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Feather of Hawk - Rebellion

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Ancient Scotland. Two thousand years ago. A land ravaged by Roman invaders. One man would defy the might of the Empire. His name was Calach the Swordsman. His hatred was forged from love...avenged with blood.

‘Feather of Hawk – Rebellion’, is the story of an ordinary man whose love for family and tribe drives him on a ruthless quest for revenge. Calach sips from the poisonous cup of hatred, but will this make him no better than the vile beast of Rome? Or will the Feather of Hawk, a mysterious gift from a young warrior woman, offer a new way forward in a world where blood and tears are sacrificed on the altar of war?

A devastating winter invasion destroys everything Calach loves and drives the Celtic warrior on a course of bloody revenge in this war story. Calach has to face a professional Roman army with only a band of refugees to back him up. The Celts have the heart to fight, but hearts do not win wars — weapons of iron, shields of bronze, spear warriors, sword warriors and skilled riders with chariots win wars. With a miracle in the form of returning warriors, Calach leads a brutal insurrection that culminates in an epic battle against the hated invaders. His cunning, intelligence and valour are a match to General Agricola, the Roman Governor of Britain, who soon realizes that Calach is no ordinary foe. 


‘I didn't want it to end! It majestically weaves colorful characters and intriguing storylines with a fresh plot full of action. Da King.’

‘This is the kind of historical fiction that can cause the reader to be concerned with the story and the characters, with historical accuracy never in question....a masterful story teller. Hank Lajoie’


The Celts once inhabited much of Europe long before the Roman Empire almost wiped them off the face of the earth. We know very little about them as they did not leave written records. These ancient people were an oral society; societies whose bards, seers and druids passed down their unique stories that would live in the hearts and minds of their people. The Celtic heroes were superhuman; larger than life, boastful and courageous, fearless and flawed and were doomed to a dark fate. It was a fascination with the Celts that drove on my desire to write a story about the lesser known Celtic prince called Calach the Swordsman.

The idea for the historical fiction, ‘Feather of Hawk – Rebellion,’ began with a road trip through the Scottish landscape along the Antonine and Hadrian’s Wall. I discovered an old Roman Fort in Peel Park, north of Glasgow. A cold winter day. A bleak scene of snowy mountain tops. The winds froze my hands and limbs to the bone as I looked out to northern Scotland. What where the Romans doing here? Why would these soldiers from Italy, used to the hot climates of the Mediterranean, want to be here at all? I will remember that road trip for the rest of my days; a stay over in an old fiesta car van at the old Roman fort of Vindolanda. A strange mist enveloped the site as I tried to get to sleep. Suddenly, even though I was on a dirt track in the middle of nowhere, I sensed that the road was full of ancient traffic of marching Legionaries and their neighing horses. The distinct clatter of their armour, as they paced to a steady beat, filled my ears and the whole road was vibrantly alive. I had to drive the car off and park somewhere quieter. I went into Glasgow and bought a second hand copy of Peter Salway’s book, ‘Roman Britain.’ It was from Peter’s research on Tacitus, the renowned Roman historian who describes Calach's epic struggle. Before the final, decisive battle between Celt and Roman Tacitus notes that there was, ‘a man of outstanding valour and nobility named Calgacus; ( this was his Roman name ) who addressed the close packed multitude of men clamouring for battle.’ Calach’s achievements, using Tacitus as the source, were as follows ;

Calach united the Caledonian tribes of ancient Scotland against the Roman invaders.

He almost destroyed the Roman Ninth Legion in their garrison fort of Eborecum.
(present day York- Northern England.)

A great battle took place between Calach’s United Celtic Army and the Roman army.

Why did Calach rebel? It must have been something terrible, something evil, perpetrated against him, which drove on his desire to destroy the hated invaders. I wanted to portray Calach as the Spartacus of ancient Britain. I penned him as a fearless and highly skilled sword warrior who inspired a nation not yet born to rise. I wanted to make the chapters as vivid and gripping as possible and, where I could, lace the story with earthy humor. The novel has a strong love interest, a whole host of colourful characters, a few bloody battle scenes as well as a shadowy traitor who stalks Calach. The theme of the story is revenge and how revenge poisons Calach’s humanity. The main protagonist begins to realize that he has become the monster that he is fighting, but is it too late for him to reverse his burning hatred and find some sort of salvation?

About the Author

Dave Michael was born and went to school in Liverpool, Northern England. He is a graduate of the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Before becoming a full time author he worked as a handyman, seaman, drama teacher and Community film trainer. Since 1996, Dave has lived and worked in Eire, where he has been inspired by the landscapes of the West Coast. ‘Feather of Hawk - Rebellion’ is his most extensive piece of work and has taken twelve years to develop. When he is not writing, he likes to walk landscape, where he is calmed by nature; watching swallows and hawks fly is one of his favourite pastimes.

The novel is available in paperback and kindle at


Contact the author: [email protected]

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