eventually paraded as a spectacle through Rome before being executed. ( )
  molliewatts | Jul 30, 2009 |
I had my doubts about this book, as I am with most books whose summary describes the two main characters as “different as fire and ice”, much less when one is a druid and the other is Vercingetorix. The prose is stilted at first glance without serving much purpose, but when it turns out that the book is narrated by the druid, Ainvar, it fits a little better. Still, it’s something that is never really gotten used to by the end of the book.

Half a point was deducted for both the stiff prose as well as for some questionable imagery—in one scene in particular, a bit of “sex magic” is being performed, and various bits of genitalia are singing and dancing in—presumably—a metaphorical sense. Rather than something joyous and extraordinary, it made me think of a teeny musical revue being put on and made me laugh more than it ought to. Similar things to that were scattered throughout the book, but that was the most outstanding.

Though I originally found this book in the fantasy section of whichever bookstore from which I acquired it, it seemed well-researched enough to be a novel more along the lines of historical fiction; more reliable, perhaps, than Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle books, which deal with Europe and what will become America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Vercingetorix’s exploits were told in loving detail by Ainvar the druid, who met him when they were both adolescents in a Gaulish tribe. The passage of time is very fluid throughout the book, in such a way that one would realize that there are significant chunks of time missing, but they’re neither missed nor obvious in their omission. Caesar’s name was given with its proper Latin pronunciation [YOO-lee-us KI-sar], which lends credit to Llywelyn’s research.

The plot, which follows Vercingetorix from the point of manhood to his eventual surrender to Caesar, is quite compelling in a story format, and is possibly more intriguing because it’s told from a standpoint other than his own, or of someone in his army. I found it absolutely fascinating to read regardless of whether or not it was well-researched. ( )
1 vote raistlinsshadow | Dec 24, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Morgan Llywelynprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stimpson, TomCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Belongs to Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
They [druids] desire to inculcate as their leading tenet, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from these present to those beyond. --Gaius Julius Caesar
The druids, men of loftier intellect, and united to the intimate fraternity of the followers of Pythagoras, were absorbed by investigations into matters secret and sublime, and, unmindful of human affairs, declared souls to be immortal. --Ammianus Marcellinus
The druids joined to the study of nature that of moral philosophy, asserting that the human soul is indestructible. --Strabo
Dedication
For the druids.
You know who you are.
First words
He had been dead a long time. (Prologue)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

“Mine was the vast dark sky and the spaces between the stars that called out to me; mine was the promise of magic.” So spoke the young Celt Ainvar, centuries before the enchanted age of Arthur and Merlin. An orphan taken in by the chief druid of the Carnutes in Gaul, Ainvar possessed talents that would lead him to master the druid mysteries of thought, healing, magic, and battle— talents that would make him a soul friend to the Prince Vercingetorix . . . though the two youths were as different as fire and ice. Yet Ainvar’s destiny lay with Vercingetorix, the sun-bright warrior-king. Together they traveled through bitter winters and starlit summers in Gaul, rallying the splintered Celtic tribes against the encroaching might of Julius Caesar and the soulless legions of Rome. . . .

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.82)
0.5
1 3
1.5 2
2 9
2.5 2
3 35
3.5 7
4 53
4.5 4
5 43

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 166,291,187 books! | Top bar: Always visible