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Publisher's Summary

Young Magdalen and Jesus, brimming with youthful charm and arrogance, find each other and fall in love, forging a bond that is stronger than death. Their pleasure is overshadowed by a brilliant but unbalanced druid who knows a perilous secret about Maeve's past. The prequel to The Passion of Mary Magdalen.

©2007 Elizabeth Cunningham (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Smart and earthy.... Richly imaginative.... The epitome of the storyteller's art." (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, named one of The Year's Best Books)
"This amazing book could well become a classic of women's literature." (Booklist, named one of the Year's Ten Best Fantasy Books)

What listeners say about Magdalen Rising

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Elizabeth Cunningham
  • 27-07-15

The Story as Maeve meant you to hear it!

Would you consider the audio edition of Magdalen Rising to be better than the print version?

It is a bit unorthodox for the author to be writing a review, but the audio format is new to me and is a work of art in itself. I love the words I wrote and I love hearing them spoken in Heather O'Neill's beautiful, expressive voice. What is better about the audio version is that Maeve is a first century Celt trained in the oral tradition. As such she is skeptical of the written word. Maeve and I are both thrilled that you can now hear the story as she always intended for you to do.

What other book might you compare Magdalen Rising to and why?

The Maeve Chronicles are comparable to other epic series, like Tolkien's and Gabaldon's.

Have you listened to any of Heather O'Neill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not yet, but I will. She is a superb reader!

Who was the most memorable character of Magdalen Rising and why?

Well, Maeve is second to no one of course. But I have a fondness for all the wild old women. The Cailleach, Dwynwyn and Anna the Prophetess.

Any additional comments?

Treat yourself to these books no matter how many times you've read them or if you have never read them. Your life may be changed, as mine surely was in writing them.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tam
  • 27-06-18

Narrator A+ Story D-

Could not finish. I tried, and I really wanted to like the book. This doesn't fit into the historical fiction genre. The narrator was very good. If it weren't for her narration skills, I would not have made it through my 3 hour attempt to complete the book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Donato
  • 23-10-15

Engaging Historical Fantasy

What did you love best about Magdalen Rising?

The author's knowledge of the New Testament and her ability as a storyteller.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Maeve.

Have you listened to any of Heather O'Neill’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. She does a great job and continues to be one of my favorite narrators.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Lover of the World

Any additional comments?

Listened to the entire series and highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • angie
  • 12-10-21

What Can I Say?

The narrator was terrific! I would not have finished this audible book, if her performance wasn't fabulous.

The story was not at all what I had imagined. This book is a complete fantasy imagined by the author, and I'm sure she had a blast writing it. Why not?

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-04-21

Incredible

Loved this book so much!! I highly recommend it. I was so captured and never wanted it to end.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-20

Enchanting story

I read this series a few years back. The audio version did not disappoint.

This is a story of womankind. Of the struggles our ancestors have in overcome. Of the connection of the feminine to the sacred. Of the punishment we often face for claiming our sexual nature. Of abuse at the hands of men. Of overcoming and making a life again after that abuse. Of Love of Loss. Of the kind of healing transformation that is possible through spiritual sexual practice.

Sorry for any spoilers! Listen to the whole series!!

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  • Sita
  • 10-01-20

Beautifully written and captivating

It is clear that the author’s background, current profession and creative passion are drawn upon in the weaving of this story. The narrator is outstanding. Could not put it down!

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  • New To Indian Cooking
  • 06-10-19

Amazing

I read the Maeve Chronicles years ago but getting to experience them again via Audible is a whole new experience-highly, highly recommend!

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  • Luna Clark
  • 21-07-19

BEAUTIFUL fresh expression of her story

I truly enjoyed the riveting tale of Maeve! I'm so grateful there's more to read!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-05-19

Great Book!!!!

This is a wonderful story full of drama, humor, some action, and plenty of references to biblical era Britain. Ms. O'Neill does a masterful job of portraying Maeve. Almost as if she's sitting down and telling you her story herself. The only issue I have with this specific recording is that whoever did the editing really goofed and it often cuts to the next chapter in the middle of a line, and it almost seems like it cuts off parts of entire chapters. However, even with that minor annoyance, I would totally buy again if I had to do it over!

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  • Tootles
  • 10-08-21

Interesting Celtic twist on an old tale

Really well written story. Lots of characters that you quickly care about.
Love the detail on al the Celtic lore.
Excellent narration

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  • Ms Clare Matthews
  • 22-06-21

Nonsense

Terrible book. Did not live up to it's overview or description. Strange and uncompelling. Dissatisfied

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  • Kala
  • 21-06-21

Unconvincing perspective through a modern day lens

Reasonably well narrated (except for hopeless Welsh accents and pronunciation of Welsh words) story that had promise, but was ultimately disappointing.

The modern day American lens was all too obvious and there were many obvious misinterpretations of the Celts and ancient Druidry. The Druid college was depicted as having a culture more like Hogwarts or the Catholic Church than a nature-based pagan school. It's debatable of course when exactly the patriarchy came into ascendancy, but if modern Druidry is anything to go by, this depiction seems far from credible.

The Jeshua character was also a bit too biblical and Yaweh-fearing to be believable.

Maeve is the heroine of the piece and yet the lens seemed imbued with patriarchy and oppression of women, with women relegated largely to the roles of witches, seers and feisty trouble maker. It doesn't portray Maeve or the other female characters has being respected by most of the male characters. Of course, they may well have been oppressed by patriarchal values, even then, but since poetic licence is evident in spades, its a shame the author didn't take the opportunity to have women be more equal and empowered throughout the story.

Having said this, it was an easy listen and has helped me sleep these last few weeks

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-05-21

just wonderful

it's rare that I find a book I can't stop listening to
but this one was wonderful.
I was hooked from the beginning, the narration was outstanding.....can't wait for the next one....lined up and ready to go!

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  • Ignacio Pablo Castellano
  • 17-05-21

White washing historical figures is sadly not ok

I love the feminism, the Druid history and the general respect for women here, it's we'll written and tells a good tale. However white washing Mary Magdalene is cultural appropriation and I just can't get on board with it however beautiful the story is - it's a story that shouldn't have been written this way.

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  • Ms s c love
  • 12-11-20

Brilliant, funny and deeply poignant

Such a joy to be read to by such an exquisite Irish lilting voice with such a grand and brilliant story. I'm looking forward to the three other books this way now.

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  • Cathy
  • 04-10-20

Vivid & full of fun & life!

Thoroughly amazing. Purely joyous, mischievous & so funny. As a rebellious redhead, I really recognised myself growing up. I loved the feminine take, it shows how free we could be without the interference of formal religion ruled by men! A master storyteller indeed, beautifully read. I'm straight on to the next!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-06-19

Fantastic book

Very well written and very well read - a joy of a book! The Celtic history was also very informative.

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  • Jadetree
  • 15-10-17

A wonderfully deep imagined version of events

Beautifully narrated and gripping from the first few moments. Loved this book so richly imagined and spoke deeply to the celt and the jew in me.

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  • Nicky
  • 16-07-20

Fantastic

Such a pleasure to listen to this powerful reading of this incredible story. Heather’s voice added to the majesty of this thrilling tale and was pure joy to listen to. Thank you Elizabeth for writing such a divine love story. It went straight to my heart and will no doubt remain there.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-20

Wow! AMAZING BOOK!

loved this book so much, the narrator was amazing, very engaging and really voiced each character well. I cant wait to continue this series of books.