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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 July 2015
The perfect companion for all historical fiction enthusiasts is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKERCalix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

As a person of Irish and Welsh descent I have always had an affinity for all things Celtic. When I read Celtic historical fiction, I usually turn to Morgan Llywelyn. This book was very interesting in that it really drives home the fact that the "victors" get to write the history that is passed along and eventually just accepted as fact. But when you peel back the onion, you start to see the biases and predjudices of the person relating the history. You realize there is a whole other side of the story. In the case of the Druids and people of Celtic Gaul, Ceasar "won" and went on to write his history of the Gallic Campaign and the peoples involved, while the Celts "lost" and also kept no written records. Therefore, their side of the story has to be pieced together from all sorts of different sources. I think Morgan has done admirable job of telling a credible version of the other side of the story and has definitely made it entertaining.

I really liked her portrayal of the connections the Druids had to the natural world and to the Other Side, and how they worked to try and keep their people grounded in that connection. I would recommend her work to anyone interested in Druids and Celtic Historical Fiction.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 16 May 2004
I thought this may have been a little slow to start but, I got into it fairly quickly. I enjoyed the character of Ainvar although he becomes chief druid he is a very likeable person, could really warm to. I found halfway through the book lacked a little and lost a little interest so took me a while longer to read than would normally do, but, towards arounds page 180 it picked up and really started to enjoy it. Not only a really good fiction novel but, a good insight into the way of Druids. Would really recommend this book. I haven't seen the film as have been told it isn't really anywhere near as good as the book, but, I think films rarely are...
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 2004
I don't know quite enough about the historical perspective to be able to make a judgement about historical accuracy in this book. It is important to bear that in mind when reading this review. On the other hand, besides being an avid reader, I have a degree in literature so, that is something I'm capable of judging.
Druids tells us the story of Vercigentorix and the Gaul's fight against the Roman dominion, told by the lead druid of Vercigentorix's tribe. The intricate politics (if you can call it that) of the different gaulish tribes and Vercigentorix's attempt to unite them are extremely well depicted.
It is a very well written novel that has its main strength in Morgan's ability to build a story around its characters. The personal side to the story is very well documented throughout and the reader is lead to a point where you feel the characters' pains. What I find particularly interesting is the fact that, although we are hoping that the weeker side, as usual, wins, Morgan never turns Cesar into a villain. The meeting of Vercingetorix and Cesar is one of two great warriors and generals, who respect each other for their conquists and capability in the field of battle. The accomplishment of this relationship is what, in my view, turns this book into something quite special. Read it and see for yourselves, but please, for all that's holy in this life, DON'T see the film!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2014
I have been interested in the Celtic Civilization since the 70s.
The books I've read throughout the years on the Celts contain truths, puzzles and theories
about their culture, their maternal-Clan laws, and the laws of the Land.

Morgan Llywelyn's ideas about the Celts
are a mixture of Celtic sugar and Roman-Christian sand.

incomprehensible is that she continuous to keep the blatant lie alive that the Celtic Druids
sacrificed human beings to supplicate some sort of deity/god/goddess "up there in the sky."
This is utterly nonsensical, Celts did neither sacrifice animals nor human beings to anybody.
The Celts abhorred capital punishment.

Incredible too is that the author states that Celtic women were subservient to men.
Fact is that before patriarchists destroyed the egalitarian, humane and intricate Celtic Law system
and true civilization, women were 100% sexually autonomous and materially independent from men,
daughters inherited the Clan's homestead, everything in it, and the land pertaining to her Clan's district.

All positions of importance in Celtic maternal-Clan republics, the highest offices in their Mother Goddess
nature-religion, in matters of Justice, agriculture, industry, trade, and more, were held by women;
the men were their agents, and helpers.

Striking is that the author does not know that originally - all - druids were druidesses,
and the queens of the Celtic Clans in their districts were women.
A man became king only when he was chosen by the queen to be her guest-consort.
He had no rights of inheritance of anything the queen and her Clan owned,
a Clan's ancient territory/district/land being unalienable by law.

All women had the right to end their relationship with a man
who was her guest-consort.
She was never his property.

The Celtic Laws on relationships between woman and man are humane,
freedom loving and brilliant.

These valid laws guarantee that women are not forced against their will
to have too have many children, or children from one man only,
guarantee economical stability within the live and let live societies
where people value human felicity highest, the empirical mystic experience is explained,
the transmigration of the soul taught, and all life and nature cared for and celebrated.

Our present patriarchal laws are lawless still.
The patriarchal tyrannical law system and economical robbery must be outlawed by the people.
Therefore it is important to study pre-patriarchal valid humane laws so that we can replace
covert and overt fascist laws with certified humane laws.

Last but not least, for thousands of years the Celts knew peace,
they did not war among each other, nor raided neighboring countries.

All started to go terribly wrong for the friendly Mother Goddess Civilization
when waves of patriarchal Asian peoples moved into the weaponless, flourishing
pagan Middle & Near East and eventually into weaponless Celtic Europe.
The immigrants had been displaced by a mega-earthquake in the Himalayas.
They were homeless.
Their priesthood and warlords declared war on the people of the Mother Goddess civilization,
war on women, war on the sexual autonomy of women, war on the maternal-Clan economy.

The Celts were forced to take up arms against these brutal raiders,
big battles took place on Celtic soil and at sea.
Big battles were won by the fearless Celts.
Patriarchal brutality, deceit, their divide and conquer tactics
caused some Celts to start wars among themselves.
Patriarchal-reformists have with brute force eliminated the happy,
ancient Mother-Goddess Civilization.

The patriarchal rigid nuclear family system is based on economical slavery, and plunder of nature.
The lives of human beings, animals, nature herself is worth nothing in the patriarchal system,
useful only for creating personal gain for the leaders of priesthoods, and the elite.

Patriarchal laws are mindless and lawless, their economy and false religions have plunged
Humanity into the spiritually, materially, intellectually, scientifically, artistically, all round poverty stricken,
drenched in human & animal blood, pathologically fascist, savage patriarchal millennia.

Nevertheless, I enjoy reading a good story, and did find in this book too
some more valid pieces of the Celtic puzzle.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2012
I read this book about 10 years ago in Spanish. I'm form the Caribbean. Now, I'm an English teacher and will use it as part of my reading material for advanced classes! I really enjoy this book!
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