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The Druid's Son Paperback – October 19, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Lulu; 1st edition (October 19, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0557119901
  • ISBN-13: 978-0557119905
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,158,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

G. R. Grove is a storyteller and poet specializing in medieval Welsh material. Her "Storyteller" series of novels grew out of her visits to Wales and her own experiences as a teller of tales. Her newest book "The Druid's Son" is a (currently) stand-alone prequel to the "Storyteller" series. She has also published two volumes of poetry. She blogs in English and (sometimes) Welsh at http://tregwernin.com/.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Victor Wolfram on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Druid's Son by G. R. Grove

This is a beautiful biography of a boy who would be a Druid despite all odds.
The ring he wears (secretly) belonged to the father he never knew. The stepfather who raised him taught and inspired him. But Togi, whose life Grove relates, learned much from nature, observation, and experience.

We see him first when he's seven years old, already adept at morning prayers. Throughout his young life he stays close to Cingetos, a bard, and learns a way of life that includes what we now call anger management: Just Anger moves a brave man to avenge injustice; Vain Anger flares up at a trifle, and causes needless quarrel; Coward's Anger simply cloaks fear, gaining nothing.

In twenty chapters Grove gives her readers a panoramic picture of medieval Welsh life. Peasants who work the land are at the mercy not only of the weather, but of the Red Crests, the military force that collects designated shares of their crops. Togi is nine years old when he learns how "tribute" is taken from villagers with no regard for their need. As he matures and leaves his home we learn, with him, how complicated it is to even try to establish a balance of power.

One lesson he learned as a youngster is to stand him in good stead much later in life. "Bats move quickly, and never in a straight line. That is their protection; no one knows where they will be next. Remember that, if you are ever pursued, and do the thing unexpected," he was told.

Unexpected things do happen and it is a splendid adventure for readers to watch Togi survive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Set around 60 AD as the Romans were over-running Britain and destroying Druid sanctuaries, this is the story of the young boy Togi, his upbringing and spiritual training, his adventures and his strength of character as he goes up against the invaders. Thoroughly engaging coming-of-age tale of a boy "born for a reason." Well-researched, it includes a list of sources for further exploration.

I had previously read the three volumes of the author's Storyteller Series (Storyteller, Flight of the Hawk, and The Ash Spear) and was pleased to learn of this novel. My only complaint is that I would have liked the story to continue - perhaps there will be a sequel!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stretchkev on December 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
The early 1st century Celts are an incredibly mysterious bunch. They left no written record for themselves, and what little archeological evidence that can be found only provides the slimmest of glimpse into these people's daily lives. What little has been recorded comes from foreigner invaders or was passed down through oral tradition. This to me seems like the perfect environment for an imaginative writer to thrive in, and G. R. Grove does with her fourth novel The Druid's Son.

At its heart, The Druid's Son is the coming of age story of a young man during the turbulent early years of Roman occupation. Togi, the protagonist of this story, is a member of the proud Ordovices a not yet totally defeated tribe of the Anglesey (Wales). Togi unlike most boys his age is not only taught the ways of warfare and sheep herding, but he is also taught the rituals and the spirituality of the Druids by his stepfather one of the last remaining Druid priest of the Anglesey. The result is that Togi is a well balanced character with all the necessary skills to transition from a skirmish with a Roman Legion to the politics of the King's court, making his story all that more compelling. Togi's ability to go from warrior to priest, combined with a natural intelligence/intuition, gives him a serious edge in the ever exalting battle to save his people and religion from destruction. For Rome the Ordovices are pain that must be dealt with swiftly so they can get back to expanding the empire. But for the Ordovices it's a matter of survival and the preservation of a way of life not accepted by their new rulers. Togi's destiny is closely aligned with fate of his people and slow building tension culminates in a final showdown with the Romans that test Togi to his limits.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Chaikin on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
What confuses me in trying to review this is the contradiction between that place our imagination takes us when we read Tacitus's description of Roman destruction of the Druid stronghold on Anglesey in AD 61 and that place just afterward, where GR Grove takes us. History has just happened; the next is the inevitable, at least from our perception, looking backward. "The harvest was over." opens The Druid's Son, a story that is built more on the reconstructed lifestyle and landscape of the Wales of this period, then the striking history it's wrapped in.

Here is Tacitus.

"On the coastline, a line of warriors of the opposition was stationed, mainly made up of armed men, amongst them women, with their hair blowing in the wind, while they were carrying torches. Druids were amongst them, shouting terrifying spells, their hands raised towards the heavens, which scared our soldiers so much that their limbs became paralyzed. As a result, they remained stationary and were injured. At the end of the battle, the Romans were victorious, and the holy oaks of the druids were destroyed."

The Celts in future Wales are silent in history, leaving only foreigners descriptions like this, and a curious archeology to document them.

Grove creates her version of this Celtic world though the story of the son of last Archdruid on Anglesey, conceived shortly after these holy oaks were destroyed and shortly before this last Druid in Wales has himself ritually sacrificed. This story works quietly, keeping close the annual cycles, the Celtic festivals and the everyday focus on agriculture that just barely sustains the tribes.
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