Guler, Kathleen Cunningham
Guler, Kathleen Cunningham
E-mail— [email protected]
Writer and editor.
International Arthurian Society, Historical Novel Society.
Colorado Independent Publishers Award, 2002, for In the Shadow of Dragons,2006, for The Anvil Stone; Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medal and Eric Hoffer Notable Book Award, both 2007, both for The Anvil Stone.
(Editor and contributor)Offerings for the Green Man: Poetry and Prose from the Celtic Nations, Bardsong Press (Steamboat Springs, CO), 2000.
(Editor)The Spring of Nine Hazels: Tales of Celtic Heritage, Bardsong Press (Steamboat Springs, CO), 2004.
"MACSEN'S TREASURE"SERIES; NOVELS
Into the Path of Gods, Bardsong Press (Steamboat Springs, CO), 1998.
In the Shadow of Dragons, Bardsong Press (Steamboat Springs, CO), 2001.
The Anvil Stone, Bardsong Press (Steamboat Springs, CO), 2006.
Also author of the blog Lighting Up Britain's Dark Ages. Assistant editor for two years,Bardsong, the Journal for Celebrating the Celtic Spirit.
Kathleen Cunningham Guler is an author of short stories, poetry, and novels. Of Celtic descent, she has served as editor of two anthologies of Celtic poetry:The Spring of Nine Hazels: Tales of Celtic Heritage and Offerings for the Green Man: Poetry and Prose from the Celtic Nations. She also served for two years as assistant editor of the now defunct Bardsong, the Journal for Celebrating the Celtic Spirit.
Guler's historical novels are primarily set in Celtic Arthurian Britain, and the author is noted for her expertise on the era. "Celtic history and Arthurian legend have fascinated me … and I have studied both for more than twenty years in both the United States and Great Britain," she stated on her Web site. Guler is well known for her "Macsen's Treasure" series, which includes Into the Path of Gods, In the Shadow of Dragons, and The Anvil Stone.
Commenting on the research for her books in an interview on the Reader Views Web site, Guler noted: "No true source documents survive, if there were any to start with. Celtic tradition had always been oral, not written, and some of the beliefs still in play at that time may have made writing down knowledge taboo. I've relied on archaeology to give me details about everyday life of fifth century people—what they wore, what they ate, how they lived, could they read, what languages they spoke, and so on." The author went on to comment: "For calculating Arthur's life and those of the folks around him, I've picked out the scanty kernels of information in the oldest accounts.
Into the Path of Gods opens the "Macsen's Treasure" series and takes place in the fifth century, which is prior to King Arthur's rise to power but after the end of Roman domination. The story focuses on Marcus ap Iorwerth, who is devoted to Britain's rightful heirs, and a female clairvoyant named Claerwen. Writing in the Library Journal, Jackie Cassada commended the author for creating "a pair of memorable characters in the … trickster Marcus and his farseeing wife." Marcus is contacted by Merlin, who is the druid Myrddin Emrys, and asked to search for "Macsen's Treasure," sacred symbols of Britain that have been lost for decades. Claerwen is to help him in his quest. However, when Marcus disappears, Claerwen is counseled to go into hiding for protection; instead, she decides to find the man she has come to love. "In her opening act of her … saga, Kathleen Cunningham Guler provides a breathtaking panoramic view of the days leading up to Arthur's [ascent] to the throne," wrote Harriet Klausner on the Harriet Klausner's Review Archive Web site. Jackie Cassada also highly recommended Into the Path of Gods, calling it a "romantic saga of adventure and intrigue."
In the Shadow of Dragons finds Marcus and Claerwen as husband and wife when Marcus is contacted by Merlin once again. Merlin has another mission for Marcus, namely to find a potential assassin while he continues the hunt for Macsen's Treasure. Library Journal critic Jackie Cassada commented that the author "creates a richly detailed Arthurian adventure."
The Anvil Stone is the third book in the series and was called "an exciting, heart thumping tale" by TCM Reviews Web site contributor Nancy Flinn Ludwin. This installment in the series finds Marcus battling factions vying to become the ruling power. Marcus and Claerwen side with Uther, who will one day sire the child who becomes King Arthur. "Blood churning clashes are the order of the day when the Saxons, the Picts, the Celts and other stray rival factions fight over the right to rule and control of the remnants of Roman occupation," wrote Ludwin. During his struggle Marcus discovers that someone or some group has put a price on his head. Meanwhile Claerwen discovers the factions are also hunting the sacred sword called Excalibur. Crystal Reviews Web site contributor Viviane Crystal remarked that "most suspense-building and endearing are these two characters' incredible gifts, talents, and yes weaknesses that keep them planning, running, engaging, and escaping friend and foe through an increasingly complex but no less fascinating tale!" A Small Press Bookwatch contributor called the novel "an outstanding tale," and added that it is a "highly accurate and enthralling depiction of an already intriguing tale."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Library Journal, February 15, 1998, Jackie Cassada, review of Into the Path of Gods, p. 174; September 15, 2001, Jackie Cassada, review of In the Shadow of Dragons, p. 116; March 15, 2006, Jackie Cassada, review of The Anvil Stone, p. 66.
Publishers Weekly, February 16, 1998, review of Into the Path of Gods, p. 206.
Small Press Bookwatch, April, 2006, review of The Anvil Stone.
Crystal Reviews,http://www.crystalreviews.com/ (April 22, 2006), Viviane Crystal, review of The Anvil Stone.
Harriet Klausner's Review Archive, http://harrietklausner.wwwi.com/review/(October 23, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of Into the Path of Gods.
Kathleen Cunningham Guler Web site,http://kathleenguler.com (October 23, 2007).
Reader Views,http://www.readerviews.com/ (October 23, 2007), "Interview with Kathleen Cunningham Guler."
TCM Reviews,http://www.tcm-ca.com/reviews/ (October 23, 2007), Nancy Flinn Ludwin, review of The Anvil Stone.