London, present day. Kerry Teare and her university friend Gavin move to London to work for the enigmatic Oliver Doncaster. Their devious new employer lures them into an arcane occult ritual involving a Golden Horse idol.
Britannia, AD 47. Aithne is the Barbarian Queen of the Tameses tribes. The Golden Warrior King she loves is known as Belenus. But are the mutterings of the Druids true: is he really the Celtic Sun God himself?
Worlds collide as Oliver’s pagan ritual on Mayday summons gods from the Celtic Otherworld of Avalon. Kerry is forced to confront the supernatural deities and corrupt mortals trying to control her life and threatening her very existence.
Leilanie Stewart is an author and poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She has written four novels, including award-winning ghost horror, The Blue Man, as well as three poetry collections. Her writing confronts the nature of self; her novels feature main characters on a dark psychological journey who have a crisis of identity and create a new sense of being. She began writing for publication while working as an English teacher in Japan, a career pathway that has influenced themes in her writing. Her former career as an Archaeologist has also inspired her writing and she has incorporated elements of archaeology and mythology into both her fiction and poetry.
In addition to promoting her own work, Leilanie runs Bindweed Magazine, a creative writing literary journal, with her writer husband, Joseph Robert. Aside from publishing pursuits, Leilanie enjoys spending time with her husband and their lively literary lad, a voracious reader of sea monster books.
I went into this book knowing almost nothing about it, only that it’s about Celtic mythology which certainly seemed like an interesting thing to read, mostly because I’ve never read something of similar topic. This book was very peculiar but in the end, I did enjoy it.
The book is about Kerry and Gavin who start working for Oliver (aka the biggest weirdo ever, but he’s a hottie too), who is obsessed with paganism. However, they soon find out Oliver has other plans for them, besides work. He wants to use them to help in raising the ancient Celtic Sun God.
When the Celtic God is risen, Kerry finds out that they are actually star-crossed lovers who had been together in her previous lifetimes. I usually like lovers from previous lives in books, however, this romance didn’t go as I wanted it to. I like when this type of romance slowly progresses until they fall in love and find out what they used to be before. However, Kerry instantly fell in love with the Sun God and after a day of being together, he told her the truth. In conclusion, it was a bit anticlimactic.
I was hoping Gavin and Kerry would get together and that this would be a nice friends to lovers but I guess the author had other plans for the main characters.
Another thing I didn’t like was how overly graphic, disturbing and sexual this was. I realize that the ritual stuff has to be written that way to make it scary and gory, but it’s not really my cuppa tea and I found myself skipping through those parts
I love Greek and Roman mythology, but I must admit I know nothing about Celtic mythology so I can’t really tell you if this was accurate or not. However, I think this was a good introduction to me and it certainly was very unique and interesting.
I’d say if you’re a fan of Celtic mythology, and books about rituals and paganism, this is a book for you. Although I usually wouldn’t pick it up on my own, it was an interesting read for sure.
There is much to admire about Gods of Avalon Road by Leilaine Stewart not least the beautiful cover. The is a great deal of well researched detail about life in Pre-Roman Britain and She has constructed an intricate mythology intertwining Celtic, Greek, Roman and Babylonian myth in a way that only someone with a deep knowledge of these subjects and their connections could do. The whole book has sort of new age feel, a bit like being at a Steiner School open day. And there is also quite a lot of sex for those interested in those sort of things. So why didn’t I love it? Firstly there were some things that were wrong and jarred a bit and pulled you out of the narrative. The Rolls-Royce Balar for example. This supposedly has the same engine as a spitfire. That’s the 27 litre (yes 27 litres a normal car would have about 1 to 2 litres) 12 cylinder Merlin engine. The weight and dimensions would not be suitable for a car. It’s a bit like saying your car has the same engine as the titanic, or the QE2. It just doesn’t. But leaving cars aside, I just did not connect with the story. It did have some of that Wicker Man Children of the Corn, folk horror feel to it, but the constant in depth descriptions rituals, clothes, food, drink, crockery, interior décor, for me just got in the way. Then there’s the sex and lots of it. I know for some people that’s a plus, and these are far from the worse sex scenes I’ve read. To me they felt all a little Mills and Boons bodice ripper. All of those perfectly muscled men, big chested girls, tight buttocks: it made me think that Barbie was making out with Ken. It all seemed a bit impersonal. The characters were a bit of mixed bag but I struggled to find any that I really liked or cared about, and the writing was a bit one paced. So all in all, even though I understand why others love it and there is lots to admire, I can only give it three stars.
Leilanie Stewart has created a superb story filled with intrigue and rich description. Despite the mystery filling the pages, there are laugh-out-loud funny moments, steamy romance scenes, and exciting fights. Stewart has a distinct voice in her writing that draws you into the novel, and her complex character each have their own unique personalities. My favourite character of all is Gavin – he’s a down-to-earth, genuine guy, with such a real personality. He draws the short end of the stick and behaves in a manner I think all people would if they were in his situation.
After researching the author a little, it was no surprise to find she has a background in archaeology. Her knowledge is evident throughout the novel; she portrays the art, architecture and mythology is expert detail. The author depicted the pagan rituals gorgeously. I don’t know whether the rites were accurate or wonderful designs from the author’s imagination, but they were elaborate and mystical, and I really enjoyed them.
Without giving too much away, I expected a friends-to-loves trope between two of the characters, and that wasn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong, I was not upset by the fact the trope didn’t come to fruition – I actually found it quite refreshing when it didn’t happen, but I was surprised.
I don’t know what it was about the cover (maybe the swirls going down the edges?), but I honestly thought this was going to be a YA novel. It most definitely isn’t, the book includes many sex/lusty scenes and bloody fights. In my opinion, the sex scenes are tastefully written, vivid enough to be steamy, but not explicit enough to affront sensitive readers.
About halfway through the novel, there was a large info dump of Stewart’s mythology knowledge that wasn’t necessarily vital to the story. It gives the reader an insight into the pasts of a few characters, so I do not think it was pointless, just a little excessive.
This novel is long and very much dialogue-driven. I found the constant discussions a bit much about three-quarters of the way through the book, but thankfully they were followed up with some stunning descriptions. The author is a great writer and, by that point in the book, I wanted to discover things through the great descriptions she composes rather than through the characters’ conversations. In particular, I adored Kerry’s flashbacks to her previous life as Aithne, especially the love scenes between her and Belenus.
If you’re looking for a slow-burn romance, this is not the book for you. My biggest complaint about the book is the love-at-first-sight between Kerry and Belenus, and how Gavin and Blodeuwedd married after a couple of days of knowing each other (though I do feel that poor Gavin was manipulated into it a bit). I get that Kerry and Belenus shared multiple past lives together, but Kerry didn’t remember all of it when she first met Belenus, so it was really annoying when she decided she was madly in love with him within less than 24 hours of meeting him. Even the characters themselves remarked on how concerningly quickly the romance was unfurling! Thankfully this story was good enough for me to look past the love-at-first-sight trope, but I’d be a liar if I said it didn’t irk me. Tropes are very much subjective; what trope doesn’t work for me might work for someone else. I don’t mind a good love triangle, for instance, whereas someone else might detest them. Fortunately, after the flashback scenes to Kerry and Belenus’s past lives together, I found myself forgiving the love-at-first-sight because the flashbacks were beautiful.
Oliver charmed the pants off of me and I was honestly a bit bummed when he turned out to be the villain. Stewart wrote him so well that I was completely enchanted by his façade, making the reveal of his true colours shocking. I love morally grey characters, and the gods in this story were exactly that. They were pagan deities of the past and their mentalities were true to the time period in which they had ruled, regardless of the fact they were now in the modern times. They did not understand Gavin’s and Kerry’s horror at a certain ritual at the end, but that seemed realistic to me. The ending was interesting – almost bittersweet, I really liked it. Gavin’s situation in the end really tugged at my heartstrings, I’d love for the author to write a novella or something about his life with Blodeuwedd considering the note she ended on with him.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Gods of Avalon Road tells the story of two university friends Kerry and Gavin who have moved to London and work for a mysterious boss who introduces them to a world of ancient gods. The boss has plans for them thus Kerry’s world and existence is thrown into turmoil when the Gods of the Celtic Otherworld of Avalon are summoned and she must combat these corrupt mortals if she is to survive. The writer has taken great care and attention which each character, which benefits the reader as they are well written and realistic. The scenes are wonderfully crafted and are well researched, I was drawn into the world the writer has created. The dialogue is fun with plenty of humour. Overall, a great original story, a real page-turner. I look forward to reading more of Leilanie’s work. Highly recommended.
The Gods of Avalon road is not one of my usual reads, but the idea of the story was intriguing to me. The writer appears tinhave done a great deal of research into the myth/beliefs used within the book and I found it all quite interesting. I enjoyed seeing the characters develop and their lives change throughout. The events keeping my attention throughout. A great and interesting read.
This intriguing and unique plot mixes the fate of ancient Gods with modern paganism set on the banks of the River Thames in London. Well written and with strong, complex characters, this book will appeal to readers who love the themes of pagan ritual, myth and legend.