Priestess of the Forest: A Druid Journey

Written by Ellen Evert Hopman
Review by Andrea Connell

Priestess of the Forest is set in a fictional 3rd-century Ireland when Christianity is sweeping across the Celtic Isles. It is a tragic romance, a historical fantasy, and a bardic teaching tale: an introduction for those intrigued with Celtic and Druidic lore and traditions.

The story follows a love triad connecting a Druid priestess, a Fennidi warrior, and the High King. Ethne, a Druid healer and priestess, lives a secluded and tranquil existence in the wilds of pre-Christian Celtic Ireland. Her peaceful existence is interrupted when a small band of Fennidi warriors delivers a wounded man named Ruadh to her quiet hamlet. As she heals him, they find in each other a shared spiritual soul. However, a larger crisis envelops the land as their love blooms: Christianity sweeps the Island, dividing tribal loyalties and threatening the power of Crimthann, the High King, whose fealty to the old ways wavers. Summoned by the Druid leaders, Ethne is asked to wed Crimthann in order to save her people. Ethne must choose between the oaths she has sworn for her people and the calling of her heart.

This narrative is a beautiful glance back at pagan culture, Druidic practices and rituals, and daily Celtic life. It makes one yearn for the connection with the earth that we, in our modern day and age, seem to have lost. It reads easily and weaves Druidic teachings with a touching love story. If you are intrigued by ancient Celtic culture or posses a desire to learn about Druidic customs, pick up this book. It also includes a glossary of Celtic/Druidic terms and suggested sources for further study.  (This novel is first in a trilogy –ed.)