THE CROW GODDESS

By Patricia Finney



Continues the story of Lugh, now no longer a warrior, as he makes his way in Roman Britain, becomes friends with the Roman soldier Karus and falls in love with the beautiful warrior-woman Liath Duv, and is once more caught up in large events as northern Britain erupts into revolt against the Romans, led by Cuchulain himself.

Out of print.

First page sample:

The Soldier

Karus and I rode into Londinium at dusk. We were both tired: it had taken me a fortnight to travel from the far western mountains where I had been playing my harp to the Deceangli, while Karus had hurried south from his cavalry fort of Corstopitum on the Northern Frontier so as to have as much of his leave as possible in Londinium. I suggested that we should go to Gollís house, which was west of the Forum in the best part of the city, and as we headed there through the streets, I remembered the shock it had given me when I first saw it nearly four years before.

We had just come from the ship in which Goll had brought me from Erin to Britain and I had been dizzy, bewildered and a little frightened by the noise and the crowds of Londinium: it was so totally different from any dun of Erin, with its strange smells of sweet bath-oils and shellfish and wine, the big square buildings which frowned down on me like hills and, worst of all, the numbers of people all rushing about and jostling. And then we had come to yet another enormous square house, surrounded by gardens, and Goll had shouted at the doorkeeper. I had thought this would be the hall of his lord, but when the door opened, the slaves came out with torches and bowed to Goll and ushered us respectfully into the entrance hall with its paintings of goddesses and golden birds. It was only when Goll told them to treat me with the respect due to a guest of his that I realised that Goll, the funny little round Greek trader with the one eye and the red-and-white striped hair and the impossibly ugly face, was a man who could be master of an enormous mansion in an incredible city, with more slaves than I was able to count.

As I had found out later, while I stayed with him that winter, he was a major partner in a Veneti-Greek merchant firm who monopolized trade to all the northern and western barbarians. I couldnít quite understand why he treated me so well and took such care to explain thingsRoman to me, particularly during the first year when I was totally bewildered and confused by the strangeness of it all. If it hadnít been for him I would have bolted north to Prydein and stayed there. But Goll taught me how to seem civilized, though when I asked him why he took the trouble, he always said it was simpler if I didnít know for the moment.


 


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