Cover image for The siege winter
Title:
The siege winter
Author:
Franklin, Ariana, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York, New York : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2015].
Physical Description:
338 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
"1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie for the crown. In this dangerous world, not even Emma, an eleven-year-old peasant, is safe. A depraved monk obsessed with redheads kidnaps the ginger-haired girl from her village and leaves her for dead. When an archer for hire named Gwyl finds her, she has no memory of her previous life. Unable to abandon her, Gwyl takes the girl with him, dressing her as a boy, giving her a new name--Penda--and teaching her to use a bow. But Gwyn knows that the man who hurt Penda roams free, and that a scrap of evidence she possesses could be very valuable. Gwyl and Penda make their way to Kenilworth, a small but strategically important fortress that belongs to fifteen-year-old Maud. Newly wedded to a boorish and much older husband after her father's death, the fierce and determined young chatelaine tempts fate and Stephen's murderous wrath when she gives shelter to the empress. Aided by a garrison of mercenaries, including Gwyl and his odd red-headed apprentice, Maud will stave off Stephen's siege for a long, brutal winter that will bring a host of visitors to Kenilworth--kings, soldiers . . . and a sinister monk with deadly business to finish" --

A traumatized apprentice archer, disguised as a boy, and the young chatelaine of a strategically important fortress risk their lives to support the Empress Matilda's campaign for the throne of mid-12th-century England
Language:
English
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780062282569
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A 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 courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in twelfth century England's devastating civil war.

1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie for the crown. In this dangerous world, not even Emma, an eleven-year-old peasant, is safe. A depraved monk obsessed with redheads kidnaps the ginger-haired girl from her village and leaves her for dead. When an archer for hire named Gwyl finds her, she has no memory of her previous life. Unable to abandon her, Gwyl takes the girl with him, dressing her as a boy, giving her a new name--Penda--and teaching her to use a bow. But Gwyn knows that the man who hurt Penda roams free, and that a scrap of evidence she possesses could be very valuable.

Gwyl and Penda make their way to Kenilworth, a small but strategically important fortress that belongs to fifteen-year-old Maud. Newly wedded to a boorish and much older husband after her father's death, the fierce and determined young chatelaine tempts fate and Stephen's murderous wrath when she gives shelter to the empress.

Aided by a garrison of mercenaries, including Gwyl and his odd red-headed apprentice, Maud will stave off Stephen's siege for a long, brutal winter that will bring a host of visitors to Kenilworth--kings, soldiers . . . and a sinister monk with deadly business to finish.


Author Notes

Ariana Franklin is a pen name used by Diana Norman. She is a British author and journalist writing historical fiction and non-fiction. She was born in Devon, England. She is married to the film critic Barry Norman. (Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Franklin's final novel, skillfully completed by her daughter after her death, recounts two young women's courage during a dark, chaotic era. As civil war devastates mid-twelfth century England, Maud, the 16-year-old chatelaine of Kenniford, weds a boorish older man to save her people. Raped and discarded, Em, a peasant girl from the Cambridgeshire fens, is rescued by an aging mercenary and becomes an expert archer under his tutelage. Their stories converge as Matilda, the previous king's heir, escapes her rival, King Stephen, and seeks shelter at Kenniford. The event-filled plotline includes themes of vengeance and coming-of-age, a hint of romance, and a mystery about a piece of parchment that Em's attacker will kill to repossess. Her slow recovery from emotional trauma is especially touching. The cheeky wit and precise descriptions that were Franklin's hallmarks are as sharp as ever, and the major characters are delightfully human. The book also has a genuine feel for medieval life and times. This unique collaboration is a worthy conclusion to one remarkable career and a promising beginning to another.--Johnson, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist


Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Norman ably fills the hole in historical fiction left by the death of her late mother, Franklin ("Mistress of the Art of Death" series), by bringing the author's final manuscript to fruition with aplomb. During the Anarchy, the 12th-century civil war of succession between King Stephen and Empress Matilda over the English throne, a young girl falls victim to a roving horde of mercenaries led by a degenerate monk. Left for dead, she is rescued by a lone archer who teaches her to shoot and dresses her as a boy for protection. As they travel the countryside seeking justice, they find themselves at the heart of the war in which both their futures and that of the country are at stake. VERDICT The rigidity of status in feudal society rightly permeates every scene, but Norman and Franklin excel at showing how the war impacts everyone in this richly researched, female-driven historical mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 8/11/14.]-Liza Oldham, Beverly, MA (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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