Ocelot Press has a new addition to its list of titles. Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Series, set in Late 1st Century Roman Britain/ Roman Empire, now has a Prequel to the series named Before Beltane.
Before Beltane was written to provide a deeper historical backdrop to the beginning of the series, to describe in more detail what was happening in Brigantia, northern Roman Britain, in AD 71. It also gives a glimpse into the lives of Lorcan of Garrigill and Nara of Tarras – the two main characters of Book 1 The Beltane Choice – prior to them meeting each other in Book 1.
Civil War between Queen Cartimandua and her ex-husband King Venutius caused strife amongst the Brigantes for some years, though by AD 71 it was time for all of the Brigantes to be at peace and to live together in harmony.
Unfortunately, the downfall of Queen Cartimandua (a Client Ruler of Rome) caused an escalation of the threat of Roman legionary invasion. The armies of General Cerialis, the Roman Governor of Britannia, not only invaded Brigantia, but by AD 71 they settled down and built wooden forts.
Before Beltane is a book of two intermingling halves. It presents an incident in Lorcan of Garrigill’s daily life, followed by an incident in Nara of Tarras’ daily life, a process that’s repeated throughout the book.
Two lives. Two stories. One future.
AD 71 Northern Britannia
At the Islet of the Priestesses, acolyte Nara greets each new day eager to heal the people at Tarras Hillfort. Weapon training is a guilty pleasure, but she is devastated when she is unexpectedly denied the final rites of an initiated priestess. A shocking new future beckons for Princess Nara of the Selgovae…
In the aftermath of civil war across Brigantia, Lorcan of Garrigill’s promotion of King Venutius is fraught with danger. Potential invasion by Roman legions from the south makes an unstable situation even worse. When Lorcan meets the Druid Maran, the future foretold for him is as enthralling as it is horrifying…
Wishing you Happy Reading!