NIMUE: Freeing Merlin

NIMUE: Freeing Merlin

Nimue: Freeing Merlin
Winner of Paranormal Romance in the NYC Big Book Awards! 2021

Nimue: Freeing Merlin
Featured in Kirkus Reviews
& Selected as one of the Best Books of the Month
for June 2021


To discover what is true about ourselves, we often have to take a quest and undergo initiations that test us to the core. In this Celtic Heroine’s journey, a young modern-day woman, through a series of mystical events, realizes that she was a Lady of the Lake in a previous life. Believing she is a normal person just like any other, Nina has no idea of the mysteries that await her in Britain. She was, as it turns out, 5th century Nimue, the one responsible for sealing Merlin up in a tree until the hour of his return. Now, she is the only one who can find him, and the world depends on it. Traveling back in time to Ynys Witrin, the Isle of Glass, she discovers more than she ever imagined possible.

Nimue: Freeing Merlin is a stand-alone novel, and also part of the Legends of the Grail series. The books do not need to be read in order, but all of the legends and folktales interrelate. The earlier books in the series focus on Celtic Goddesses and Heroines. Like the other books in the series, there are Celtic rituals, mystical practices and visualizations for the avid reader who wishes to delve more deeply into Celtic and Arthurian mysteries.

Heart & Hustle: Visionary Healers, Movers, and Shakers,
with your host, Paulette Rees-Denis,
and today with guest, award-winning author, podcast host (Wisdom of the Ages), and President of Infinite Light Publishing,
Ayn Cates Sullivan

Press Release

Nimue: Freeing Merlin has won the 1st Place Gold for Women’s Fiction at the 2021 CIPA EVVY Awards.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nimue: Freeing Merlin has been chosen as a winner of New Age Fiction.


Nimue Press Release

New Novel Nimue Mixes Arthurian Myth with Timely Heroine’s Journey


Nimue: Freeing Merlin has been chosen by the National Indie Excellence Awards as a winning book in New Age fiction.

Nimue: Freeing Merlin has won a bronze with the Global book awards. 


Great Kirkus Review in May 1 issue (pg 180)

An American teen discovers her connection to Celtic myth and Arthurian legend in this YA fantasy adventure, the third installment in the Legends of the Grail series.

Seventeen-year-old Nina Liber lives in Manhattan with her mother, Diana, an expert in Celtic mythology. Before their flight to Britain for the summer, Nina dreams of a woman in green who calls her a “Mage” and tells her, “remember who you are.” Diana’s husband, Felix, has been deceased two years, and she’s eager to see her twin brother, Blaise. Nina is skeptical about enjoying sights like Stonehenge and being away from her boyfriend, Owen Pelleas. Once in Hampstead, England, Nina befriends Daphne, her uncle’s occasional flame. Daphne recommends the girl visit Ganieda, a local healer named after Merlin’s sister, to gain peace of mind. Ganieda outlines the relationships between the mythical huntress Diana; her lover, the Roman god Bacchus; and their daughter, Nimue. When she hears of Nina’s dream, she echoes the woman in green by saying, “Mage, it’s time you remember who you are.” Later, a limo takes Nina to a country home called Imworth, where she meets Morgen, the woman from her dream. She tells Nina, “You were Nimue. Only you can find and awaken Merlin” and restore the balance between light and darkness on Earth. Sullivan might have written a fantasy in which her lead throws punches while hunting for relics. Instead, she’s more faithful to Merlin’s complex mythology than to the genre’s tropes. Readers will be reminded of the ways Romans used Christianity to subdue the Druids, who had their own belief system. And while Nimue and Merlin’s romance is intense—they kissed like “a tsunami crashing onto shore”—it’s just a portion of their lives, not the entirety. After seeing her previous incarnations, Nina comes to realize she’s “the power of the universe operating as a point in time and space” and that it might be possible to usher in Satya Yuga, the Golden Age, by reconnecting with the natural world. Lovely black-and-white illustrations by Crow duCray enliven the journey. A glossary is included.

This exuberant fantasy calls on readers to conceive of a loving, balanced world.

Iva Kenaz interviews Ayn Cates Sullivsn about her book Nimue: Freeing Merlin

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Within each of us exists a reservoir of untapped potential; some might call it the soul, others might say it is a doorway to magic. To discover what is true about ourselves, we often have to take a quest and undergo initiations that test us to the core. Today, we need tales of empowered women, and Nimue:

Freeing Merlin is the story of a heroines quest to find the Grail. The tale stays true to Nimue’s adventures in Arthurian legend but is updated for todays readers.


NIMUE: Freeing Merlin is a story in three acts: the first and last concern the teenager Nina, while the middle dives into the story of Nina’s past incarnation as Nimue, a powerful sorceress. As Nimue, Nina must free Merlin, who she herself had trapped, and find the Holy Grail. In Nina, author Ayn Cates Sullivan creates a realistic and relatable character who quickly draws the reader into her quest to discover more about her past… The story is also well researched, with several figures and items from legend making an appearance. Unlike legend, however, Sullivan’s retelling roots hard for girl power, focusing on strong and witty female characters. When Nina’s love interest, Owen, tries to take control of the narrative, he’s told, “Right now, we need a Heroine.” This theme continues throughout the novel, all the way to its empowering climax and Nimue’s realization of her own potential — a perfect reminder for today’s readers, especially those of the “gentler” sex, that they too have unmatched potential and agency. Along with the captivating story of NIMUE: Freeing Merlin, Sullivan has filled this book with original artwork. Her sketches feature a deliberate use of light and shadow, reflecting the novel’s motifs of dark and light, good and evil. Plus, the author provides readers with short blurbs that give more information about the characters, practices for honoring those mythological figures, and even a meditation for healing. These extra tidbits are a blessing for those who don’t want to leave the world of magic just quite yet.

NIMUE: Freeing Merlin is well written and researched and successfully flips the Arthurian tradition on its head to reveal a powerful, feminist look at the hidden potential within us all.

Christina Doka for IndieReader – 4 Stars

Overall, I highly recommend Nimue: Freeing Merlin

Nimue: Freeing Merlin is a work of fiction in the fantasy, adventure, and romantic drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Ayn Cates Sullivan. The work is intended for the general reading audience, and contains mild romantic scenes with no graphic content, making it suitable for more sensitive readers. Our protagonist is Nina, a seemingly ordinary seventeen-year-old girl, who only begins to discover something unusual about herself whilst on a visit to Britain with her mother. Once there, Nina is shocked to discover that in a past life, she was the sorceress Nimue, and only she can find and recover the sorcerer Merlin from the tree in which she bound him centuries ago.

Author Ayn Cates Sullivan has crafted an imaginative and atmospheric work of fiction with plenty of thrills and unique insights to offer readers. One of the features which I found particularly impressive about this piece was its commitment to the female voice and perspective. It’s clear that the author understands the patriarchal nature of the old narratives of the time of Arthur and Merlin, and seeks to subvert and represent the female characters of that time in a refreshingly free style. Add to that the excellent coverage of action and dialogue, and the deep development around Nina’s personality and inner strengths, and what results is a superb work of magical adventure fiction in which readers of all kinds will find value. Overall, I would highly recommend Nimue: Freeing Merlin to fans of female-centric fantasy fiction, classic Arthurian literature lovers, and epic fantasy fans everywhere.

Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite


A chilling love story that spans centuries…

“Nimue: Freeing Merlin by Ayn Cates Sullivan takes a teenage girl back many lifetimes to remind her of who she had once been. Nina Liber and her mother Diana take a trip to Britain for a healing vacation. Diana wants to reconnect with her roots and to shed the years of dealing with her husband’s illness. Nina learns her boyfriend from the United States is missing and she may have a way to find him, but she must walk a path she has forgotten. At a time when Merlin held her heart, the Lady of the Lake still appeared to kings, and magic was not forgotten but was heavily relied upon. There are times Nina feels her destiny is already chosen and her freedom to choose is impossible.

From the beginning, you can feel the love Ayn Cates Sullivan has for metaphysical or supernatural fiction as she weaves it deep into her medieval novel, Nimue: Freeing Merlin. It is a chilling love story that spans centuries as her characters live many lives. Nina was once a mage, Nimue, that trapped Merlin in a hawthorn tree, but the events that led up to this point are told in a mystical and thrilling way that keeps the reader engaged and mesmerized. This novel has strong female roles that show the strength and guidance of women in an enchanting world. Overall, this novel is well written, with much study and imagination entwined. The author leaves you feeling as if you stepped back in time to a world where fairy tales and magic are just around the corner.”

Reviewed By Peggy Jo Wipf for Readers’ Favorite


A Most Wonderful Journey Into The World of Magick!

The most beautiful stories are those which move and uplift the Soul, touching it so deeply and profoundly that one cannot help but feel changed inside. This is a true gift, and Ayn Cates Sullivan is a master at creating such stories. Nimue: Freeing Merlin, is a wonderful journey in which you will be drawn into the world of Creation, Magick, Enchantment, Wisdom, and above all, Love. You will be transported into ancient Celtic lands, hearing the whispers of those who were keepers of what was and still is, Sacred to humanity. And you will become witness to a Love story between Merlin and Nimue which is boundless and eternal. Your Heart will be ever transformed. Thank you Ayn for writing this beautiful story, reminding us all of the Love, Light, and Magick we hold inside…that anything is possible.

– Leslie Sloane, creator of the Auracle Cards

In her latest book Nimue: Freeing Merlin, Ayn Cates Sullivan takes us on a magical path to more of the Legends of the Grail.

Nimue connects magic, myth and musings with the here and now. Soul connections come to light and previously hidden powers are revealed. Through the descriptive use of her written words, Ayn makes nature come alive and it is as if we can smell the flowers and touch the trees. An accomplished writer of beautiful stories that truly read like Fairy Tales, Ayn knows how to blend traditional myths and legends with empowering Heroine stories. Her Legends of the Grail series is becoming a real must- have for those that love Celtic tales of Goddesses and Heroines. There is knowledge and power in her writing. She pulls the wisdom through the ages and makes it accessible to all of us. As a proud owner of quite some of Ayn’s books already, I am super excited about Nimue and highly recommend it.

– Joyce van der Lely – Host of the “All of You” virtual talk show and author of Mindset Monsters

Hi Ayn, big congratulations!!!!!!!

“A mythical masterpiece! “Nimue” teaches the intricacies of ancient wisdom and how to find a treasure trove of power. Upon completion of this page-turner, I could clearly see and feel the power of Nimue and Merlin as a guiding light to ultimate peace within.”

– Joanna Garzilli, award winning author of “Big Miracles”

About the book:

Nimue: Freeing Merlin is the third in a series of books on Celtic Mythology by Ayn Cates Sullivan, Ph.D. The earlier books in the series focus on Celtic Goddesses and heroines. These tales will are designed to inspire both men and woman to lead with charisma, honesty, loyalty and true strength.

Nimue: Freeing Merlin is a stand alone novel and an exploration and grail quest of the inner alchemy necessary to become truly free. 17-year old Nina realizes she was Nimue in a previous life, the sorceress responsible for sealing Merlin up in a Hawthorn tree until the hour of his return. Now with the world in crisis, Merlin needs to be found but his magic is closer than she could have ever known.


Romance readers, especially those who like a mystical twist. Here lovers must learn how to love between worlds. Fans of the Outlander series who want a new initiation through the Otherworlds will like Nina’s journey into 5th Century Britain.

YA (Young Adults) who love magic, love and mystery. This is an empowering story for young women.

Those who want to find out more about the Heroine’s Journey and how that differs from the popular Hero’s Journey. Some readers will enjoy finding out a bit about Priestesses and Druids and the work they did to keep the Earth in harmony and balance.

Purpose & Need:
We need tales of empowered women, and Nimue: Freeing Merlin is the story of a heroine’s journey. The tale stays true to Nimue’s adventures in Arthurian legend but is updated for today’s readers. In this fantasy novel, a young modern-day woman named Nina realizes that she was a Mage (or Enchantress) in a previous life. She was, in myth, the one responsible for sealing Merlin up in a tree until the hour of his return. Now she is the only one who can find him.


“In the great totality the darkness and the light are the same.”– Merlin

“Part of becoming a Mage is learning to control the forces that burn within you.”

– Anna

“I wondered what it would have been like had we lived in a world where the Goddess was honored, and life was invited to flourish.”

– Nimue

– Remembering the Lady of the Lake –

“The Lady of the Lake works behind the scenes to make sure the balance of life is maintained. When we fall into despair and think the world may come to an end, the Lady of the Lake is the archetype to call upon. Nimue reminds us that life is unpredictable and miracles can happen when we least expect them.”