Book Review No. 14 - Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin and Samantha Norman
One of my all time favorite authors is Diana Norman ( aka Ariana Franklin). I was so excited to read this book, Winter Siege, her last work. Her daughter Samantha Norman actually finished the book, as Diana died before completing it (Noooooo!!!!). I sort of put off reading this, not because I didn't think it would be good, but because I was sad of the author's passing.
This book is fantastic, and seamlessly written between the two authors. Set in the 1100's, a battle for the English crown has the country in turmoil. A mercenary Gwyl takes a young girl, he names Penda, under his charge. He teaches her the only skill he has, archery. Together they use their skill to gain money, while travelling across the English countryside, Gwyl is always away of the danger if someone recognizes Penda. She has a a secret, and it can change a whole country. With several other characters filling in their bits of the story, you get a detailed picture of life during this time.
Masterful story-telling about a tumultuous history period. I'm a huge anglophile, so if you enjoy English historical novels you probably will like this. But a word of warning, Diana Norman is known for having her main characters survive some terrible ordeals, and there are some unsavory scenes, so if you are sensitive to that you may not want to read it. Unfortunately, its pretty realistic for the time and what can happen in a lawless land.