Hallo, Hallo dear hearts and fellow book bloggers from the #TheDruidChronicles tour!
You might have been curious where I’ve been this Summer, as I haven’t been actively posting on my blog nor on my feeds via Twitter. The truth is after Wyrd And Wonder ended in May, my life turnt a bit upside down with car issues and climatic health issues; as Summers are the worst seasons for me next to Spring; as one brings my chronic allergies back into my life and the other brings back the murderously hot humidity and heat. It was my intention to bring four posts to Jorie Loves A Story this week – as I was planning to start re-populating my blog with posts this past Sunday, however, as time reflects otherwise, those posts are still in queue to be written and edited.
Part of what I’m enjoying right now is finishing my readings and review of Walks with Spirits by Edale Lane (my final selection from Wyrd And Wonder) as well as diving into The Unveilling of Polly Forrest by Charlotte Whitney which was held over from late Spring. I am also currently reading The Valley which is the focus of today’s guest feature by A.M. Linden as it is such an interestingly told story! This book actually features a bit of a purview and prequel to the series – as I was meant to receive The Oath as well (which thankfully our tour hostess is checking on right now as my copy went amiss) which interconnects into The Valley; despite the fact the events of The Valley occur prior to The Oath.
As it is explained by the author in a note within The Valley – the whole series is hinged to what happens inside this particular novel and I found that a wicked place to begin my readings rather than to read The Oath first as I felt The Valley was a better starting place and foundation to better understand the fuller vision of the author’s goals for The Druid Chronicles. This isn’t the first foray I’ve had in undertaking hidden niches of History or in reading about the Saxons or other murkier and unknown parts in History, too. Sometimes I find myself enchanted by the unknowns and harder to understand annals of History to where you have to take a lot of creative fortitude to both understand and seek out in fiction as you want to find authors who are striving to give us a story that is both imagined and nearly as accurate as it can become as those days were once lived, too.
Your given a lot of information before you begin reading The Valley – as Linden outlines the continuous threads of her series: the Druid Chronicles in the opening pages of this sequel which is really a prequel within the series itself. This novel follows The Oath within the publication of the series but in truth, pulls back time within the framework of the series itself to better align us with the events within the series before moving into book three to five. This is why I felt it was a good stepping stone to enter The Druid Chronicles whilst Linden also talked about a recapture of interest for what her characters were going through during The Oath.
It was a hard-hitting story from that angle as one woman simply wanted to have her freedom whilst two other characters were striving to find where they belong when their community was no longer secure and stable due to a betrayal. As this all takes place at a point in History where there is a lot of empathsis on religion and religious backgrounds, it was interesting to see the cross-overlays between what the Druids believed and what was being presented through early eras of Christianity. This was also a period of time fraught with violence and instability in regards to politics and/or the aligning of power within the context of the timeline of the series as well.
For now, let’s enjoy this teaser of insight into both the series and the writing styling of the author whose charming us with her spin on Druid History and historic timelines. Similar to how Walks with Spirits is an entreaty of vision and presence within the Native cultures and spirituality of First Nations, The Valley seeks to explore the beliefs, cultures and traditions of the Druids – of whom are still very unknown and understood in today’s contemporary world. I love whenever writers such as Lane and Linden seek to highlight and entreat inside communities we could not otherwise meet and better understand without their thoughtfulness of vision and exploration into those cultural heritages and thereby, give us something unique to read.
And, without further adieu – enjoy the response Ms Linden shared with us!
The Druid Chronicles:
The Oath (book one)
In the wake of a betrayal that threatens an end to their way of life, the last members of a secluded pagan cult send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.
Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids–beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.
The Valley (book two) : A Prequel
Llwddawanden is a hidden sanctuary where remnants of a once-powerful pagan cult carry on their ancient ritual practices, supported by a small but faithful following of servants, craftsmen, and laborers.
Cut off from the outside world by both geography and conviction, the Druids of Llwddawanden continue to venerate the Great Mother Goddess and to view themselves as the first-born and favorite of Her mortal children. While the belief that the most important of all divine beings gave birth to their ancestors and that Her spirit inhabits the body of their highest priestess is a tenuous conclusion in view of their reduced lot in life, the Druids of Llwddawanden believe it and are, for the most part, committed to carrying on the traditions handed down to them by their forbears.
Herrwn, the shrine’s chief priest and master bard, has the responsibility of overseeing the education of Caelym, the orphaned son of the cult’s previous chief priestess, as well as keeping the peace within the upper ranks of their order—two tasks that grow more difficult as the rivalry over which of the three highest priests will claim Caelym as his disciple grows, and as mounting conflicts between the current chief priestess and her only living daughter threaten to rend the fabric of a society that has endured for more than a millennium.
Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov as well as #Druids and #HistoricalFiction
+ #TheDruidChronicles as well as #HFVBT
Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook