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  • Writer's pictureKim Krisco


Updated: May 30, 2019

The Celtic Phoenix may read like a typical Sherlock Holmes who-done-it, but the underlying mystery is: why it is taking so long for women to be regarded as an equal to men in today’s world?

As with Kim Krisco’s previous two novels, The Celtic Phoenix has a strong social justice theme. In Sherlock Holmes the Golden Years, the underlying issue is eugenics in all it nasty forms. In Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, the driving theme is the widening gap between the rich and poor.

The Celtic Phoenix artfully encompasses over two thousand years of western European history, beginning with the Celtic people who ruled over much of eastern and central Europe. In those ancient tribal societies, women were treated and honored as an equal to men in many arenas—as warriors, priests, judges and poets. The priests of the Celts, the druids, embodied the belief that human beings must live in communion with the earth and everything that dwells on or within it. It should not be surprising to learn then, that their respect and reverence for Nature shaped how women—the “vessels of creation”—were regarded. Unlike the patriarchal traditions that dominate the world today, Celtic women held equal status with men in many arenas. This three thousand year-old Celtic tradition certainly echoes today’s fight for justice and equal rights for women around the world.

The Celtic Phoenix touches on the subtle forms of oppression that many women experience everyday, as well as the more extreme manifestations like white slavery and the sex worker trades. Through the trials and tribulations of the story’s three different female characters, the reader gains insights into a wide range of feminist issues: role limitations, equal pay, the right to vote, and mores related to sex, dating, and marriage. And, there is one aspect of feminism that few fictional authors are willing to tackle—women’s rage—the mounting frustration and anger women push down to manage every day. In this tale, women’s ire is embodied in the main antagonist, Maeve Murtagh, an emotionally, physically and sexually abused women who can no longer contain her wrath. All this aside, it is a great read. If you love historical novels, mysteries or action adventure stories, you’ll enjoy this book. Three thousand years ago, the Celts were feared and respected as the greatest warriors in central and western Europe and Kim Krisco brings them to life again—this time fighting for social justice.

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