Celtika by Robert Holdstock

Celtika

Robert Holdstock

Part fantasy, part alternative history, this novel takes you on a walk with Merlin on his Path across Northern Europe. The history and the timelines of recognisable events are fantastically twisted and dislocated, so if you're a fan of dates and things happening in the correct order, you'll have to make an effort to hold on to the story. A strange fireside tale which is the perfect way to hide away from day-to-day reality.

Extract

This island was close to the land of my birth. For reasons I hadn't begun to understand, the dead accumulated there, hiding in its forests and at the sources of its rivers, the vast domain of Ghostland, at the island's heart. Many tribes lived on the border of this domain, protected by old and powerful defences against the spirits that walked, rode and fought there. Alba was a strange island, a place in which I did not feel comfortable, which is why I visited it rarely.

Parallels
  • The Coming of the King by Nikolai Tolstoy
  • Gate of Ivory by Robert Holdstock
  • Stonehenge by Bernard Cornwell

Books with similar mood

She Would Be King

Wayétu Moore

The Shining Girls

Lauren Beukes

Gloriana's Torch

Patricia Finney

Defender

G X Todd

The Axeman's Jazz

Ray Celestin

The Secrets of the Lazarus Club

Tony Pollard

Bold as Love

Gwyneth Jones

Mischling

Affinity Konar

See What I Have Done

Sarah Schmidt

The Thing Itself

Adam Roberts

Waking Lions

Ayelet Gunder-Goshen

All Our Broken Idols

Paul M M Cooper

Dust

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

Kingdom of Strangers

Zoe Ferraris

Absolution

Patrick Flanery

The Company Man

Robert Jackson Bennett

The Gift of Rain

Tan Twan Eng

The New Wilderness

Diane Cook

Little

Edward Carey

The Honey Guide

Richard Crompton

Crusaders

Richard T Kelly

The Feast

Antony Sher

The House of Shattered Wings

Aliette de Bodard

The History of History

Ida Hattemer-Higgins

A Whistling Woman

A S Byatt

The Good Son

You-jeong Jeong

Connect

Julian Gough

Europe in Autumn

Dave Hutchinson

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

Elizabeth L Silver

The Democrat

Olly Wyatt

Burnt Shadows

Kamila Shamsie

In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman

Sing, Unburied, Sing

Jesmyn Ward

The Three-Body Problem

Cixin Liu

A Naked Singularity

Sergio De La Pava

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Carrie Ryan

Towelhead

Alicia Erian

The Art of Murder

Jose Carlos Somoza

British Summertime

Paul Cornell

Skull sessions

Daniel Hecht

My Name is Salma

Fadia Faqir

The Orchardist

Amanda Coplin

Drivetime

James Meek

The Society of Others

William Nicholson

Soul Mountain

Gao Xingjian

Quicksilver

Christie Dickason

The Earlie King & the Kid in Yellow

Danny Denton

The Lives of Others

Neel Mukherjee

Flashback

Dan Simmons