THE SACRED JEWEL by Nancy Faulkner
Kirkus Star

THE SACRED JEWEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In 10 AD, the Druids, highly influential priests of England, controlled religion, law, and government. This is the story of one man's tie, then his disenchantment with this all powerful order. When Bran the Brave passes the demanding tests, he is accepted whole heatedly in the sect, wins the admiration of his beloved Ysobel but incurs the hatred of the vengeful Evelake for whom Ysobel's brother sacrificed his right arm in an encounter with a boar. Twisted by jealousy, Evelake curses Bran and convinces Annwyn, the cowering swineherd, of his power to invoke magic. Returning from a trip to Carelon, Bran is accused of stealing the chevron bead, sacred jewel of the Arch Druid, and is imprisoned also for witchcraft. Ysobel believes strongly that ""truth will free him from evil"" and with her brother she succeeds in proving to Annwyn that his testimony can save Bran from an unjust death. Dramatically, the ignorant swincherd renounces Evelake as the thief and though Bran is freed, he renounces the Druids' misuse of power and resigns from the order. Beautifully composed, a unique legend enlightens a period of history rarely seen in fiction and breathes life into the people and issues of the day.

Pub Date: Sept. 22nd, 1961
Publisher: Doubleday