Reviewed by P.L. Crompton, author of The Last Druid
In historical novels, attention to detail is important. When the author adds myth—a form of history unproven—reading pleasure increases tenfold. Black Widow meets all expectations. Excellent writing combined with first-class research made reading a joy. The images of daily life are vivid, and glimpses of a past known only from myths are strong.
Although Roman and Greek historians wrote extensively about Boudicca, Sheila Deeth takes us behind the scenes. Through Nimuẽ, the warrior queen's sister, a sorceress, we see the devastation the conquering Roman army wrought—not just to the Celtic way of life but to their beliefs and to their gods.
That is the background, but this is Nimuẽ's story. Ignored by most historians and overshadowed by her illustrious sister, she comes alive.
Nimuẽ has a lover with greater powers than her own, and she begins to look upon him as a god. But gods betray. When he pays attention to new crucified god, the betrayal rankles and it places distance between them. He changes, but so does she as she explores darker abilities that change gentle Nimuẽ into a woman feared.
Does the betrayal cause the change or is it the destruction of gods no longer revered? With many twists and turns, and names we recognize, Ms. Deeth takes us on a intriguing 500-year journey to find the truth and Nimuẽ's redemption.