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Children of the Wise Oak

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Blyth, Teague, and Abbon, three brothers of the Durotriges tribe in southern Britain, discover a strange old man, living alone in the forest, who warns them of a coming storm. Soon afterwards, their father returns from travelling in distant lands. But then, terrible events force them to flee from their village; the only home they have ever known. The old man teaches them s Blyth, Teague, and Abbon, three brothers of the Durotriges tribe in southern Britain, discover a strange old man, living alone in the forest, who warns them of a coming storm. Soon afterwards, their father returns from travelling in distant lands. But then, terrible events force them to flee from their village; the only home they have ever known. The old man teaches them some magic, before they embark on a journey across the sea to Gaul, guided by the warrior mage Gwenn. Gwenn brings them to train with the mysterious Deru-Weidi, but will their magic be enough when they come face to face with the mighty city of Rome? Set in a historically accurate backdrop of iron age Britain, Gaul, and the Roman Republic; “Children of the Wise Oak” is a historical fantasy featuring magical realism, Celtic culture and religion, the occasional dragon, and more. Age suitability. Recommended minimum age of 11-13 (with parental guidance) for the series. Book 1 contains some moderate violence, including battles, individual combat, Roman games, and a ritual killing. Later books in the series also contain some mild sexual content and some moderately adult themes.


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Blyth, Teague, and Abbon, three brothers of the Durotriges tribe in southern Britain, discover a strange old man, living alone in the forest, who warns them of a coming storm. Soon afterwards, their father returns from travelling in distant lands. But then, terrible events force them to flee from their village; the only home they have ever known. The old man teaches them s Blyth, Teague, and Abbon, three brothers of the Durotriges tribe in southern Britain, discover a strange old man, living alone in the forest, who warns them of a coming storm. Soon afterwards, their father returns from travelling in distant lands. But then, terrible events force them to flee from their village; the only home they have ever known. The old man teaches them some magic, before they embark on a journey across the sea to Gaul, guided by the warrior mage Gwenn. Gwenn brings them to train with the mysterious Deru-Weidi, but will their magic be enough when they come face to face with the mighty city of Rome? Set in a historically accurate backdrop of iron age Britain, Gaul, and the Roman Republic; “Children of the Wise Oak” is a historical fantasy featuring magical realism, Celtic culture and religion, the occasional dragon, and more. Age suitability. Recommended minimum age of 11-13 (with parental guidance) for the series. Book 1 contains some moderate violence, including battles, individual combat, Roman games, and a ritual killing. Later books in the series also contain some mild sexual content and some moderately adult themes.

30 review for Children of the Wise Oak

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elana

    Though this book featured a colorful ensemble of characters (including some names you might recognize from your history books...you'll have to read it to see), it focuses primarily on Blyth, Teague and Abbon, three brothers who are forced to leave their small but tight-knit village due to tragic circumstances beyond their control. They meet and travel with a number of mentors who begin training them as Deru-Weidi, or mages. "Children of the Wise Oak" is set in our world, and is historically accur Though this book featured a colorful ensemble of characters (including some names you might recognize from your history books...you'll have to read it to see), it focuses primarily on Blyth, Teague and Abbon, three brothers who are forced to leave their small but tight-knit village due to tragic circumstances beyond their control. They meet and travel with a number of mentors who begin training them as Deru-Weidi, or mages. "Children of the Wise Oak" is set in our world, and is historically accurate in many respects -- but there's a healthy dose of fantasy in there, as we are introduced to magical creatures and humans alike. It depicts how magic was a subtle (but integral) part of life back in the first century. This is a good read for those who like their historical fiction and their Sword-and-Sorcery tales. We travel and learn with the three brothers as they set out on a journey that changes the course of their lives, and will quite probably have a great impact on history. I'll have to wait for the second installment to see how Olli Tooley weaves the use of magic into familiar historical settings and battles, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it all unfolds!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Ducie

    This is the first book in a series of nine telling the story of the Celts and their enemies, the Romans. It is part history, part magical realism, part fantasy. Oliver Tooley has done a huge amount of research around his subject and it shows in the level of detail in the narrative. Without falling into the trap of 'information dumping' Tooley pulls the reader effortlessly into the world of Ancient Britain. The writing style is a little unusual, in that it is for the most part telling, rather tha This is the first book in a series of nine telling the story of the Celts and their enemies, the Romans. It is part history, part magical realism, part fantasy. Oliver Tooley has done a huge amount of research around his subject and it shows in the level of detail in the narrative. Without falling into the trap of 'information dumping' Tooley pulls the reader effortlessly into the world of Ancient Britain. The writing style is a little unusual, in that it is for the most part telling, rather than showing, and it rattles along at a fair old pace, but as I imagined the tales being handed down by story-tellers over the centuries, it seemed appropriate. There is no indication of the age-group for which this is aimed. I can see it being enjoyed both by adults and older children. A good start to an ambitious series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joni Dee

    “Children of the Wise Oak” is an epic journey written in a magical world where the Celtic-Roman era meets magic and mythology. Blyth and his younger brothers live in a remote Celtic village, in a lifestyle and surrounding of harsh survival where the tribe is put above all. When his father returns from distant lands, with apocalyptic prophecies that involves the newly formed Roman Republic - they are forced to flee from home. Guided by Gwenn, a powerful mage who knew their father, their journey le “Children of the Wise Oak” is an epic journey written in a magical world where the Celtic-Roman era meets magic and mythology. Blyth and his younger brothers live in a remote Celtic village, in a lifestyle and surrounding of harsh survival where the tribe is put above all. When his father returns from distant lands, with apocalyptic prophecies that involves the newly formed Roman Republic - they are forced to flee from home. Guided by Gwenn, a powerful mage who knew their father, their journey leads them across the continent straight to the heart of the Roman Republic. They learn magic and shapeshifting, they come across new people and cultures and they learn to admire the amazing Roman architecture which is a million light years advance from anything they ever knew. This book is the first in the "Wise Oak" series, the second just recently published under the name "Women of the Wise Oak". Those of you who know me, know that I don’t tend to read fantasy, left alone YA oriented. However, this book excited me a lot. The historical accuracy is so refined that I almost forgot about the magical elements in the novel. In a sense – it can get teenagers to relate to historical event and would be appealing to mature readers with Tooley’s great figurative language and carrying imagery. I've already bought the sequel and looking foward to seeing what Tooley as in mind for his alternative universe, Julius Caesar and the Oak "family".  

  4. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Zigler

    This was a good read, but it had the potential to be so much more. The characters were interesting, the idea behind the plot was solid, and it's based in a period of history that fascinates me. Unfortunately, something was lacking... It was missing that little spark that breathes life in to a story. I enjoyed it enough that I care what happens to the characters, and want to know what happens to them next, but I didn't love it. This was a good read, but it had the potential to be so much more. The characters were interesting, the idea behind the plot was solid, and it's based in a period of history that fascinates me. Unfortunately, something was lacking... It was missing that little spark that breathes life in to a story. I enjoyed it enough that I care what happens to the characters, and want to know what happens to them next, but I didn't love it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Children of the Wise Oak I enjoyed this book so much that I read it in one sitting. While I know this is fictional based on history past, it is easy to become immersed in lives and ways that might or could have been. Only one thing perturbed me, as a grammar Nazi, and that was the continued use of the word "floor" when someone or something was obviously outside on the "ground." Looking forward to reading the second installment now. 👍👍👍👍👍 Children of the Wise Oak I enjoyed this book so much that I read it in one sitting. While I know this is fictional based on history past, it is easy to become immersed in lives and ways that might or could have been. Only one thing perturbed me, as a grammar Nazi, and that was the continued use of the word "floor" when someone or something was obviously outside on the "ground." Looking forward to reading the second installment now. 👍👍👍👍👍

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tess Ailshire

    Obviously first in a series, though the title doesn't indicate such. By the time I was at about 40% finished, I knew the story would end without any conclusion, any real climax or denouement. Haven't decided whether I'll buy the rest of the series (this was a free Kindle offering). I did very much like the Celtic influence of the story. This fantasy series is made more enjoyable precisely because one can imagine this alternative history; only magic and dragons are hidden. The plot is terribly pre Obviously first in a series, though the title doesn't indicate such. By the time I was at about 40% finished, I knew the story would end without any conclusion, any real climax or denouement. Haven't decided whether I'll buy the rest of the series (this was a free Kindle offering). I did very much like the Celtic influence of the story. This fantasy series is made more enjoyable precisely because one can imagine this alternative history; only magic and dragons are hidden. The plot is terribly predictable. Let's see -- three young protagonists, one headstrong, check. Mysterious mage teacher, pretty and wise, check. Father something special, check. Mother secretly a druid, check. Transform to an animal, check. While it's all nicely put together, it's not terribly original.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    More travelogue than tale I don't mind reading YA literature once in a while, but this book was more pallid than puerile. It's a little difficult for me to describe why this book was so unsatisfying. The story had potential, the characters were okay, the setting was both rich and believable for the most part. But the writing was just lifeless. It's like the author unenthusiastically refers to the outline of a story to give himself the excuse to describe the Celtic world in Britain and Gaul just b More travelogue than tale I don't mind reading YA literature once in a while, but this book was more pallid than puerile. It's a little difficult for me to describe why this book was so unsatisfying. The story had potential, the characters were okay, the setting was both rich and believable for the most part. But the writing was just lifeless. It's like the author unenthusiastically refers to the outline of a story to give himself the excuse to describe the Celtic world in Britain and Gaul just before Caesar's campaigns. Overall a disappointing read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wanda

    A Storyteller's Story I have a special affinity for druid/pagan stories. This one did not disappoint. The characters were interesting and the story was a great beginning to what I hope to be a great series. The main characters, both male and female were strong and even though the 3 brothers were young they show the potential to be strong and confident. I especially like that a big part of their training was memorizing their cultural history, and who doesn't like magic that can change one into an A Storyteller's Story I have a special affinity for druid/pagan stories. This one did not disappoint. The characters were interesting and the story was a great beginning to what I hope to be a great series. The main characters, both male and female were strong and even though the 3 brothers were young they show the potential to be strong and confident. I especially like that a big part of their training was memorizing their cultural history, and who doesn't like magic that can change one into an animal!?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Aliza Schild

    The beginning of the Roman invasion Told from the point of view of 3 young Celtics, this is the story of the beginning of the Roman invasion. Magic & mysticism surround the telling of the story. It starts out a little slow & not quite sure where we are, but picks up speed & leaves you wanting to know what happens next. I will definitely read the next book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Eva Kujawa

    Huge fan of History, ancient history... Druids, all the old Gods, so i really enjoyed reading this book - a mixture of history and fantasy, it is perfect as an introduction to what i hope will be a trilogy. AS a previous reviewer said, the characters are compelling and can be irritating at times.. but hey... no one is perfect :P Would recommend this to Tweens, teens and adults

  11. 5 out of 5

    SA Krishnan

    The story was thoroughly enjoyable. The author has brought in the old era to perfection. The fantasy elements do not seem odd. In fact they merge so naturally with the story that it feels real. Thoroughly enjoyable start to the series.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Raven

    Time from a different perspective History is written by the conquerors. If you don't scribe history you are doubly lost. A great entertainment read. Identifies various ce!tic druids events. Time from a different perspective History is written by the conquerors. If you don't scribe history you are doubly lost. A great entertainment read. Identifies various ce!tic druids events.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Swistak

    Not easy The names were difficult, with so many it made it difficult to follow who was who. Did not realize it was a series, bummer.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Maria Do

    Uma narrativa que mistura uma história pouco conhecida - a dos Celtas antes da chegada dos romanos - e fantasia, com Druidas, dragões, e muita magia. Encantador.

  15. 5 out of 5

    AManForAllSaisons

    As a fan of history and historical fiction I found this book quite enjoyable. Like some of Bernard Cornwell's work, it's historically grounded but allows for the more fantastical elements of the ancient myths that inform its author. The characters are compelling, though you might want to slap one of them a time or two, which only adds to the appeal. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, and would recommend this to teens and adults alike. Mrs. Saisons also read this, so I'll give her review here: Though As a fan of history and historical fiction I found this book quite enjoyable. Like some of Bernard Cornwell's work, it's historically grounded but allows for the more fantastical elements of the ancient myths that inform its author. The characters are compelling, though you might want to slap one of them a time or two, which only adds to the appeal. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel, and would recommend this to teens and adults alike. Mrs. Saisons also read this, so I'll give her review here: Though I am a very busy woman, this book quickly became a staple of my morning. You know, during that snippet of time a WAHM has before everyone rises. I shall not give anything away, but it was indeed a nice escape and went very well with my morning cuppa. Much to my chagrin I often wished I could read the lot in one sitting and you can bet I am now eagerly awaiting the sequel.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kath

    Interesting perspective on Celtic history.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Harley Boyles

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne Hin

  19. 5 out of 5

    PatSchue

  20. 5 out of 5

    debra theiss

  21. 5 out of 5

    Carmela

  22. 5 out of 5

    James Haldiman

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paulann

  24. 4 out of 5

    Hylke

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shoshanah Tov Naiman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey A. Dewey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanna Larum

  28. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Tidwell

  29. 5 out of 5

    Shay Boyd

  30. 5 out of 5

    Hailey Smith

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