Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nightfall till Daybreak- Jayne Castel ~ Just wonderful~


A young woman taken as a king's slave. An ambitious warrior in search of a new life in Britannia - and love that must endure duty, treachery and war. It is the spring of 629 A.D. and the Kingdom of the East Angles is in turmoil. 

An astonishingly good series about an ancient line of rulers of East Anglia, well written and researched ( important to me).I read for pleasure but also for edification and these books have thrilled me. I am now checking my ancestral roots as well as my DNA for hoped for East Anglian ancestral ties.

Combining historical and fictive characters is a marvelous way to weave a tale and Jayne Castel has done just that. Sigeberht who became a saint was not a very good king, so it is a good thing that the author's story-line collapsed his reign. When Penda of Mercia invaded, Sigeberht was taken against his will from his monastery in hopes of rallying the troops.

The fictional characters here, Aidan from Connacht and Freya who was an East Anglian could have well existed in some form in this place and time. 

The next book, which I purchased already, will deal with Sigeberht's successor, his step cousin Annan. Will this line begin to merge with the Mercians, their enemies? Find out yourself by getting a copy at Amazon. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Night Shadows - A Novella - Jayne Castel

..a series of historical romance novels set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon East Anglia.

  4.5 stars for this short novella which I really enjoyed. The author has done a great job with her work on the Wuffinga East Anglian dynasty, which I am now learning a lot about. I have read the first book which ends with the death of Raedwald. I will now start on Nightfall till Daybeark which is book 2.

I recommend these books for all who love peeks at Dark Age Britain where, "In the early seventh century, King Raedwald of East Anglia “held sway over all the provinces south of the Humber,” according to the Venerable Bede. Just great! 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Phoenix Rising: A Novel of Anne Boleyn- Hunter S. Jones

The last hour of Anne Boleyn's life... Love, hate, loyalty and betrayal come together in a single dramatic moment... the execution of a queen. The history of England will be changed for ever. 

Really captivating and entertaining, I give it 4.5 stars and my only problem with it is that some of the letters from minor players in this account were a bit dry or unclear.

An excellent way to tell the story of someone whose life ended tragically. I might suggest Harry Duke of Buckingham and/or his wife Katherine Woodville for an alternative history of this type.

I am looking forward to whatever Hunter Jones will be working on next.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Dark Under Cover of Knight - Jayne Castel - Terrific view of people and places shrouded in time ~

 A terrific book about a line of East Anglians I knew little to nothing about, but plan to learn more. There are 2 more books in this series, and I plan to get them, immediately.

Recommended for all who enjoy traveling back to a dark and mostly invisible past. Rædwald and his successors, his son Eorpwald and stepson Sigeberht lived and ruled in the 7th century. Reading this tale and looking through Bede and the Anglo Saxon Chronicle has made them come alive, again, at least for me.The heroine, Raedwyn, is timeless.

"A.D. 617. This year was Ethelfrith, king of the Northumbrians, slain by Redwald, king of the East-Angles; and A.D. 632. This year was Orpwald baptized. " 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Naked- A Novel of Lady Godiva - Eliza Redgold ~ Wonderful~ Preorder now!

          We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

A wonderful retelling of the tale of Lady Godiva's ride through Coventry by an excellent writer. Sometimes poetic in it's prose, which I had to get used to but nicely done and quite historical.

The author's endnotes were superb - check them first- (my basic kindle can be awkward to flip back and forth). Redgold's historical premises were quite accurate and the storyline very plausible.

Understanding who were Saxons and where they were situated in England at that time did a great deal for my understanding of what may have transpired. That Godiva and Leofric were historical people is a given.

Recommended for the many, like myself, who love the pre-Norman period as reading material.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Watch the Lady- Elizabeth Fremantle - Enthralling ~

 This was the best Elizabeth Fremantle book so far and I truly hated for it to end. I did not know much ( or anything actually) about Penelope Devereux and just a bit about her brother, Essex. Written about one of my favorite families, the children and grandchildren of Mary Boleyn.

Fascinating and well done history( yes I looked things up)about a family who events forced to live in normalcy for the most part. They were Elizabeth Tudor's support team,with little credit for it from a shrewish woman who vacillated emotionally throughout her life.

In Queen's Gambit, the heroine was lackluster but Penelope was anything but that. She learned to have an emotionally satisfying life while not coming to a tragic end like most people who surrounded the Tudors. I recommend it to all and enjoyed in immensely. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

A Daughter of Warwick - JM Ruddock ~A comfortable read ~

A quite enjoyable read which gives a positive spin on the relationship between Anne Neville and Richard III. Explanations on the events of their life together are plausible and within historical possibilities.

Starting with their first meeting as children and ending with her death it is nice easy read. Recommended for fans of Richard III- there are lots of us!