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She has lost all memory of her 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 new protege 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 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 politics 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

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The Siege Winter

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 her pseudonym Ariana Franklin It has been completed by her daughter Samantha Norma 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 for protection given the name Penda and the two travel together He teaches her archery and she becomes 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 mysterious parchment in a uill case that Gwil picks up when he finds Emma Who is the monk and what is his importanceI didn t pick up any obvious 21st century slang but there were 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 ending of the novel most satisfactory

Ariana Franklin ☆ 7 review

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 First Sentence It is a wood 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 much personal 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 prior and new readers you are in for such a treat This book was begun by Ms Franklin aka Diana Norman prior 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 period To that there was the explanation given by Ms Franklin at the end of Grave Goods in twelfth century England the common people 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 people then sounded contemporary to one another and since I hate the use of what I call gadzooks in historical novels to denote a past age I insist on making those 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 the players assembled and the curtain drawn on what from the very start we know will be a wonderful tale The narrative is fascinating and periodically through the story moves the tale forward while providing historical context The story provides wonderful details of castle life and what it takes to run and defend a castle during this period What a wonderful assembly of characters Each leaps off the 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 I protect 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 protect her son William There is 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 page filmed exactly as it is on the page 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 page At the bottom of my review notes I wrote Ex Were it possible to rate a book 10 out of 5 stars this would be it I loved every page every word It doesn t get better than that 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


10 thoughts on “The Siege Winter

  1. says:

    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 Nor

  2. says:

    One of the best British historical novels I have read and I have read many This passionate fast moving and atmo

  3. says:

    First Sentence It is a wood 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

  4. says:

    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

  5. says:

    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 peasant girl i

  6. says:

    I've given this an A for both content and narration at AudioGalsThe Siege Winter is a superbly written and thoroughly enjoyable piece of historical fiction set in twelfth century England at a time of great uncertainty and upheaval The country

  7. says:

    35 rounded to 4 Very readable engaging novel set in the 12th century civil war in England between Matilda and Stephen for

  8. says:

    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 could possibly overlook the collouial differences but the 'telling' was just too contemporary for the time 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 authen

  9. says:

    The Winter Siegeby Ariana Franklin Samantha NormanSynopsisA 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 intri

  10. says:

    What fans of good historical fiction mysteries weren’t devastated to hear about the death of the writer Ariana Franklin pen name of Diana Norm