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Celtic Maidens
Ceri Norman
Melrose Books, 224 pages

Celtic Maidens
Ceri Norman
From a young age Ceri Norman's love of mythology and history has inspired her. After gaining a degree studying History and English, she worked in libraries and museums sharing this love with the people she met. Seeing the pleasure that books and history gave, Ceri started writing fiction that people of all ages could enjoy.

Ceri Norman Website
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Past Feature Reviews
A review by Katherine Petersen

Mythology and history, two passions of author Ceri Norman, play important roles in her debut novel, Celtic Maidens. While the story itself -- two lovers, re-incarnated and re-enacting a drama their ancestors lived hundreds of years before -- isn't "new," her knowledge of Wales and use of legend and myth give this trope a new and intriguing twist. Sian Derwyn leads a fairly humdrum life of work and hanging out with friends until Ryan Ackley, a photographer comes to her Welsh village to take pictures of the numerous stone circles in the area and brings her to life. She doesn't understand it, but she feels a strong connection to this man and feels she understands him far better than she should for the short time they've known one another.

She dreams of a woman being chased and running toward the stone circle called the Ring of Maidens for safety and of her drowning in the quicksand-like mud of the bog just outside its protection. She knows the legend of Morwyna who was pledged to Owein but Badden coveted her and vowed to take her by force, if necessary. But all that happened long ago.

Except Badden's spirit is back and wants revenge, but it's Ryan who is in his sights now. A growing menace begins to slowly take over the small Welsh village, but only a few recognize it for the evil it is, but can they stop it in time to save lives or will the legend of yesterday replay itself to its deadly conclusion.

Ceri Norman transports her readers to Wales, bringing the area to life not only through vivid landscape descriptions but through the legends that have shaped it. Norman's writing flows easily for the most part, but her talent shines through the most in the mystical scenes such as when Ryan would have followed a light to his doom but for Sian holding him back or when a familiar road vanishes into a sudden mist. Norman has a fairly large supporting cast for her two protagonists in this short novel, and not all of them have the same depth. Given the supernatural element that starts to influence personalities, it's difficult to know what's real and what's not, so this might have been on purpose. The plot moves at a steady pace and with enough tension about the outcome to keep the reader's interest. I like her imagination and how she handled this tale and look forward to reading more of Norman's work.

Copyright © 2010 Katherine Petersen

Katherine Petersen started reading as a young child and hasn't stopped. She still thinks she can read all the books she wants, but might, at some point, realize the impossibility of this mission. While she enjoys other genres, she thrives on fantasy, science fiction and mysteries.

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