About the Book
Caelym, a young Pagan priest, leaves his cult's hidden sanctuary on a critical mission and ventures into a world where Druids, once revered as healers, poets, and oracles, are now reviled as wizards and witches.
When the last of members of a secretive Druid cult are forced to abandon their hidden sanctuary, they send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess's sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle's prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.
Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father's throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids--beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.
"Linden's well-researched tale eloquently brings to life a lesser-known period of transition in Britain. . . . The author has created a strong foundation for her series with well-developed characters whom readers can embrace. . . . [a] layered, gripping historical fiction . . ."
"Linden uses a fairy tale-like style almost as though this story has been passed down orally over the centuries. Though the kingdoms are fictional, Linden's tale draws on meticulous historical research, especially in her dramatization of the Christian persecution of the druids."
"Richly descriptive, featuring captivating characters and a setting that brings the harsh conflicts of centuries past to life, The Oath
is highly recommended."
--Midwest Book Review
"The story rolls along at a lively pace, rich with details of the times and a wide cast of characters. . . . Those interested in goddess-worshipping religions will be drawn to the novel. Any reader curious about 8th-century Britain will enjoy Linden's innovative focus on the little-known Druids as well as early medieval Christians. Her plotting, shifting points of view of the three engaging protagonists, and evocative writing style make The Oath
a pleasure to read. Highly recommended!"
--Historical Novels Review
urges readers along on a richly textured quest among the Saxons and Celts of 8th-century Britain. Young and rather humorously naïve Druid priest-healer Caelym swears to 'rescue' a damsel in distress who turns out to be neither a young damsel nor in distress. With a feminist slant, this engaging tale brings the conflict between Druids and early Christians to vivid life through sympathetic and well-rounded characters. I particularly enjoyed the ironic voice of the aging midwife Annwr. Brava!"
--Sara Stamey, author of The Ariadne Connection
"Thrilling historical fiction with heart and soul."
--Tim Pears, author of The West Country trilogy
will appeal to a wide-ranging readership, reflecting Linden's rich imagination and gift for weaving tales within tales evoking the romance of medieval Britain. Vibrant, determined, and relatable characters with disparate ethnic and religious identities discover their own strengths, and each other's, as the intricate and engaging plot unfolds."
--Anne Marie Tietjen, PhD, clinical psychologist and instructor at Western Washington University
"Linden's knowledge and passion for history is soaked into every word of The Oath
, combined with an obvious skill at storytelling. Linden succeeds at every level, but the world building is truly spectacular. Historical fantasy is hard to do well, but Linden makes it look easy. What could be dry details are presented so effectively that the world is elevated to almost being a character of its own. And in a cast of characters as well drawn as these, that's saying something. I can't wait to see what else this skilled author comes up with!"
--Bishop O'Connell, author of the American Faerie Tale series
is historical fiction at its best. It brings the British Dark Ages and the true magic of the druids to life with a story rich in personality, spirituality, folklore, wisdom, and more. . . . a series I'm very ready to fall in love with."