Lady of the Light
In her phenomenal 1994 debut novel, The Light Bearer, Donna Gillespie introduced readers to the Germanic warrior and seer, Auriane, whose fate becomes entangled with the vicious intrigues and tyrannies of ancient Rome. Lady of the Light, the next book in the series, starts several years after the end of the first book, with Auriane, her Roman philosopher lover, Marcus, and their daughters living in handsome tranquility on an estate near Auriane’s beloved tribal lands. Despite her newfound prosperity and outward contentment, Auriane remains conflicted over the path she has chosen; she has been secretly smuggling weapons to her besieged people, who must fend off not only Roman encroachment but also the savage ambitions of a rival tribe. Auriane’s decision to arm her tribe flouts Roman law and sets off a series of events that will tear her family apart.
As in the first novel, the epic struggle between honor, corruption, and spiritual enlightenment comes to bear upon Auriane. With a keen eye for detail and mastery of the descriptive, Ms. Gillespie immerses us in a time that is both eerily familiar and breathtakingly alien, where brutality and heroism co-exist in the hearts of such unforgettable characters as the powerful Emperor Trajan, the renegade fighter, Witgern, the insouciant rogue, Decius, and the implacable oracle, Ramis. Auriane’s struggle to overcome her fate and save those she loves from destruction is counterbalanced by her lover Marcus’s fight to survive the treachery of Rome, and her daughter’s rebellious flight into exile and the path of a warrior. Filled with the tumult of two worlds at odds with each other, and of a fallible heroine at odds with herself, this book leaves us in suspense for the third installment, but it is well worth the wait.