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Donna Gillespie

Light Bearer, The
Berkley Books, 1994


Quo Vadis for our times! Well, not exactly. It's been awhile since anyone tackled the Roman Empire as entertainingly as Gillespie has done in this book, a nearly-straight historical novel which should please readers of fantasy, too. Germanic Auriane is a combination of the noble, natural savage, and the heroine marked from birth for great deeds. Roman Marcus Julianus is the personification of the highest civilized, republican Roman values. Both are typical and atypical of their societies, fighting for what each believes to be just. Their individual struggles with the clashing Roman and Teutonic cultures are carried out in the Northern forests and in the salons and arena of Rome. Strongly- drawn characters, a setting both familiar and exotic (we all know something of imperial Rome, but very few of us are well-informed about it), a whiff of New-Age ancient mysticism, and a subdued but important romance subplot drive the sweeping novel of Auriane's growth and maturity and Rome's decadence. -Amazon.com

- Amazon.com, 11/27/2005

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