The light bearer by donna gillespie historical fiction at its best


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The light bearer by donna gillespie historical fiction at its best

  1. 1. The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie Historical Fiction At Its BestQuo Vadis for our times! Well, not exactly. Its been awhile since anyonetackled the Roman Empire as entertainingly as Gillespie has done in thisbook, a nearly-straight historical novel which should please readers offantasy, too. Germanic Auriane is a combination of the noble, naturalsavage, and the heroine marked from birth for great deeds. RomanMarcus Julianus is the personification of the highest civilized, republicanRoman values. Both are typical and atypical of their societies, fighting forwhat each believes to be just. Their individual struggles with the clashingRoman and Teutonic cultures are carried out in the Northern forests andin the salons and arena of Rome. Strongly- drawn characters, a settingboth familiar and exotic (we all know something of imperial Rome, but veryfew of us are well-informed about it), a whiff of New-Age ancientmysticism, and a subdued but important romance subplot drive thesweeping novel of Aurianes growth and maturity and Romes decadence.Features:* Click here to view our Condition Guide and Shipping PricesHistory tells us that in the early 1st Century AD, Roman armies withdrewfrom Germania for fear of the curses of its `barbarian priestesses. But inthe 80s AD, an army personally commanded by the Emperor Domitiansubjugated the major tribe of western Germany, the Chatti.In Donna Gillespies book `the Light Bearer, we read the story of the Chattiand one of their barbarian priestesses.Auriane, the books hero, begins her life as the daughter of the successfulGerman warlord Baldemar. Her childhood and teenaged years are hard;she is believed cursed by her cruel grandmother Hertha, loses her youngbrother in a raid by a neighboring tribe, is raped by Odhbert, the viciousson of one of Baldemars colleagues, and is finally forced betweenchoosing to kill her father, or let him suffer the ultimate disgrace of beingcaptured by the enemy. She is ostracized from her people for her choice,
  2. 2. as well as for bearing a child by the captured Roman legionary Decius, andbecomes the reluctant student of the prophetess Ramis.Auriane is recalled by her people, however, when the despotic RomanCaesar Domitian invades Germania with an army of crack legions. Shebecomes a great war-leader and guides her people to several victoriesbefore she is defeated and taken to Rome, with fellow Chattians Sunia,Coniaric, and Thorgild. She is aided by her secret admirer, thephilosophically inclined senator Marcus Arrius Julianus, but further incursthe Emperors wrath and is forced to fight in the arena as a gladiator -where she finds her first and worst enemy, the traitor Odhbert, is alsofighting! Auriane finally becomes incorporated in a plot against the evilEmperors life, and her fate, and that of Julianus, Domitian, and Odhbert allbecome intertwined.In a word, this was one of the best works of historical fiction I have everread - and historical fiction it truly is; there is nothing in this book thatcouldnt have feasibly happened just as Gillespie described it. Herknowledge of both Roman and ancient Germanic culture is very impressive- and the cultural conflict that takes place in Aurianes interactions withDecius and Julianus are believable and at times humorous. She makesthe 1st Century German tribes into a sheltered and backwards people witha cold and superstitious worldview, but never lets us forget their powerfullyhuman feelings and experiences, as well as the drama and politics thatexisted within their own clans. When reading this book I imagined thatAurianes outlook on the Roman way of life would be much like anoutsiders view of modern America.The quality of the writing itself is also very high - almost without exception,one hits parts of a novel where their interest wanes, but I never found sucha place in this book - it caused me to lose hours of sleep, and for its 1000+pages it didnt take me much more than a week to read. Whetherdescribing the battlefield clashes of the Chattian warriors and the Romanlegionaries, Aurianes varying sexual experiences with Odhbert, Decius,and Julianus, or her first time in the streets of Rome mingling with itspeople, Gillespie paints graphic pictures with words, coming through withas much clarity as any TV screen.In summary, this is an excellent read for anyone interested in the RomanEmpire and its barbarian enemies, a story of war, love, politics, and paganreligion that doubles as a 1000-page history lesson. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price: The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie - 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!