By: Regan Walker
I was honored with a beta-copy for preliminary review. I was not compensated.
To start, kudos to our author for prefacing the story with a map and the 'Characters of Note'.
William the Conqueror-the Norman King continues ramped devastation in his quest to rule all England, in this case especially York. An uprising by locals and supporters of Edgar AEthling, saxon heir to the throne of England is imminent. The rebels are led by Maerlswain, a Danish nobleman and father of Emma of York.
Emma has a big heart and is an important support to the citizens of York. She has her 'family' consisting of two orphans, an aging man servant and a cook. Eventually the daughter of York's swordsmaker, in order to ensure her safety from the Normans, joins her group.
Sir Geoffroi de Tourani of Talisand (The Red Wolf's Prize) leads a troop to fight for King William. In a chance meeting they function within both sides, and together in a sweet romance.
King William is intent on teaching the rebels a lesson to show his power, which Ms. Walker describes with intense excitement, but not gruesome. As understated as Emma is she mingles with some Normans as the final showdown commences, and valiantly plays a pivotal role.
This is a flawlessly crafted novel. An exciting continuation of an important time in English history, yet this does not read as a text. Regan Walker achieves a high level of intellect.