Book Review: Red-Robed Priestess

Cunningham’s fourth title of The Maeve Chronicles brings the series to a satisfying conclusion as Maeve, also known as the Celtic Mary Magdalen, returns to her native homeland in the British Isles. It has been forty years since her firstborn daughter was wrenched from her arms. Sarah, the daughter of Maeve and Esus, urges her mother to seek her firstborn child and together they set off. Raised by eight warrior witches and later banished, there is considerable question as to what kind of reception Maeve and Sarah will find upon their return to Avalon. After making a calculated risk, Maeve meets with one of the enemy, a Roman general who later forces her to “see” for him. Unfortunately, the Iceni Queen Boudica’s war will prove every bit as bloody as Maeve had foreseen but she could not have guessed the identity of her long lost daughter.

Recounting the last year of Maeve’s life, this deeply moving story is slated as a stand-alone story but to fully appreciate the character nuances and histories; please do read The Passion of Mary Magdalen, Magdalen Rising and Bright Dark Madonna. Maeve is a painfully honest person who is not afraid to walk tall, live a life that is absolutely true to her ideals, and stand up for loved ones. Family bonds and unlikely love form a solid backbone to this wonderfully constructed historical fiction that invites repeat visits and cements Cunningham’s reputation as a top-notch author.

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