Wave Hunter – Book 3
It is 59 AD. The Romans have subdued most of Britain, but the tribes of Cymru are proving troublesome. The new Governor, Suetonius Paulinus, believes an iron fist will finally quell all resistance, but he hasn’t reckoned on the growing magical powers of Tegen, the young ‘Star Dancer’.
Pursued by a demon wrapped in fog, Tegen is making her way to Mona, the sacred Isle of the Druids, guided by the irritable and unreliable Kieran. She longs to leave him, but he is her only hope if she is to weave the Great Spell that will defend their homeland.
Together with Enid, another druid, the three seek wisdom on the peak of Cadair Idris, the source of poetry, prophecy – and madness. From that moment, the demon’s hatred is whipped into a frenzy of fury.
The sea, the goddess of smithing, and an Irish Queen intervene. Tegen finds love and the Isle of Mona, but Suetonius’s troops have also arrived, bringing death, hatred and an old friend.
From despair, hope seems to be glinting on the horizon, but an ancient ritual breaks a loaf of bread – and Tegen’s heart.
Read the opening of Wave Hunter:
The view towards Éiru from Brighid’s smithy
Map 1: Tegen leaves Sinodun and travels westwards with Kieran, through Corinium (Cirencester) across the River Severn (the Rearing River) at Lydney and into the Forest of Deane – see Map 2 below.
Map 2: Kieran led Tegen to y Fenni (Abergavenny) then northwards to Tal y Llyn and the House of Bera at the foot of Cadair Idris. After Enid went mad, Tegen and Kieran fled westwards to the sea, where Tegen was put into Brigid’s boat and sailed to Éiru and Tara (Map 3)
Tal y Llyn
The House of Bera, below Cadair Idris
Cadair idris – in the fog!
Map 3 to follow
The Rath of Grainne (Tara)
When Tegen and Tonn sailed back to Britain they landed Ynis Môn (Angelsey – top of map 2) where they witnessed the slaughter of the druids. They then made their way up the Humber and landed just north of Deva (Chester).
The cleft at the top of the Edge where the druids hid
They then travelled due east until they came to the hill with silver, gold, lead and tin (Alderley Edge) where Tonn met his end …
Where Tonn died.
Wave Hunter by Beth Webb
This fascinating series continues, with Tegen, the Star Dancer, embarking on an arduous journey to the druid island of Mona where she hopes, finally, to fulfil her powers.
She’s already proved herself, fighting prejudice from druid elders (because she’s female) and the evil cave demon that wants to thwart her, knowing her destiny is to defeat the relentless wave of Roman invaders sweeping across Britain. But the demon is still tracking her, shape-shifting and making it impossible to decide who to trust.
Fighting bears and winter weather, the vicissitudes of her journey are vividly described, as is the natural world she and her companion, Kieran, and horse, Epona, pass through in this absorbing glimpse into the Iron Age – and most impressively – its belief systems.
As the Iron Age comes to a close, Romans are sweeping across the British countryside destroying anyone who stands in their way. The druids are a particular target – the Romans understand all too well that the society they seek to subdue revolves around its religion and its sacred places. Tegen is determined to stop them. As the Star Dancer, the young druid girl’s destiny is to avert a great evil, and she believes that evil is the Roman invasion.
Tegen has exceptional magical powers but she also has an exceptional enemy in the form of a powerful demon that stalks her wherever she goes. And as Tegen slowly makes her way to the sacred isle of Mona for the weaving of the great druidic spell against the Romans, the demon is in constant pursuit. With only a boy, a dog and a white horse to help her, will Tegen make it in time?
I love historical fantasy and I’m really enjoying this series about Tegen. She’s an engaging central character – full of otherworldly magic and power, but also of endearingly human characteristics. She’s impulsive and quick to anger, but also determined and kind and loving. You really do will her to succeed against the huge odds she faces and you readily forgive her mistakes. I love her for being such a strong female character; she speaks as much to readers today as she would have done to her Iron Age peers.
Webb also fills this book with vivid and accurate historical detail. From food and clothes through methods of warfare to religion and an understanding of the world around them, Celtic and Roman people spring from her pages as credible human beings whose lives are illuminated for her readers.
Roll on book four!
If you like to try before you buy, you can download the first chapter of Wave Hunter here.
My thanks to the good people at March Hamilton for sending the book.
You should read the first book in the series rather than beginning with Wave Hunter. The Mark of Edain by Pauline Chandler also talks about the enmity between the druids and the Romans. Bloodline by Katy Moran is an evocative story of Dark Ages Britain with a subtle fantasy element.
Jill Murphy for www.thebookbag.co.uk
The Lios, Brigid’s sacred mound in Tara
“I’VE FINISHED!!!!! WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
“Really, really worth reading.” Ms. M. R. Clarke “mharaehl”
5.0 out of 5 stars
A brilliant third installment, 1 Aug 2011
Ms. M. R. Clarke “mharaehl”
This review is from: Wave Hunter: The Book of Water (Paperback)
I finished Wave Hunter last night and just wanted to say that I thought it was fantastic!
It has been a long time since I read the first two, but this one seemed like the main area of story, as if the first two were setting the scene ready for this moment. It was deeply real and I could identify with Tegan, feel her emotions and the constant undercurrent of restlessness and anticipation to realising her destiny, seeing the phrophecies come true and know in her heart that she had helped to save her country. Characters like Tonn, Keiran, Wolf and all the people she grew, even only slighly, close to along the way, beautifully played out allt he areas of her thought process of ‘this is why I have to do this’; Tonn as her handfasted man and her genuine love for him, Keiran representing the common Britton at the time – all the people without such strong voices, Wolf as her link to the past – the people she has already had to say goodbye to. It is a darker, more danger-filled book, dealing with some things that are hard to explain, but none of it feels unacheivable in the real world. I know Beth Webb had said that most of the ‘magic’ that happens in the previous two books are simply illusion and totally explainable, but even here, where the fire-making, mirror-reading and more mysterious ‘magic’ happens, it still has an appealing tangibility.
Really, really worth reading!
Rating : 5
Reviewer: Merrie McKinnon
This thrilling third instalment into the Star Dancer quartet by author Beth Webb is filled with hummer even in the most dangerous of times “We must obey. The chickens have spoken!” Is just one of the many funny lines included in this book, Wave Hunter is bursting with magic and unknown facts about ancient Britain and Rome, the book is filled with adventure, secrets, mysteries, love and loss. The story is about a young druid-girl with raven hair, but not an ordinary student in the arts who, stick rigidly to spells and potions; this girl is the Star Dancer, whose destiny is to rid Britain of the evil that the Romans bring with them to the sacred shores. The book will have you captivated to the very last word and leave you starving for more, you will be enchanted by every one of the characters and leave you needing to know what happens next. For more information on the book, visit www.bethwebb.co.uk and see for yourself, what the amazing world of Star dancer can do for you, as it is not a series to miss out on!
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“A captivating adventure full of magic, love and wonder. The beautiful descriptions keep the book glued in your hands and lead you to believe you are part of the story, feeling every joy, sorrow and fear as your own. Find out what surprises await Tegen and her friends among the pages of this spectacular book. A story that I will never forget.” Esme Gourlay
“Just wanted to say Wave Hunter was absolutely brilliant!! I want to read it again and again. Good to see someone not scared to write about the more violent aspects of druidry in children’s stories – can’t wait for the next installment!” Mary Keene
“A complex story, full of drama, magic and love is a good description of this exciting book. Wave Hunter (an impressive follow up to Star Dancer and Fire Dreamer) has just the right balance of the possible and the imaginable, magic and religion, love and history. It presents an opportunity to delve deep in to a very special druid’s life and her adventures trying to follow her fate without hurting anyone. She travels across all terrain, a dog at her heals and an evil demon on her tail hoping she will save the country. Wave Hunter is a unique and unmissable atmospheric book. I can’t wait for the next one to come out!” Josie Oliver – Aged 12
“I’ve read Wave Hunter and it was amazing! HURRY UP AND WRITE THAT NEXT BOOK!!!!!” Emily Gribbin
“I read Wave Hunter when I was in China and I loved it! I so didn’t see the ending coming. Can’t wait for the next one.” Katherine Wilson
“I’VE FINISHED!!!!! WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ”Altogether an amazing book! and I simply cannot wait for Stone Keeper! ”Then my mum read it yesterday… she started at about 7 and had finished by about 12.30. SHE SOBBED!!!! completely and utterly in floods of tears.” Keziah Rea-Bradley
“I have just finished reading Wave Hunter, I enjoyed it so much, already I am missing Tegen.” Jennifer Jackson
“I finished Wave Hunter last night and just wanted to say that I thought it was fantastic! It has been a long time since I read the first two, but this one seemed like the main area of story, as if the first two were setting the scene ready for this moment. It was deeply real and I could identify with Tegen, feel her emotions and the constant undercurrent of restlessness and anticipation to realising her destiny, seeing the prophecies come true and know in her heart that she had helped to save her country. Characters like Tonn, Keiran, Wolf and all the people she grew, even only slightly, close to along the way, beautifully played out all the areas of her thought process of ‘this is why I have to do this’; Tonn as her handfasted man and her genuine love for him, Keiran representing the common Britton at the time – all the people without such strong voices, Wolf as her link to the past – the people she has already had to say goodbye to. It is a darker, more danger-filled book, dealing with some things that are hard to explain, but none of it feels unachievable in the real world. I know Beth Webb had said that most of the ‘magic’ that happens in the previous two books are simply illusion and totally explainable, but even here, where the fire-making, mirror-reading and more mysterious ‘magic’ happens, it still has an appealing tangibility. ”Really, really worth reading.” Ms. M. R. Clarke “mharaehl”
“When I picked up Wave Hunter by Beth Webb I did so with some trepidation. I had no doubt that the book would be well written, but it was the third in the series and I haven’t yet read the other two. However, I need not have worried, Beth has been very helpful to readers by writing a short introduction with enough information about the previous two books for you to be able to read the third but left out enough that if you want to read these other two books they aren’t spoilt for you. ”In this book the reader joins her as the cave demon howls, feeding on people’s grief, misery and suffering. Initially Tegen thinks it is wolves howling but gradually realises that it is actually the demon that has been the source of most of her problems. ”The story is set in England at the end of the Iron Age and the beginning of the Roman invasion and settlement. Magic is a fact of life and Tegen, the main protagonist, is a young druid magician of the highest calibre but limited experience. Wave Hunter oozes the atmosphere of the time it is set in, not the ordered sophistication of the Roman Invaders with their straight roads and centrally heated villas but the natural rhythm of life lived near to nature where it is the seasons that dominate all actions and with magic and the supernatural permeating everything that happens and all thoughts. This is the druid way. Alongside this is the rather more down to earth lives lived by Tegen’s guide Kieran and other natives of this land and whilst they have gods to worship these are people disturbed by magic. This causes tension between Tegen and Kieran but provides a way for each to come to a greater understanding of the other’s way of life and culture. Inevitably it is dominated by the druid interpretations of things as it is mostly through Tegen’s eyes we are shown the story. ”By the end of the book it is difficult not to feel sorry for Tegen who seems to suffer more than her fair share of tragedy and disaster in one so young. It also makes one think you would not want to be her friend as none of them thrive! ”There is enough action to keep the reader turning the pages and the setting is authentic enough to keep the reader immersed and not constantly noticing inaccuracies – as far as I can tell, as I am not an expert on Roman Britain. ”There were occasions when you have to believe someone in Tegen’s position would or even could allow events to follow their course even at enormous expense to her and her future happiness. Once or twice I did want her to intervene but she stuck to her character and beliefs which probably gave the book greater validity even if it had this reader shouting to her to change the course of fate! All in all a very good book and I shall look forward to finding out the eventual fate of Tegen and those close to her by the end of the fourth book in the quartet.” Marion Prickett, school librarian
Wave Hunter: The Book of Water
by Beth Webb
Overall rating: *****
Dragon Lady A Proper Page-turner!
‘Wave Hunter’ continues the story of Tegen, a young woman of the late Iron Age in Britain – who believes she’s been born to avert a great evil.
But nobody can tell her what, exactly, she’s supposed to do! You will be astonished at what happens to Tegen and her friends as she searches for answers right across Britain. With a terrifying demon tracking her every step, trying to get her in its hate-filled power. (Beth writes dark magic better than anyone I know.)
Beth’s superb writing makes you feel you’re right there, breathing in the sweat and blood of the gladiator’s duel, seeing the shimmer of magic, hearing the screams of battle… This is the most excellent type of historical fantasy: fully researched yet intent on giving readers a good time.
Joy-Aisling marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy, historical-fiction, mythology, new-and-startling, plausibility-hooray, so-good-it-hurts, young-adult.
Nov 24, 2011
Jason rated it *****