Book: The Forest House by Marion Zimmer Bradley
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Viking Penguin
Publication date: 1994
Summary: The Forest House is the dwelling place for the Druid priestesses, a place where they have retreated since the Romans demolished their Holy Isle a generation earlier. The sons of those raped priestesses have grown strong and bitter, wishing to avenge the desecration of their mothers. It is up to the current generation of priestesses to keep the peace, if, indeed, it is peace that the Great Goddess wants.
Thoughts: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley has been on my To Be Read list since the eighties. I suppose I will get around to reading it one of these days. When I was looking for a book that would give me an idea of the life and times of Roman Britain, The Forest House by the same author popped up as a possibility and it worked quite well.
One of the main characters becomes a Druid priestess. From her point of view, we learn about the ancient ways of the British people and about how they keep their traditions while holding a tenuous peace with the Roman invaders.
The other main character is a Roman soldier. From his point of view, the motivations and concerns of the Romans become clear.
The two characters join in unexpected ways and that’s what makes this story an exciting tale of ancient myth and classic adventure.
Appeal: The Forest House will appeal to lovers of historical fiction, especially those who enjoy a magical, mystical touch in their fiction.
Challenges: The Forest House is a book with a type of house in the title for the What’s in a Name 5 Challenge. This is probably the last book I’ll get read for that challenge which means I only got 4 of the 6 criteria.
This will be my third try with both previous ones ending with an incomplete. It amuses me to check whether my books fit the criteria, so I’ll keep doing it even if I never manage to fulfill the challenge. For 2013, the categories include a book with a party or celebration in the title and a book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title. Should be fun!
Have you read this book? What did you think?