Journey to Aprilioth - Eileen Kernaghan When I was around 13, I remember reading this book and being "wowed." I'm not sure why - I think part of it was the setting: a post-Diluvian (Atlantean) world, early Celtic Britain, Cretan civilization. At the time, I was becoming interested in the Matter of Britain, the Celts, Atlantis, Minoan Crete, and similar things so it was another case of the "right book at the right time."

I've been hankering to reread for a while now, and I've gone ahead and reacquired a copy of it from Thriftbooks.com, along with its two sequels (little did I know back in 1980).

There are a couple of books standing in the way right now but they'll soon pass and I'll see if another book from my youth measures up to memory...
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Well, I wasn't "wowed" on rereading this ghost of my past but I can see why I was 30 years ago. As noted above, it has the Atlantis theme going for it, it moves along at a good pace (even at 440 pages, you can read it in a weekend), and it has a fair amount of sex (always a plus in the eyes of a newly pubescent teen-ager). And while I wouldn't give it more than 2.5-3 stars today, I still enjoyed the story.

It's set around 1600 BC as near as I can figure based on internal evidence. In pre-Celtic Britain, the descendants of the grey-eyed sorcerors who once lived in the Grey Isles (Atlantis) persist with fragments of their ancestors' ancient knowledge, enough to know that the Old Gods, pre-human, uncontrollable forces of nature, are stirring again and could bring about another cataclysm. The priests decide they need to send someone to another group of refugees who fled even farther from the disaster, to the island of Thera (Aprilioth) in the Mediterranean (a former contender for the title of "Atlantis"), in the hope that they may have the knowledge to bind the Old Gods. Fortuitously, Nhiall, a young priest-in-training, finds himself in an untenable position vis-a-vis the tribe's chief - he has killed his brother - and becomes the perfect candidate for the priests' schemes. So off he goes into the little known world of the Eastlands.

Anyone familiar with Joseph Campbell knows what happens: Our hero embarks upon a journey of spiritual discovery, which ends in enlightenment. In this case, wisdom is bittersweet: The Old Gods can't be wholly or forever bound - the Grey Isles were doomed as is Aprilioth - but for every ending there is a new beginning.

I'm not recommending this to anyone - For the adult reader, there's nothing special about the writing though Kernaghan is a capable enough; unless you have a "history" with her already (as do I) there's little to distinguish her from dozens of other authors. A YA might find it interesting but I'd recommend an older one because of the (sotto voce) S-E-X. There's nothing explicit, the camera always pans up into the trees before the action really starts, but it's not hidden and parents might want to exercise some control.