This dazzling debut brings the Dark Ages to light and illuminates one Saxon noblewoman's romance with a Viking warrior and her struggle to find her path in a changing and dangerous world
869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Ealdorman of Somerset, has lived in an environment of love, acceptance, and equality. Somerset has flourished under twenty years of peace. But with whispers of war threatening their security, Avelynn's father makes an uncompromising decision that changes her life forever.
Forced into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status, Avelynn's perception of independence is shattered. With marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik The Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed.
In a year of uncertainty that sees Avelynn discover hidden powers, stumble into a passionate love affair with Alrik, and lead men into battle, Avelynn must walk a fine line as her deceptions mount and Demas' tactics to possess her become more desperate and increasingly brutal.
Avelynn and Alrik are caught in the throes of fate as they struggle to find the way back to themselves and onwards to each other.
Avelynn takes place in the dark ages. A time when men were men and most women were nothing but chatel. Avelynn's father has given her more then most women of her day. He has let her learn how to fight, and let her sit on his council so she has learned to reason and negotiate with the best of them.
While worshiping her Pagan Gods, on what she thought was a derserted beach, she is attacked by marauding Vikings, just when she has lost hope she is saved by a Viking named Alrik. Alrik captures her heart and they begin seeing one another when ever it is possible. When Avelynn is promised to another man for her own protection she must make a choice marry the man her father has chose or take what her heart desires.
Ms. Campbell's research is the Era, Vikings/Pirates and the struggles of both Christians and Pagan's during the time period is spot on. I will say the war scenes that she writes are vivid and you can almost feel the heat of midevil battle in all it's rage and carnage. All in all a wonderful, well researched period tale. I look forward to more by the author.