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Death Speaker: A Novel of Ancient Gaul

Death Speaker: A Novel of Ancient Gaul [Kindle Edition]

Vickey Kall
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The horns screamed for battle, and from all sides, men responded.

On a day two thousand years ago, in a country we now call France, horses rear, throwing centurions off their backs. The Romans crouch and run away like scared dogs, their red cloaks flailing behind them. Shrieking to match the horns, tribal warriors burst from the bushes to give chase. Emyn stands in a river that seems shallow and still as death--then the warriors run past, holding their swords and axes high.

The screams and horns stopped. Emyn looked around. The sun shone on the curious faces of the king, his druids, and his guests. As they had since she was a child, the ghosts had transported her soul to someplace far away.
"A battle begins," she announced.

Emyn, a Celtic peasant, possesses a gift at once terrifying and rare: she hears the dead. Spirits warn her of Caesar and his legions who rampage through her homeland seeking power, gold, and slaves. But the ghosts can only talk, and they don't always tell the truth. In the end, Emyn must rely on her own stubborn courage to meet her destiny.

About the Author

Vickey Kall is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles, California. Her articles on history and pop culture have appeared in magazines, blogs, encyclopedias, and books.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2830 KB
  • Print Length: 460 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0985397306
  • Publisher: Kalambakal Press (25 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008SB2TQG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #799,897 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkably good book 18 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love historical fiction but more the hack and slash kind. Thought I would give this one a go because it is a big book and I like big books. I fully expected to ditch it after a few pages. How wrong could I be? I was enthralled with the whole concept of a Death Speaker and the day to day detail of the lives of ordinary people. As I delved deeper I kept checking how much of it was left to read because I was dreading the day when it ended. This book is a great work and must be read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, but dark 30 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I came away with very mixed feelings about Death Speaker, by Vickey Kall. I do think that it has been well researched, and that Vickey has captured something authentic of the mood of the time. But for some reason the book did not grab me, and there were times I struggled a little to persevere reading to the end. On balance, for me, four stars to recognise the effort and care that has gone into it. The lack of enjoyment is a personal thing, and other readers may well feel very differently.

Briefly, Death Speaker follows the life of a Celtic woman in northern Europe (mostly modern France, basically) at the time when Julius Caesar and his armies are busily subduing the territory. As such, it is a sort of mirror of Caesar's own military records (The Gallic Wars), attempting to explore the situation from the eyes of the defeated party, not the victorious one.

Vickey captures well the anxiety and shock of the situation, in which accepted norms of society are being overturned, methods of war are changing, and a rich and complex way of life is being systematically destroyed. This is captured on a personal level as well as social and religious. The sense of annihilation is pursued as thoroughly in the book as, one suspects, Caesar's armies did on the ground.

Indeed, part of my personal reservations about the story is that there is very little on the horizon that is hopeful. Certainly tragedy is a part of life, and one that is easily ignored in favour of happy times. But in Death Speaker, the happy times are all in the past, and are all too short-lived. I'm not sure about the Gallic situation but here in England the impact of the Romans was more nuanced - some tribes fought fiercely and others negotiated and thrived.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death Speaker 22 Dec 2012
By History Lover - Published on
I learned to love historical fiction as a child reading novels by Rosemary Sutcliffe. The idea that you could connect with people of past times and know what they thought and felt fascinated me. Since then I have read some bad novels of this type, full of anachromisms. In fact, I catch myself looking for them quite critically, and soon lose interest in the book if I realize the author failed to capture the mood of an earlier time. Death Speaker had me from the first page. Caught up in the gripping story and interesting insight into Celtic culture, my obsession dissolved. The ghosts are not scary (Bergman's film "Fanny and Alexandra" kept coming to mind) they are just people with their own flaws and their own agendas. The real villains in this book are alive - the Romans, the self-serving Celtic leaders, and the evil thugs who...oh, wait, spoiler alert! You'll have to read the book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 30 Dec 2012
By Pacifick8 - Published on
Great book from beginning to end. This book grabbed my attention from the first page. The characters were very well developed, and historical references were very accurate. This book was a joy to read, and brought the historical past to life. I highly recommend it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful and Epic Adventure! 16 Aug 2012
By Daniel Wheeler - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Death Speaker is a wonderful and epic adventure which I did not want to return from! It's attention to historical detail, coupled with it's fascinating esoteric themes kept me enthralled and enchanted as the pages, and the world of heroes, kings, warriors, princes, maidens, gods, and spirits, unfolded before me! It takes place during a turbulent period in the history of mankind, as Ancient Rome spread its influence, as well as devastation, throughout the lands to the north. Yet, it is filled with enchantment, mystery, and romance. I was immediately able to identify with the main character Emyn and felt a kinship with her during her life journey. Author Vickey Kall has painted a vibrant tapestry and delivered the true essence of the period, as she displays her literary genius. Daniel
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Literary Treat 15 Aug 2012
By Elizabeth Grandy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Vickey Kall's novel, Death Speaker, is a literary treat. The protagonist, Emyn, has the ability to hear ghosts speak. Unfortunately, they do not always tell the truth. In the first chapter, the author writes: "And that was when she began, really: the day she learned that she could speak to and for the dead. That gift would carry her far from home to speak before the wise and the foolish alike. After that day, Emyn heard the word, Gutumaros, whispered when she passed: Death Speaker."

Emyn lives in a world of violence and survival but also one of romance and magic. The setting is in the country now called France, populated by peasants, royalty, warriors and druids. The time is two thousand years ago. Caesar and his legions are rampaging through the countryside. Death Speaker is historical fiction, at its best.

I highly recommend this imaginative, literary novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kudos to Vickey Kall 4 Jan 2013
By Lee Gale Gruen - Published on
This well-crafted, fast-paced, first novel is reminiscent of "The Mists of Avalon" with a dash of "Clan of the Cave Bear." It is a portal into the ancient life and mystic ways of the seer heroine who is surrounded by the ghosts of the dead. They reveal to her their prophesies and keep her updated on the terrifying and relentless advance of Caesar's troops. This book is a page turner not to be missed.
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