Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Passion of Mary Magdalen” as Want to Read:
The Passion of Mary Magdalen
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Passion of Mary Magdalen (Maeve Chronicles)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  868 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
For the millions of readers fascinated by Dan Brown’s revelations about Mary Magdalen in The Da Vinci Code, here, at last, is their chance to meet the Gospel’s most provocative woman face to face—on her own terms.

Make way for a new Magdalen. Born on a Celtic isle to eight warrior-witch mothers, Maeve is raised to be as brave as any hero. In her stubborn, enchanting voice,
Hardcover, 608 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Monkfish Book Publishing (first published 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Passion of Mary Magdalen, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Passion of Mary Magdalen

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 08, 2009 Jeff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel truly took me by surprise. This is the second of a trilogy of books featuring the title character, who calls herself Maeve. The premise is this:

What if Mary Magdalen of the New Testament was actually of Gaelic decent -- a Celt with blazing red hair who was raised as a sort of Pagan priestess in a culture with more female than male deities? What if she and Jesus became friends as kids, and fell in love in young adulthood? And what if they were separated and went through enough travails
Peejay Who Once Was Minsma
The title of this book doesn't do justice to just how astonishing it is. At turns reverent and irreverent, bawdy, earthy, spiritual, funny, moving, human and divine, it's an incredible journey with wonderfully dimensional characters. A massive book, and so involving, I had to put it down periodically and take a breather, but each time I picked it up again I fell right into the narrative, drawn away and drawn in so completely.

The narrator, Maeve, aka Mary Magdalen, is a voluptuous Celtic girl who
Jun 19, 2009 Gregory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give a lot of five's but this is a book of truly extraordinary delight. It is the story of the Jesus mythos last days told through the eyes of his saucy, celtic/druid reared, Goddess Isis worshipping sacred whore/lover/wife Maeve also known as Mary of Magdala. The book is at times raucous laugh out loud funny and at other times it will break your heart. I loved the humanness as well as the divinity and the rendering of the disciples from thick as a block to plotters, schemers and all the ...more
Lee Ann
Aug 28, 2014 Lee Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2015
I was raised a Catholic. I went to a Catholic middle school, and currently attend a Jesuit college. In high school, I went to religion class on Sundays and made my Confirmation.

But try as I might (prepare for some blasphemy here), I could not bring myself to care about Jesus.

Okay: "Not care" may not be the right way to describe it. I couldn't relate, is what I'm trying to say. I knew teachers who got teary-eyed during the Stations of the Cross every year, but to me that particular Mass was just
Dec 31, 2013 Janey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always hated the fact that Mary Magdalene has been called a prostitute throughout history when she in fact was not one.

That being said, if you completely disconnect this book from the bible, Christianity and Judaism, its a great historical novel about women in ancient times. It is full of sex, passion, sorrow and drama.

The relationship between Jesus and Mary is beautiful. Elizabeth Cunningham manages to describe an infinite love that is grander than just two people.

You will love this b
Jul 08, 2007 Grace rated it it was amazing
Elizabeth Cunningham's long-awaited sequel to _Daughter of the Shining Isles_ (now sold under a different name), this book follows Maeve in her days as a slave in the Holy Land. Although it's a thick book, I read this in no time at all since I could never put it down. Maeve goes through so much in this story....from slavery to harlotry to sacred/spiritual harlotry...from the depths of despair to being the lover of the Christ (but never quite his unquestioning "follower").

Being of a Christian ba
Apr 22, 2012 Silke rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maria-magdalena
Earlier this year I read the prequel to this novel and absolutely loved it. Something I can’t say all together about this part of the series. Don’t get me wrong, I still like the story and Maeve is still het witty, feisty, funny and dramatic. The writing is still amazing and the authors family background with 9 generations of Episcopal priests shows all through the writing.
So with didn’t I like about this book? Well the first 60% of the book. It took forever before Jesus showed up and we really
Dec 24, 2014 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book with mixed feelings, and I'm very glad I finished it.

Considering I loved Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore, which many find blasphemous I was surprised that I found the book jolting, but in the end moving.

Maeve Rhuad, who becomes Mary Magdalen, is a Celt warrior goddess. I didn't read the first volume of the Chronicles, where she meets Jesus, and then is cast away, where she is captured, becomes a Roman slave. In this volume, sh
The whole Maeve Chronicles series is superlative, highly recommended, one of my favorites. I would recommend it for fans of strong women, Celtic fantasy, Biblical reinterpretation, myth and magic, Goddess fiction, the Mists of Avalon. In a nutshell, Mary Magdalen is re-visioned as a Celtic ex-pat and Jesus' wife, a magical and strong and sometimes foolish woman, and her tale spans the course of four well-researched and well-written books. Written with cheek and humor and glory and beauty, all at ...more
Jenny Yates
Jan 02, 2009 Jenny Yates rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book. It's one of my favorite readings of the character of Mary Magdalen, aka Maeve, the goddess-worshipping Celt. She's feisty, tough, omnisexual, and just as magical as Jesus. She has serious reservations about Yahweh, but she's crazy about Jesus, so she manages to (mostly) go along with his agenda.

I'm not a huge fan of retellings of the Jesus story, but this is definitely one of the best of the genre. It's well-written, with every character distinct and interesting. It's
Sep 20, 2008 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
epic. not christian.
Mrs. The King
Apr 05, 2009 Mrs. The King rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! It is seriously controversial. It is a huge read. I actually have a copy signed by the author!
Jul 30, 2008 Lynda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a biblical tale.
Mar 02, 2013 Yasaman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in a series where Mary Magdalen is actually a Celtic druid student turned slave turned prostitute turned priestess named Maeve, who is also Jesus's soulmate. Yeah. I'M SURE THIS HAS TOTALLY SOLD YOU ON THIS BOOK, AMIRITE? I'll try again: this book is more or less Kushiel's Dart meets Lamb: the Gospel According to Christ's Childhood Pal Biff, only with less BDSM and less laugh out loud funny. I haven't read the first book in the series where I guess Jesus and Maeve meet an ...more
Sharon Buchbinder
Elizabeth Cunningham, descendant of nine (9) generations of Episcopal priests, knows whereof she speaks in all things biblical. My impression of this author is that she literally ate, drank, slept and breathed Bible stories from birth—no from conception. And, rather than hew to the party line, so to speak, she listened for the voice of the women in these tales and found them missing. In THE PASSION OF MARY MAGDALEN, Ms. Cunningham gave Mary Magdalen and the other two Marys of the New Testament, ...more
Sep 25, 2007 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: fiction
The Passion of Mary Magdalen by Elizabeth Cunningham / Monkfish Book Publishing Company / 0-9766843-0-6 / 620pps / $29.95

The passion, indeed. Based on Celtic anthropology and Biblical texts, Cunningham elaborates a fiery, redheaded Druid Priestess of Isis as Maeve, the star of this novel. Actually, it was in Druid school that she first met and fell in love with Esus (Jesus). In an almost Romeo and Juliet vein, their lives are torn apart by dire circumstances and they both set out on quests to
Jyothi Jose
Feb 05, 2017 Jyothi Jose rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Magdalene has always been one of the most controversial characters in Christianity, no thanks to the Catholic agenda and that makes this book all the more precious!
This book carries a story of a woman so raw in the beauty of her soul and unabashedly honest about the choices she made to survive. No matter her choices, nothing can take away the purity of her love for her man. Jesus has always been one of the most inspirational figures the world has ever seen, some call him a teacher, some ca
Shauna Angel Blue
A Gust of Wind on the 6th, 2008

Dear Elizabeth Cunningham,
I am moved to write you. I have just finished "The Passion of Mary Magdalen", recommended to me by my friend Claude Convers. As I was laying in bed feeling some of the last chapters I realized I wanted to write and express my thanks. So, if you will allow me.

1. I have received a TREEmendous healing from this book. In several places, I wept at the depth of forgiveness and grace.
2. Thank you for writing this book. You have given me a great g
Meghann Andreassen
I'll state up front this is not a book for everyone; and by that I mean anyone who is uncomfortable with an author taking liberties with biblical scripture might dislike what Elizabeth Cunningham has written strictly on principle. But for those who can take this for what it is - a brilliantly written novel told from the perspective of a fantastic female protagonist - I think it's an absolute gem. I remember when I first plucked it off a shelf with some trepidation at the book store. I had no ide ...more
G (galen)
Jun 29, 2008 G (galen) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 12, 2012 Astrid rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: genre-study, series
Vol. 2 of a four-book series. Thought at first this was really, really stupid, then realized that you have to have a sense of humor and take it as just good storytelling. Mary M. was actually born Maeve, from Ireland, a redhead everywhere, giving new meaning to the biblical "burning bush" phrase (that comes straight from the book). She has been kicked out of "Druid College" because she had this thing going with this foreigner "Esus". The Druids wanted to use him for a human sacrifice, because th ...more
As the title suggests, this book is all about the passionate relationship between Maeve, aka Mary of Magdalen and Jesus. I usually enjoy reading stories set in this time period and the style of this one sets it apart. The book is full of humour and very engaging with a modern day narrator cracking jokes and commentating on the action.

The first half of the story centres around her life as a slave and prostitute in Rome. The second half reunites Mary with Jesus and his disciples in the holy land.
Jan 10, 2014 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story of Jesus and how he found his calling, as told by "Mary Magdalen", a women's viewpoint, is both spiritual and entertaining. It makes you ponder the life of Jesus in a whole, new way. We have Dan Brown to thank for the Da Vinci Code, causing people to know that women were a big part of Jesus's life.

He shares his life and journey with his beloved Maeve, a Celtic Goddess, who stands out like a sore thumb, being a red haired whore in Jerusalem. She was raped by her own Father, cast out t
eva olysha magruder
i didn't finish this book because it was due back at the ol' library. also, the ending seemed somewhat irrelevant. hmmm...what does that imply?

the story first chronicles the life of the fictional mary magdalen starting when she became a slave in a whorehouse in rome. from there the story remains interesting and her relationship with jesus is mysterious and one of longing.

after jesus enters the picture, i felt the story was lacking somehow. maybe because the power of the story is spread thin by
May 31, 2010 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I kept putting off reading this book as it is sooo long, but it is so worth it. It took me a bit to read as I had another book that needed to be read for my book club, but really enjoyed it. I am really clueless when it comes to the gospels/scripture, but that did not prove to be a problem enjoying the book. I really enjoyed Mauve's character. She's a very down to earth person, a straight shooter. I did enjoy the religious aspect of the story also. I would recommend the book, although like I sai ...more
Jan 07, 2014 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I normally wait to review until after I have finished a series but I just felt like I had to share my thoughts on this one because it is that special of a story.

I went into this one with no expectations and ended it feeling like I didn't want to let go of the characters. Maeve/Mary is larger than life in this book and quite frankly, someone I would love to know. The obvious story here is her love for Jesus which is beautiful and sadly imperfect (but then, who has a perfect love?). This one is g
Nancy W.
Jun 04, 2010 Nancy W. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did enjoy this book. It felt like two seperate books pushed in to one. The first half was the story of Mary Magdalen as a brassy, celtic, pagan slave. I loved the character as she speaks her mind. Envy that. The sex is quite graffic and frequent. Since she's a prostitute for much of the first half, it's to be expected. Mid way through the book she meets up with Jesus. The story changes completely and feels like a different book. Still I liked the way it wove the New Testament in to a different ...more
Apr 15, 2008 Ashley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. It was a fantastic combination of 'what really happened' and 'what might have happened' in the times of Jesus, all told through the eyes of a woman. The first half of the book is mostly about Mary Magdalen and her life trying to survive under Roman rule while constantly searching for her long lost love. The second half is a story that most people know well, but is told from a woman's perspective. Time and again I felt more like I was being told a story by my best frie ...more
Jan 10, 2014 Carrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-very-best
Although nothing like the book I expected it to be, this was a great read. I was unaware that it was part of a series, but that did not make the book any less enjoyable. As someone who subscribes to the Magdalene Theories, I enjoyed reading about a Mary Magdalen who was literally a whore, a woman of passion and a priestess all in one. Having her speak with a modern tongue added to the book's flavor, in my opinion.
Jul 23, 2015 Jody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Really 4.5 stars, just because the sheer non-stop flowing brilliance seemed to lose its perfect pace once we got into Gospels territory. It did improve eventually....but then the bar is set very high here by first half of the book and by its prequel. I adore this series, so this is small criticism. Not to mention, she has taken on a really tall order here. In any case, this is a marvelous, wise, provocative, and archetypally true piece of work. Read it and let it change you for the better!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Does this really have anything to do with Mary Magdalen? 1 4 Jan 05, 2015 02:01PM  
Next Book 1 12 Apr 01, 2008 09:46AM  
  • Mary Magdalene, Bride in Exile
  • The Moon Under Her Feet
  • The Maid of the White Hands (Tristan and Isolde, #2)
  • The Fourth Queen
  • Wisdom's Daughter: A Novel of Solomon and Sheba
  • Confessions of a Pagan Nun
  • The Secret Gospel of Mary Magdalene
  • The Betrayal: The Lost Life of Jesus
  • Unholy Awakening (Hanno Stiffeniis, #4)
  • Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians
  • Mary Magdalen: Myth and Metaphor
  • Secrets of Mary Magdalene: The Untold Story of History's Most Misunderstood Woman
  • Sophia: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God
  • The Swan Maiden
  • The Secret Magdalene
  • The Vanishing Point
  • The King's Witch
  • Darker Jewels (Saint-Germain, #7)

Other Books in the Series

Maeve Chronicles (4 books)
  • Magdalen Rising: The Beginning (Maeve Chronicles, #1)
  • Bright Dark Madonna (Maeve Chronicles, #3)
  • Red-Robed Priestess (Maeve Chronicles, #4)

Share This Book

“Being lost is the way, how else can you be found?” 12 likes
“This is a passion story: my passion, his, ours — yours.” 11 likes
More quotes…