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The Druid King

3.29  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Vercingetorix, the great Gallic warrior, was both a man of history and a man of myth. Druid King of Gaul, King of One Hundred Battles, he was among Julius Caesar's greatest opponents; his eventual defeat at Caesar's hands was said to prove Caesar's unstoppable power. Yet Vercingetorix has remained, to this day, a French national hero. And now he is the heart and soul of th ...more
Paperback, 564 pages
Published August 5th 2004 by Time Warner Paperbacks (first published February 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30 of 387)
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Apr 11, 2014 Jane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, gaul
Having read recently three of the Marius' mules / SJA Turney series of books on Caesar in Gaul, I wanted to read a novel about a warrior from the "other side". I enjoyed this one, the story of Vercingetorix, leader of the Averni tribe. As a boy he watches the horrific death of his father, is reared by the druids, and has a hallucinogenic Vision showing him his destiny and that of the Gallic peoples. In his Vision, he sees a statue of himself; to this day he is a French national hero. In the auth ...more
Feb 10, 2012 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Splendid Detour by Spinrad into Historical Fiction

Norman Spinrad makes a fine debut in historical fiction, with occasional lapses into fantasy, in this riveting tale about the legendary Celtic chieftain Vercingetorix, the leader of Gallic resistance against Roman legions commanded by Gaius Julius Caesar. Spinrad does an excellent job in describing Druid religious rites, and the profound influence they play on the thoughts and actions of Vercingetorix. He also provides us with mesmerizing descrip
Feb 12, 2008 MkB rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I hereby propose a comprehensive act of Congress prohibiting fantasy authors from writing sex scenes.

Otherwise, the Druid King is pretty well written, just somewhat...trashy? The story is compelling enough (after all, the story of Caeser's conquest of Gaul has been passed for longer than the Bible), but the added psychotropic mushrooms and predestination don't really add too much to the story. Something about the crushing weight of Destiny diminishes, rather than enhances the legend of Vercinget
Have you ever read a book that the story line is pretty good, but you figure a lot fewer words could have been used, and the author probably has a "word a day" calendar, and you can pick out the word for the day in any chapter? Well, this is one of those books.

It was a good story overall, but too many words. I know that may sound weird, given that it is a BOOK, but sometimes it just went on and on and on and on and on and on for no apparent reason. And I was afraid poor Vercingetorix was going
Mark Schomburg
I guess with historical fiction the trap is that the fictionalization is locked into the hard framework of history, thereby limiting the possible flow and spontaneity of the novel. It's certainly true with this book, where terrible events happen which any real person would avoid, and characters are held forth to awful fates by allegiance to their own visions. This aspect makes the plot seem mechanical, and inevitable. It doesn't help that peripheral characters are not well developed enough to di ...more
Al Young
Oct 06, 2013 Al Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Spinrad is one of my favorite writers. There is just something about his style I love. No surprise then that I thought this was a great book.

It's not his usual sci-fi, but a detour into the world of Julius Caesar vs. Gaul. Yes, historical fiction, but much closer to Terry Brooks than Dorris Kearns Godwin. I don't know how much is true. Personally, I don't care. I read for a great story, and I got it.

It's Spinrad, so there's gratuitous sex and drugs thrown in (real life itself is not without sex
Jan 01, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well done novel about possibly Caesar's greatest foe?

This novel takes a smart move in not just telling us of Caesar and his march through Gaul which made his name famous, but mostly about Vercingetorix, the leader of the peoples he eventually vanquished, this novel shows the lengths Caesar had to go to defeat him in open battle and how even then all was close, Vercingetorix had more men but much less disciplined, how he used guerrilla tactics and how he ran Caesar close, he still with this force
Jul 21, 2015 Larry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an ok book. Well crafted, interesting, a unique representation of the events. So far as I know, the narrative is compatible with Caesar's representation of the course of events. The battle scenes are over-the-top exciting in a cinematic way. My main impression was that this is heroic fantasy without the fantasy. Actual magic was replaced by a vague mysticism. An awful lot of the narrative revolves around Vercingetorix's repressed sexuality. It's a page-turner, and I'm glad I read it, bu ...more
3.5* Slow start, somewhat confusing writing style, but got better toward the end.
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]The story of Vercingetorix vs Julius Caesar, not really successful because Spinrad can't quite make up his mind whether it is fantasy or not, and whether it is for adults or young adults.
Mar 21, 2011 David rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nice perspective on the history of Europe during Ceasar's time. But the characters didn't make much sense. Their relationships and motivations seemed be be switched on and off as if by a light switch.
James Eckman
Oct 12, 2014 James Eckman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This might be Spinrad's only historical novel, it's a smashing one! I wouldn't want to see the movie though because I'm sure Hollywood would mess it up.
Dec 17, 2009 Maya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Read my review at our website: Read All Over
Jun 02, 2010 Jenna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
It was such a waste of my life to try and read this book, the characters were awful and the plot was pretty dull.
Apr 25, 2014 Monica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was alright. Wouldn't read it again, but it provided some good references for future reading.
Carly Johnson
Aug 05, 2011 Carly Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written. Great historical fiction that has you wondering if it actually happened.
Jamie Brannen
Jun 13, 2012 Jamie Brannen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
so far it has been lacking a bit, i've found it a bit hard to get into the book
this was great subject matter, but a long hard read.
Jun 21, 2012 Alexei rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No good at all, utterly failed to engage me.
An excellent read
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Born in New York in 1940, Norman Spinrad is an acclaimed SF writer.

Norman Spinrad, born in New York City, is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science. In 1957 he entered City College of New York and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree as a pre-law major. In 1966 he moved to San Francisco, then to Los Angeles, and now lives in Paris. He married fellow novelist N. Lee Wood in 1
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