Thursday, September 22, 2011

Red-Robed Priestess-Elizabeth Cunningham

Red-Robed Priestess

Elizabeth Cunningham

Monkfish, Nov 15 2011, $25.95

ISBN: 9780982324691

She is in the twilight of her year but Mary “Maeve the Celtic” Magdalene has much to accomplish in what is left of her life. In her sixties, she still attracts lovers like the newly appointed Governor of Britain General Gaius Suetonius Paulinus who looks somewhat like Jesus. In Gaul, they make love, but Maeve knows that their relationship can go nowhere because of his official position.

When she crosses the Channel with Jesus’ daughter Sarah, he is right behind her to get to the fort and take control of the soldiers. Heeding Sarah’s blandishment, Maeve seeks out her first born, taken from her by the druid who raped her four decades ago. On her quest, she returns to where she was exiled forty years ago. The druids inform Maeve that her offspring is Boudica, adopted by the Iceni and their Queen. She leads the revolt against theRoman forces. In retaliation to her revolt, Paulinus’ troops rape and batter her children. The Praetor and Maeve make love for the last time as the lines are drawn and Maeve readies herself for the tragedy to come

The final Maeve Chronicles is a superb tale that can stand alone as a magnificent biblical historical fiction story, but is enhanced with the previous entries in the life of Mary Magdalen (see Magdalen Rising: The Beginning, Bright Dark Madonna and The Passion of Mary Magdalen). The story line combines mysticism, biblical references and historical accounts to anchor the strong climax in time and place as Mary returns to her Maeve and her Celtic roots. Readers will relish her end of her mortal days as she is pulled by her attraction to the General, her desire to protect her warrior daughter and her need to spread the word with Sarah at her side, not to mention knowing she will soon be with her beloved Jesus.

Harriet Klausner

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