Many thanks to Rachel at Authoright for the invite to take part in the “12 Days of Clink Street Christmas”. My post today is for “The Learn” by Tony Halker. This book is available in paperback or as an eBook.
(Check out the calendar at the bottom of this post for more information.)
Blending reality, history and legend, about a time when women were considered as important as men, taking power in an oral society that worships the Goddess. A whole Celtic Druid world is laid out before us, incorporating beliefs, technology and the natural environment.
A Celtic boy, a beach scavenger, is pledged to the Learn, a life of endurance, a path to become sworn Druid: scholar and warrior. Young women and men progress, becoming Priests and Druidii. Friendship, affection, passion and care develop as novices mature, confidence emerging.
Seasonal battles of winter and summer bring rich festivals when seeds of men are taken by women in pleasure to prove fertility. Small damaged, hurt peoples on the margins of Celtic society blend in and out of vision.
At frontiers with Nature, dependent for everything on what the earth gives or takes, an emotional response to the natural environment defines who people are and the values they live by.
A lyrical novel resonating with modern readers through portrayal of character, language and history; arising from a landscape of today, yet centred in the Celtic Bronze Age of North Wales.
Set in North Wales during the Celtic Bronze Age we are introduced to Owayne, son of a beach scavenger. We follow him as he follows his destined path to become a Druid. This is a period in history where things are in a state of change, all knowledge, law and stories are done via word of mouth. The appearance of a wooden wheel causes tensions, should wood be manipulated into a shape, would it go against the rules and laws that exist to protect nature and the environment? These are things that Owayne will have to try to learn, the balance of the old with the emergence of the new.
This is a slow burner of a book, but it is wonderful. The pacing is perfect for this story, the setting, the era, the lifestyle. It does however speed up a little towards the end. What it lacks in pace it more than makes up for in its wonderful descriptive passages, I have seen mention on a review from another person, that it had an “almost peotic feel”, and I have to say I am in complete agreeance with that thought. The scenery, festivals, clothing, food, rituals and social aspects have all been detailed well and build a good image. It was an image of hardship, bleakness and little comforts, but at the same time a beautiful, peaceful atmosphere, this is where for me the author shines with his descriptive details. I do not know much about the history of this time, but I feel that this book has a good amount of research to it from the descriptions given, nothing felt out-of-place for me.
This book is an interesting blend of ancient history, folklore, legend, myth and fiction as we follow a young man on his way to learning about nature, the environment, traditions as well as his responsibilities.
A book I would recommend for readers of historical fiction. A good all round read, with some memorable characters, well written, with elements of nature and folklore.
About the Author:
Born in London, Tony Halker studied geology at Leeds University after which he worked as a
geologist, travelling extensively overseas. Following an MBA at Cranfield School of Management, he became a manager in hi-tec business and later a businessman and entrepreneur. His writing is inspired by powerful natural landscapes and his interest in the people and technologies emerging from those hard places. His two daughters were born in North Wales. He lives with his wife there and in Hertfordshire.
Website – http://www.tonyhalker.com/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/TonyHalker
- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Clink Street Publishing (29 Sept. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1911110578
- ISBN-13: 978-1911110576
- Purchase from – Amazon UK
- Purchase from – Foyles
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Clink Street 12 Days of Christmas.
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