“Once we had been a nation, a people great and mighty, beloved of the gods. . .” And thus it begins, an epic tale of love and treachery, of selfless courage and devastating betrayal. . .
Almost three hundred years before Christ, northern Gaul is a dangerous place, home to warring tribes, envious chieftains, and mighty warriors. And in the midst of it all, the leaders of the Aedui have chosen to flee. A better land awaits across the waters, if only they can reach it. If only they can survive. . .
This is the story of Cadwalador, a young Gallic warrior in the retinue of Tancogeistla, heir to the Aeduan throne. The story of one man’s struggle to remain true to himself as the world crumbles around him, as loyalties change at the turning of the wind, as men claw desperately for power.
For, in this new land, nothing will change. Men’s hearts do not change with the landscape. And Cadwalador will be plunged once more into the maelstrom. . . .
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By Lisa Yarde
Jul 12, 2011
Cadwalador of the Aeudi tribe sets out from northern Gaul with his beleaguered people, fleeing from certain annihilation by other tribes. Life takes him on an unexpected adventure. He makes fateful choices that determine his destiny and ensure the fate of his people. Cadwalador is a young man in the service of a Gallic chieftain, who is heir to the leader of the Aeudi. The tribe is under siege and flees their shores, intent on conquering the land of Erain (Ireland), with stops along the way on the island of tin (the future Britain). Cadwalador’s chieftain inspires others to flow his banner, with two fatal weaknesses: his love of strong drink and his ruthless ambitions. He is a dangerous man, made even more so when he is drunk. He earns the enmity of one of the mercenaries in his service, Cavarillos, after an ill-advised attack on a village sees scores of Aeudi die needlessly. Cadwalador counted Cavarillos among his friends, but the two have a bitter parting when the young man chooses... More > his chieftain’s life over helping his friend. It is a decision that will shape Cadwalador’s life. He pays a heavy price for his loyalty and, in the end, loses more than he expected. He also helps forge a powerful legend across the land, but with ruthless enemies closing in on all sides, it’s not always certain that legend will be enough to win the day. Several elements stood out in this story. Despite the foreign and often un-pronounceable Celtic names, there were familiar themes. There is the flush of first victory and first love, as well as bitter treachery and defeat, enough to entertain historical fans who like gritty action. The scenes are visceral. There’s blood and guts everywhere. The action never stops, even in what should be quiet family moments for Cadwalador. Of all the things I admired about Mr. England’s style, it was the way in which he creates sympathy for his characters, especially those who at the outset don’t seem to deserve it. Even his villains have justifiable reasons for their murderous nature. The Sword of Neamha is a fascinating read for anyone who like historical fiction set in the Celtic or early Britannic period, or those who enjoy epic battle scenes and action that propels the characters through upheaval and triumph.< Less
This is a slim book with an attractive cover. The author has researched an era that most people know nothing about. It is well written, reads smoothly, and held my interest, and had me researching via computer. The author is young and we will hear more from him. I recommend it and if he has a book signing in your area, go hear him!
Great first effort! A superb representation of ancient Europe with a lot of period detail that makes the book truly immersive! This book moves along nicely and puts you right into the action immediately, with the story broken up into manageable chapters. The book's main characters are flushed out well enough to give them depth and for the reader to develop an interest in their fates. Most refreshing is that there are some interesting plot twists and the writer does an excellent job of foreshadowing events that develop later in the novel. The writer also doesn't spend unnecessary time, as many history based fiction books do, on describing the era to minutiae. If you are a fan of history-based fiction, this is definitely a book to not pass up.
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