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Britain, 605 AD. The Roman Empire in the West has faded into memory, replaced by a colourful mosaic of competing kingdoms. A new world is being built out of the fragments of the past, shaped by the forces of warfare, marriage, alliance, diplomacy, blood-feud and revenge. Among the ever-shifting tides, it is oaths and personal loyalties that hold the world together. But the changing times bring great opportunities, and great dangers, that test the ties of loyalty to the limit.

Eadwine is the youngest son of the king of Deira, guardian of a neglected frontier and the faithful ally of his eldest brother and hero Eadric. His ambition is to be a worthy lord to the frontier district, a good husband to his betrothed, and a reliable second-in-command to his brother. All these hopes are swept away when Deira is invaded by its powerful and predatory neighbour Bernicia. Eadwine reaches the capital just ahead of the invaders, having fought a fierce rearguard action, only to find that Eadric is already dead, shamefully murdered by a unknown assassin.

Eadwine survives the subsequent disastrous defeat, and now finds himself on the run for his life. The fearsome King of Bernicia, Aethelferth, has sworn an oath to the gods to kill Eadwine as thanks for the victory, and no king will dare to defy Aethelferth by offering Eadwine refuge. Eadwine must evade Aethelferth's relentless pursuit, identify and take vengeance on his brother's murderer, and rescue his betrothed. Along the way, he will lose his heart to another woman and discover a shattering secret that challenges all the ideals he holds dear.

This is the first self-published book I've ever purchased. I did so because the author is a member of Historical Fiction Online and because she'd written about a time period bridging the gap between what I've read by Manda Scott and Jules Watson and more modern history.

The story itself is well written, though I had a difficult time warming up to the main character Eadwine. He was portrayed as truly an ungrateful ass, but I got beyond that thinking when I considered his age - 19 at most. After that, I really enjoyed the book.

The author's website can be found here: Carla Nayland

1 Comment:

  1. Marg said...
    I am not sure if you saw this or not, but Carla's book has now been picked up for publishing which is great news for her.

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