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The author brings a sense of history to this rich novel. Although at times the story was slow to develop, it was compensated by the warmth and truth of the characters. Simon Vance is a master narrator, and gave the protagonist a wisdom and sense of humor that was completely endearing. This was one of the first audio books I listened to, and it moved me. The expulsion from their home, being forced to flee and relocate in a completely foreign culture, and the internal changes neccessary to survive the trauma were captivating. Magic was scarce yet mysticism and spirituality abounded. I was sad when the story ended. I wanted to continue being a voyeur, watching the lives of the characters. Rarely has a novel captivated me in this way.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
Chief Druid Ainvar, his three wives and their children, and about 15 other survivors from their Celtic clan are sailing west to Hibernia after years of hiding in the forests of Gaul after the Romans destroyed their clan and Julius Caesar murdered their charismatic leader, Vercingetorix.
Ainvar, who relates their adventure in the first person, expended his druid magic in their last fight against the Romans and he knows how weak his tribe, the Carnutes, is. But the Romans are determined to wipe them out, so their only hope for salvation is to leave Gaul. When their little band arrives in Hibernia, they are at the sufferance and mercy of the Celtic clans who already inhabit the island. They must find a way to fit in with these Celts who have different beliefs and customs.
The Greener Shore is a beautifully told historical fantasy. Morgan Llywelyn's language and characters are deep and vivid. Her female characters are particularly strong, wise, and believable. Ainvar himself is a thinker (we are often privy to his interesting inner musings on the nature of man and society) and he???s gentle except when the subject is Julius Caesar.
Morgan Llywelyn???s language is most beautiful when describing the events that came before the Carnutes??? exodus: the shining glory of Vercingetorix and the horror of Roman ambition. Thus, The Greener Shore reads like an extended epilogue ??? all of the tension, action, and excitement have already happened and this is the last section that usually just explains whether or not they lived happily ever after. So I found myself thinking that Ms. Llywelyn should have written about Vercingetorix and the Romans instead. The Greener Shore is beautiful stuff, but it???s anti-climactic. The infrequent bouts of tension are quickly resolved and it feels like things are constantly winding down. Then I realized that this novel is a sequel to Druids which was not clear in its description. This is really an extended epilogue, but it's a beautiful one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful