by Kim Iverson Headlee
In a violent age when enemies besiege Brydein and alliances shift as swiftly as the wind, stand two remarkable leaders: the Caledonian warrior-queen Gyanhumara and her consort, Arthur the Pendragon. Their fiery love is tempered only by their conviction to forge unity between their disparate peoples. Arthur and Gyan must create an impenetrable front to protect Brydein and Caledonia from land-lusting Saxons and the marauding Angli raiders who may be massing forces in the east, near Arthur’s sister and those he has sworn to protect.
But their biggest threat is an enemy within: Urien, Arthur’s rival and the man Gyan was treaty-bound to marry until she broke that promise for Arthur’s love. When Urien becomes chieftain of his clan, his increase in wealth and power is matched only by the magnitude of his hatred of Arthur and Gyan—and his threat to their infant son.
Morning’s Journey, sequel to the critically acclaimed Dawnflight, propels the reader from the heights of triumph to the depths of despair, through the struggles of some of the most fascinating characters in all of Arthurian literature. Those struggles are exacerbated by the characters’ own flawed choices. Gyan and Arthur must learn that while extending forgiveness to others may be difficult, forgiveness of self is the most excruciating—yet ultimately the most healing—step of the entire journey.
Excerpt: from 14: Attack’s aftermath:
ANGUSEL WORKED with the rest of the company to help recover the wounded and dead of both sides, collect weapons and other valuable items, bind wounds, dig graves, fill the latrine, gnaw on bannocks and dried beef, swill ale, strike camp, and try to make sense of having lost eight to death, five to disabling injuries—and all the wounded Angalaranaich, before they could be securely guarded, to suicide.
Absent a priest, it fell to the Pendragon to commend the departed souls to the One God. “Or whichever gods they followed in life,” he added diplomatically.
While the entire company saluted their fallen companions with raised swords, Gyan led the Caledonaich in singing the warrior’s lament. Angusel saw unshed tears brimming in her eyes and heard the catch in her lovely voice. In this she wasn’t alone.
They had dug the two mass graves on a low rise overlooking the burn where they’d repelled the bulk of the attack.
“Abar-Bhàis,” Gyan named the battlefield, drawing her cloak close, as if it could shield her from what she’d invoked.
“What does that mean?” asked Arthur as they picked their way toward the horses. “River Mouth—something.”
“Mouth of the River of Death,” she replied reverently.
A fitting tribute, Angusel silently agreed. The Pendragon’s seannachaidh would have a fine time crafting songs from that theme for the living as well as the dead.
4 out of 5 (very good)
Morning's Journey starts with Gyan waking from a nightmare, the day after she and Arthur married. She is still worried about the part that Urien will play in their future, as she doesn't think that he will accept the lot he has been given. She has reason to worry as Urien is indeed plotting, and using his betrothal to Morghe to quicken events along. There is a lot that goes on during this book between a number of characters.
This is an intricate tale, woven through with love, honour, betrayal, traditions and religion. The various titles and responsibilities between Artyr and Gyan are numerous. Artyr is Gyan's Consort in Clan Argyll. She is his wife in the eyes of Britain. She is a Commander, a Warrior, a Chieftainess. Their relationship also changes from the first blaze of love, to trials and tribulations. Artyr has to figure out how to please Gyan, when she doesn't even know herself. She wants him to recognise her in her own right as a Warrior, but when he does, she doesn't want that but his love instead.
I can definitely recommend this to any fans of Arthur history/mythology, who like their traditional tale with a twist.
* I received this book from Goddess Fish Promotions in return for a fair and honest review. *
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Kim will be awarding an autographed print copy of MORNING'S JOURNEY (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Click HERE to enter - ends 27th October
Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0671020412).
YouTube video interview: http://youtu.be/DV5iKrEIROk
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