The Oath

The Druid Chronicles, Book One

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Pub Date 15 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 1 Jun 2022

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When the last of members of a secretive Druid cult are forced to abandon their hidden sanctuary, they send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister, who was abducted by a Saxon war band fifteen years ago. With only a rudimentary grasp of English and the ambiguous guidance of an oracle’s prophecy, Caelym manages to find Annwr living in a hut on the grounds of a Christian convent.

Annwr has spent her years of captivity caring for the timid Aleswina, an orphaned Saxon princess who was consigned to the cloistered convent by her cousin, King Gilberth, after he assumed her father’s throne. Just as Caelym and Annwr are about leave together, Aleswina learns that Gilberth, a tyrant known for his cruelty and vicious temper, means to take her out of the convent and marry her. Terrified, she flees with the two Druids—beginning a heart-pounding adventure that unfolds in ways none of them could have anticipated.

When the last of members of a secretive Druid cult are forced to abandon their hidden sanctuary, they send the youngest of their remaining priests in search of Annwr, their chief priestess’s sister...

A Note From the Publisher

A.M. LINDEN was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up on the East Coast before returning to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult. She has undergraduate degrees in anthropology and in nursing and a master’s degree as a nurse practitioner. After working in a variety of acute care and community health settings, she took a position in a program for children with special health care needs where her responsibilities included writing clinical reports, parent educational materials, provider newsletters, grant submissions and other program related materials. THE OATH began as a somewhat whimsical decision to write something for fun and ended up becoming a lengthy journey that involved Linden taking adult education creative writing courses, researching early British history, and traveling to England, Scotland, and Wales. Retired from nursing, she lives with her husband, dogs, and cat.

A.M. LINDEN was born in Seattle, Washington, but grew up on the East Coast before returning to the Pacific Northwest as a young adult. She has undergraduate degrees in anthropology and in nursing and...

Advance Praise

"The story rolls along at a lively pace, rich with details of the times and a wide cast of characters....Those interested in goddess-worshipping religions will be drawn to the novel. Any reader curious about 8th-century Britain will enjoy Linden’s innovative focus on the little-known Druids as well as early medieval Christians. Her plotting, shifting points of view of the three engaging protagonists, and evocative writing style make The Oath a pleasure to read. Highly recommended!"

Historical Novels Review 

“Linden’s well-researched tale eloquently brings to life a lesser-known period of transition in Britain. . . . The author has created a strong foundation for her series with well-developed characters whom readers can embrace. . . . [a] layered, gripping historical fiction . . .”

Kirkus Reviews

“Linden uses a fairy tale-like style almost as though this story has been passed down orally over the centuries. Though the kingdoms are fictional, Linden's tale draws on meticulous historical research, especially in her dramatization of the Christian persecution of the druids.”


“Thrilling historical fiction with heart and soul.”

Tim Pears, author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves, In a Land of Plenty, and A Revolution of the Sun

“Linden’s knowledge and passion for history is soaked into every word of The Oath, combined with an obvious skill at storytelling. Linden succeeds at every level, but the world building is truly spectacular. Historical fantasy is hard to do well, but Linden makes it look easy. What could be dry details are presented so effectively that the world is elevated to almost being a character of its own. And in a cast of characters as well drawn as these, that's saying something. I can't wait to see what else this skilled author comes up with!”

Bishop O’Connell, author of the American Faerie Tale series

The Oath urges readers along on a richly textured quest among the Saxons and Celts of 8th-century Britain. Young and rather humorously naïve Druid priest-healer Caelym swears to ‘rescue’ a damsel in distress who turns out to be neither a young damsel nor in distress. With a feminist slant, this engaging tale brings the conflict between Druids and early Christians to vivid life through sympathetic and well-rounded characters. I particularly enjoyed the ironic voice of the aging midwife Annwr. Brava!”

Sara Stamey, author of The Ariadne Connection, Islands, Wild Card Run, and Double Blind

The Oath will appeal to a wide-ranging readership, reflecting Linden’s rich imagination and gift for weaving tales within tales evoking the romance of medieval Britain. Vibrant, determined, and relatable characters with disparate ethnic and religious identities discover their own strengths, and each other’s, as the intricate and engaging plot unfolds.”

Anne Marie Tietjen, PhD, clinical psychologist and instructor at Western Washington University

"The story rolls along at a lively pace, rich with details of the times and a wide cast of characters....Those interested in goddess-worshipping religions will be drawn to the novel. Any reader...

Marketing Plan

This is the first title in a new five book series.

This is the first title in a new five book series.

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781647421144
PRICE US$17.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

This book is a richly described journey that will enthrall readers. While it starts off slowly, the author quickly develops the main characters and provides the context for the underlying story. This is a story of a clash of cultures at its best. The Druid Caelym is attempting to succeed in his mission to "rescue" Annwr and his children. The Druid priestess/Saxon slave/nursemaid Annwr struggles with her memories of the life she was ripped away from compared to the simplistic life she currently has. Aleswina the Christian novice grapples with the knowledge of Annwr's past, life outside the convent, and all that Caelym exposes her to. The ever present threat of politics looms over the trio as they seek safety.
The author skillfully wove Druid traditions into the character development of both Caelym and Annwr. There is also a glimpse as to the persecution of the Druid way of life by their Christian counterparts. The continuing travels of the companions prove to be fodder for some epic storytelling in the future installments of this series.
I received an advanced copy of this title via the publisher.

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This is an imaginative book! It's filled with Druid and Saxon wisdom and hilarious characters. This is historical fiction that keeps you riveted to its pages. The British Dark Ages are a very dangerous and intriguingly irresistible time.

Our priest is very funny with his inner thoughts and mannerisms. His ideas kept me throughly entertained. I wanted to cheer him on in. I absolutely enjoyed him. I laughed aloud at his antics.

Our princess was sweet and dutiful. She didn't want a forced marriage and so she turned to her servant for help. They embark upon a perilous journey. Watching these two make their way was also very amusing in how they dealt with situations.

This is a slower paced book but it makes up for that with the inner musings and ideas of its characters. If you want a book that will make you think as it entertains you, this is it!

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This is a beautifully imagined story that immediately captured my attention. Though I love history, this is a time I know very little about and I relished immersing myself in the period. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the small cast of fascinating characters, each with their own ideas of how approach their adventure.

The story felt a little slow in the middle, but I kept reading and I’m glad that I did. This is a fascinating historical chronicle and the cover perfectly represents the book.

This is the first in a five-book series called The Druid Chronicles. I’m definitely looking forward to the second installment.

Thanks to NetGalley and She Writes Press for the free copy.

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The Oath is the first installment of a five novel series set during Britain’s Dark Ages. It tells the story of two druids and a Christian. Annwr is the chief priestess’s sister who was abducted by Saxons fifteen years ago. Caelym is a priest who is sent to rescue her. Before they leave to go back to their kingdom, they are joined by a Saxon princess named Aleswina, who is desperate to escape a horrible suitor. The three of them embark on a dangerous mission that none of them could have anticipated.

The three main characters are Annwr, Caelym, and Aleswina. Each of these characters are very complex and are fully fleshed out characters. Annwr and Caelym have very tragic backgrounds. My heart ached for them through their pain. I thought that Annwr was a very capable and strong woman. She was very wise. I thought of her as a survivor who endured a lot of pain. Caelym had a lot of grief. Two of his sons were taken by the Saxsons and their whereabouts are unknown. Therefore, Caelym has a strong determination to find his missing sons. He was the most sympathetic of the three characters, and I kept hoping he would find them. Aleswina is probably the most fascinating and developed character in the novel. She starts off as a damsel in distress, but later grows stronger over time. Thus, all three of the main characters were very compelling.

Overall, this novel is about loss, prejudices, and religion. All the other supporting characters were developed well. The story does start slowly but later on it picks up speed. I was disappointed with the ending because there were some loose ends. Still, this was mostly a journey story that had a touch of intrigue and mystery. I also thought Ms. Linden did an excellent job in depicting Britain's turbulent Dark Ages. I like how she discussed the religious conflict of the era. Thus, this novel was meticulously researched and the writing was lush and evocative. The Oath is an exceptional start to a promising series! I recommend this novel for fans of Signe Pike, Melanie Karsak, and Nicole Evelina!

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Many years ago, Annwr, the sister of a Druid cult’s chief priestess was kidnapped by Saxons. And yet, the prophecy of an oracle says that Annwr still lives, and Caelym, a young druid priest, is sent to find her, and bring her home.

What Caelym doesn’t expect is that Annwr might be reluctant to return to a life she hasn’t lived for years. Annwr was given the role of caring for the orphaned Saxon princess, Aleswina, and Aleswina has become like a daughter to Annwr. Aleswina is in a convent, with Annwr living nearby, and Annwr does not know if she can simply leave Aleswina and go home.

However, there is no need for Annwr to do any decision-making, for Aleswina makes the choice for her. Aleswina finds out that her cousin, a simply dreadful man, plans to marry her, and she will not stand by and let that happen. The Saxon princess joins the two Druids, and they flee together.

This book does start out a little slow, and I found my attention starting to wane a little in the first few chapters. When the story really got started, though, once the three characters start on their journey, I found I couldn’t put the book down. It did take a little while, but once I got into it, I was hooked. I read the entire book in a day.

My absolute favourite character had to be Caelym. He is on a mission, not only to find Annwr, but also to find his two young sons. He is certainly determined, and nothing will stop him. Caelym’s inner monologue is hilarious to read, for he is incredibly sarcastic. Annwr is equally sarcastic, and their conversations were enough to make me laugh out loud as I read. Caelym is always doing what he can to help, and gain some praise, and Annwr is incredibly reluctant to give it to him, always managing to see the things he does as attention-seeking, rather than helpful. Together, they make a very humorous pair.

Aleswina is set a little behind Caelym and Annwr. She is not in the spotlight so much, but she is also completely out of her comfort zone. She is a Saxon princess, and yet, she is living on the run with two Druids, who have different customs, and know how to survive in the wild. She is completely dependent on them to keep her safe. And yet, Aleswina is an incredibly loving and kind person, who would do almost anything to keep Annwr safe, although she would be, perhaps, a little more hesitant over what she would do to keep Caelym safe – they do not exactly have the most conventional way of getting to know each other!

The historical detailing of this novel is fabulous. The author has done an excellent job in making you feel like you are traipsing through the woods with the characters, and listening to Caelym and Annwr bicker. I don’t think that I’ve read many books starring druid priests before, and I certainly do not know much about their culture. I know decidedly more about Aleswina’s religion, and I almost felt like I was by her side, slowly learning as she learnt.

The characters’ backstories are revealed slowly, with information coming to light as and when it is required. This was an excellent way to do this, for not knowing everything definitely keeps you invested in the story, and there is no information dump to bore you. Instead, you are kept desperate for more snippets of, in particular, Caelym’s past, and what happened between Annwr being abducted, and Caelym coming to find her.

This is the kind of book you are not sure you need in your life until you read it. Caelym quickly became a favourite character, and I simply adored the humorous thoughts and conversations. If you are interested in this era, or want a book you can really get invested in, this is the one you need.

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