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The Siege WinterThe Winter Siegeby Ariana Franklin Samantha NormanSynopsisA When I Grow Up (Tales From Foster High, powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman The Siege Winter is a tour de force mystery and murder adventure and intrigue a battle for a crown told by two coura I ve given this an A for both content and narration at AudioGalsThe Siege Winter is a superbly written and thoroughly enjoyableiece of historical fiction set in twelfth century England at a time of great uncertainty and upheaval The country is being torn apart by what is in essence a civil war between the supporters of the Empress Matilda daughter of the late King Henry and those of her cousin and Henry s successor King Stephen The bulk of the tale is set between 1141 and 1143 but the story is told in the form of a story within a story as the events of the 1140s are related by a dying abbot to his scribe almost forty years laterYou can read the rest of this review at AudioGals First Sentence It is a wood Arachne paneled room of sumptuous size the abbots of Perton have always done themselves well In 1141 England was engulfed in civil war between King Stephen and his cousin the Empress Matilda over who would wear the crown It is 1180 and a dying abbot has one last important task to accomplish He summons a young scribe in order to document a muchersonal story set during that backdrop and occurring during a long brutal siege winter While readers were heartbroken by the death of Ariana Franklin and the incredible cliffhanger left in her last book in the Mistress of the Art of Death series this does not resolve that series However for both Rock Lead Basics prior and new readers you are in for such a treat This book was begun by Ms Franklin aka Diana Normanrior to her death and has been completed by her daughter Samantha Norman While that is wonderful in itself what is truly remarkable is that the fusion is absolutely seamless There is no awkward transition between the two authors it is all one voice No the language is not of the Lightning Over Bennett Ranch period To that there was the explanation given by Ms Franklin at the end of Grave Goods in twelfth century England the commoneople spoke a form of English even less comprehensive than Chaucer s In the fourteenth the nobility spoke Normal French and the clergy spoke Latin Since Sri Sumarah, Pariyem dan Bu Bei people then sounded contemporary to one another and since I hate the use of what I call gadzooks in historical novels to denote aast age I insist on making those Class Struggles people sound modern to the reader One can t argue with that For us readers the story begins with the history given the stage set thelayers assembled and the curtain drawn on what from the very start we know will be a wonderful tale The narrative is fascinating and Wilfred Owen (Routledge Revivals) periodically through the story moves the tale forward whileroviding historical context The story Study to Teach provides wonderful details of castle life and what it takes to run and defend a castle during thiseriod What a wonderful assembly of characters Each leaps off the Global Corporations in Global Governance page into full life and touches our emotions Gwilherm de Vannes a mercenary soldier and his conversations with God are a true delight And what now Lord Eh How can Irotect her from herself That s a tricky one Gwil That s the uestion Even I can t help you there I m afraid Young Pen whom he rescues is a survivor who learns to cope with events in her own way Maud forced into marriage and now finds herself having to defend her castle with the help of Sir Rollo commander of her troops and rotect her son william there troops and rotect her son William There a mystery to the story and a villain which is as evil as a villain can be This is the time of the Plantagenets and the history is important but the story is very much a human story However considering One really doesn t want to say too much for fear of spoiling what is an absolutely wonderful read It is a story one would love to see brought to the screen but only if it included every single Sketchy Behavior page filmed exactly as it is on theage The Siege Winter is exciting stirring filled of tension and can bring one to tears but has a conclusion which makes one smile and touches the heart Do you know how hard it is to write review notes when one is crying It is a story which stays with you long after the last Autumn Brides page At the bottom of my review notes I wrote Ex Were itossible to rate a book 10 out of 5 stars this would be it I loved every age every word It Doesn T Get Better Than t get better than However the best news is that this may only be the first in a series THE SIEGE WINTER Hist Novel Gwil Pendra England 1100s EXFranklin Ariana and Samantha Norman 1st bookHarper Collins February 2015 What fans of good historical fiction mysteries weren t devastated to hear about the death of the writer Ariana Franklin en name of Diana Norman in 2011 She did leave us a wonderful gift however a final novel completed by her daughter Samantha Norman and it is a very good work indeedThis book is not The Beauty of Believing part of the series featuring the medical examiner Adelia Aguilar but is a standalone novel in the same timeeriod ie the mid 12th Century and also set in England During this era England was torn by a civil war between supporters of Stephen grandson of William the Conueror and his cousin the Empress Matilda for the throne of England Occupants of cathedrals as well as castles were forced. It's 12 Century England and the civil war between ueen Matilda and King Stephen is raging But life in the fens carries on as usual Until the mercenaries ride through And a small red haired girl named Em is snatched and carried off After the soldiers have finished with her they leave her for dead But fenland girls are not easy to kill Although. To take sides One stronghold in articular the fictional Kenniford Castle is desired by both sides in this story because it is on the site of a key Thames crossing The castle s mistress is 16 year old Maud a ward of King Stephen We first meet her when she is being forced to marry the much older crass and barbaric John of Tewing who arrived at the castle for the wedding with both his son and his mistressIn alternate chapters we also follow the fate of a young girl from the Fens who had gone out fetching fuel with her family She was caught by a group of men led by a sadistic rapist and killer also a monk who had a enchant for red headed children Little Em was left for dead but was found by Gwilherm de Vannes a mercenary who had his horse stolen by the very men who ravaged Em Gwil nurses the girl back to health She remembers nothing of the trauma that almost killed her nor of her life before it nor even her name Gwil calls her Penda after a Pagan warlord They cut her hair and disguise her as a boy and Gwil teaches her to defend herself with a bow The two travel through the countryside earning money by giving archery exhibitions What Gwil doesn t share with Penda is his determination to track down and destroy the monk who brutalized her In addition he suspects the monk may not be done yet with Penda because when Gwil found her she was clutching a valuable archment that the monk would want to recoverEvents take a turn when Mathilda and two Metro 2033 (Universo Metro) protectors Alan and Christopher stumble upon Gwil and Penda during a snowstorm and take shelter with them They beseech Gwil and Penda to help them get Mathilda to safety and the five of them end up at Maud s castle Before long the castle is besieged by the much larger and better armed forces of Stephen Discussion The depiction of life in the 12th Century especially the daily concerns of a castle chatelaine is excellent The growing relationship between Gwil and Penda is something you will want to hold onto it is incredibly touching as are the relationships between Maud and those she comes to loveEvaluation There islenty of action and suspense in this book a lot of good Christianity period background and marvelous characterizations Stock up on kleenex 35 rounded to 4 Very readable engaging novel set in the 12th century civil war in England between Matilda and Stephen for the throne A dying abbot relates the events of the novel to a scribe The story involves a young girl Emma rescued after violation by an evil monk and left for dead by a mercenary soldier Gwil She is disguised as a boy forrotection given the name Penda and the two travel together He teaches her archery and she becomes Run for Your Life (Michael Bennett, proficient Matilda joins them and they make their way to the castle of Lady Maud unwilling wife of an absolute boor Then begins a winter long siege by Stephen s forces What is the meaning of a mysteriousarchment in a uill case that Gwil icks up when he finds Emma Who is "the monk and what is his importanceI didn t ick up any obvious 21st century slang but there " monk and what is his importanceI didn t ick up any obvious 21st century slang but there a few modern day idioms eg cut no ice I did wonder how much of the history was accurate except the barebones of the conflict between the two contenders for the throne I thought the between the two contenders for the throne I thought the of the novel most satisfactory I loved Franklin s books but I m sorry to say that I couldn t finish this one It adopts a contemporary tone in the dialogue especially which I found intensely irritating Characters from the 12th century say things like Yuck and Totally This sits oddly alongside the meticulous depiction of clothes etc of the time It s riddled with anachronisms for example a character likens opposing soldiers to apes And where would she have seen one At the same time there is a lot of heavy handed historical exposition about the war and olitics of the time I can only assume that this tone is intended to attract a younger less demanding audience which responds better to contemporary speech I commend the author for trying to carry on her mother s work but I won t be reading any I m not a great fan of historical fiction but I loved the Adelia Aguilar books of Ariana Franklin She avoided everything I dislike about the genre and wrote so vividly with so much fun creating characters that were real lovable and enduring And so like many other Franklin fans I ve been eager for Ariana s daughter Samantha Norman to finish her mother s last novel First the disappointment for me anyway The Winter Siege is not an Adelia book being set largely in 1141 around forty years before Adelia arrives in England This England is a lace of fear and bloodshed a country torn apart by civil war Henry 1 has died with no male heir His daughter Matilda betrayed by barons who once swore fealty flees from one safe haven to the next Her cousin Stephen meanwhile tightens his grip on the crown Mercenaries crawl the countryside like roaches whilst the rotting wings of anarchy lawlessness and cruelty cast long dark shadows across the land Peace especially for the oor is but a distant dream Amidst the mayhem Em a striking red haired child of 11 older sister to Gyltha from the Adelia series is carried off one day by a gang of mercenaries led by an evil and evil smelling monk Gwil a mercenary watching the abduction with us can imagine exactly what. She has lost all memory of her Wilderness Survival Handbook past life including her name Em survives and teams up with Gwyl a Breton archer who has almost completely lost faith in humanity Together Gwyl and his newrotege now crop headed and disguised as a boy travel through the countryside giving archery exhibitions But there is one man who hasn't forgotten the little. ,

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Will be happening to her He hardly expects to see her again But Em survives Gwil finds her half naked and half alive and nurses her back to health With no memories of her ordeal Em now The White Mans Burden posing as a boy called Penda becomes Gwill srot g e and like him a superb archer Together they travel the land trying their fortunes with a band of travelling Visit the Sick players a castle under siege and even a fleeing Empress All this time the spectre of the foul smelling monkursues them The big uestion for me of course was whether The Winter Siege would capture the insightful compelling irreverent style that was so much a Carry Me Over the Threshold part of the Franklin experience Pretty much is the answer and I read the first few chapters with a huge sense of relief Admittedly there were a few moments when I thought Norman might be straying into territory her mother worked so hard to avoid Lady Maud s romance for example had a touch of the Mills and Boon about it On the whole though I d be lying if I claimed I could see the join The Winger Siege is a strong story well written with engaging and distinctive characters Having finished it I find myself hoping it won t be the last Ariana Franklin book Adelia Rowley Mansur and Henry might just be safe in Samantha Norman s hands If given the choice to take it or leave it I would have to leave this one behind I love historical fiction and by that I mean full throttle historical fiction This was not that I couldossibly overlook the collouial differences but the telling was just too contemporary for the time The Courtship Basket period given And oh the language I don t mind gritty language but this felt so gratuitous It was a constant onslaught and it hardly even felt authentic Everyone was always so angryI need than just that Hearing it verses reading it for me anyway makes a huge difference for some reason And since I did the audio it was so much noticeableI also got the feel that this was very light on the historical fiction side as well The singular event wasn t theroblem Overall I wasn t Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 2 Samuel (The Expositors Bible Commentary pulled into this timeeriod I wanted to be but it just didn t work for me I know I m in the minority with this review But I can give it 2 stars I actually liked Penda and even Gwil Setting Medieval EnglandThe story opens when Henry I dies without leaving a heir and the country is sent into a state of anarchy which begins the story of the battle for the crown between Matilda and her cousin Stephan Em a young easant girl is cornered by a troop of soldiers while out with her mother and sisterCaptured brutalized raped and left for dead she is later found by Gwyl a bowman who nurses her back to health and although her body heals her mind is reluctant With her hair shorn and dressed as a lad Penda as is now known as joins Gwyl and a band of Traveling PlayersThe Players Arrive At playersThe layers arrive Castle which is held by it s chatelaine Maud right before the castle is Accidental Pharisees put under siege by ruthless mercenariesGwyl keeps his eyes out for their enemy little knowing that enemy has been watching themAs good and evil suare off in battle the country s future lies in their handsI was really looking forward to this story taking off and drawing me back into a well known time andlace
history Sadly I was very This really could have been that and The Good It was a captivating and compelling tale filled with fascinating characters who drive the lot as much as the tempestuous backdrop The author did a great job with the historical setting and details But that s where it ends for meThe Bad Once the characters opened their mouths and the story began it just went downhill for me as a reader who likes the characters to be totally in the correct time eriod in speech and manners it lacked bothIn The Siege Winter the author used a contemporary tone with so many anachronisms throughout that it just spoiled the whole escape factor for me and I really had a hard time finishing itSo sad this really could have been a great read with a 4 5 star rating from meunfortunately it wont but it may appeal to others who like that kind of writing style One of the best British historical novels I have read and I have read many This Light Thickens (Roderick Alleyn, passionate fast moving and atmospheric novel captures the brutality and horror of the civil war in England in the 12th century between King Stephen and the Empress MatildaThe characters are deep and well rounded and you get caught up in the dramaA Breton mercenary Gwil fighting in the Cambridgeshire Fens stumbles across Emma an eleven year oldeasant girl who has been raped and severely hurt by a devil in a monk s guise who has obsessively rapes and murders red haired girlsHe adopts her and teaches her to shoot a bow and she becomes an expert archerMeanwhile a 15 year old noblewoman Maud is forced to marry an older brute of a nobleman arrogant boorish and callous But she soon shows her metal and comes into her ownA much sought after A Multi-Site Church Roadtrip parchment comes intolay and Magic Dreams (Kate Daniels, puts our friends in dangerCaptures the sights sounds smells and emotions of 12th century England I was glued for every sentence and finshed it in two days One comes to deeply care about the two girls who the novel centers aroundThis is a book you must read if you like historical fiction Ariana Franklin was master story teller and will be sorely missed. Red haired girl He has some unfinished business with her and he is determined to finish it And one freezing winter in a castle completely besieged he might well get his chanceWinter Siege is a stand alone historical novel started by the late Diana Norman under herseudonym Ariana Franklin It has been completed by her daughter Samantha Norma.

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