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* The World of THE LIGHT BEARER *

The International Bestseller
by Donna Gillespie

Berkley, trade paperback, ISBN 0-425-14368-6
Jove, mass market paperback, ISBN 0-515-11966-0's Expert Editor's Recommended Book
*Now* going into the fifth printing!
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The tale of a woman warrior who was a beacon light of hope for her people, and a brilliant Roman senator who held the fate of the empire in his hands

THE LIGHT BEARER IS A MONUMENTAL EPIC OF ANCIENT ROME AND HER CLASH WITH THE TRIBES OF GERMANIA, a richly-embroidered tale of war, vengeance and spiritual transcendence, of palace intrigue and pagan ritual. Encompassing a sweep of events spanning the reigns of two tyrants, the Emperors Nero and Domitian, it's the saga of AURIANE, a Germanic chieftain's daughter. At the prodigal age of sixteen, she must take the warrior's oath. Ultimately, the record of her deeds will reach as far as the glittering capitol city of Rome.

Auriane's birth is attended by Ramis, the most powerful and revered tribal seeress, who claims the newborn as her own. But war and necessity impel the indomitable woman onto a different path: As ruthless Roman invaders plunder her people's lands, burn their crops and kidnap their young men for the imperial army, she takes the oath of a shield maiden. When the Emperor Domitian crosses the Rhine with four legions in 83 AD, Auriane is chosen to lead her people in their doomed struggle against the encroaching imperial army. As the only world she's known collapses about her, she's captured and taken to Rome...and into a world of horror and glory no seeress could have foreseen.

Set against her story is the tale of a philosophically inclined nobleman, the Senator Marcus Arrius Julianus, a champion of the weak who publishes banned books in the age of Nero. Julianus swiftly rises to first place among the fiercely competitive imperial advisors. Through wit, daring and brilliant maneuvering, he alone is able to check the murderous whims of the increasingly corrupt Emperor Domitian. As a reign of terror begins, Julianus is forced by conscience to become the architect of a complex and delicately balanced plot to assassinate the emperor.

The Light Bearer was an immediate international bestseller. It received a 'starred' review in Publishers Weekly, and was lavishly praised by The Washington Post. The novel is the product of twelve years of research into the history, culture and mythology of classical Rome and the proto-Germanic tribes.

"Throughout this monumental story, Gillespie constantly increases the excitement and intrigue. There are no flat passages in The Light Bearer, only a fast-flowing stream that erupts into a full-scale torrent at the book's conclusion. Let us hope we will see more from this sparkling new author."


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