The Winter Siege

The Winter Siege 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

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, theA 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

  • ☆ The Winter Siege ✓ Ariana Franklin Samantha Norman
    145 Ariana Franklin Samantha Norman
The Winter Siege

  1. Ariana Franklin was the pen name of British writer Diana Norman A former journalist, Norman had written several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels She lived in Hertfordshire, England, with her husband, the film critic Barry Norman Note The Death Maze UK is published as The Serpent s Tale in the US Relics of the Dead UK is published as Grave Goods in the US.The Assassin s Prayer UK is published as A Murderous Procession in the US.

262 Reply to “The Winter Siege”

  1. One of the best British historical novels I have read and I have read many This passionate, fast moving and atmospheric novel captures the brutality and horror of the civil war in England in the 12th century between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda.The characters are deep and well rounded and you get caught up in the drama.A Breton mercenary Gwil, fighting in the Cambridgeshire Fens stumbles across Emma, an eleven year old peasant girl who has been raped and severely hurt by a devil in a mon [...]

  2. 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 deat [...]

  3. 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 Norman, to finish her mother s last novel First, the disappointment for me, anyway The Winter Siege is not an Adelia book, being set largely in 1141, around forty years [...]

  4. 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 is cornered by a troop of soldiers while out with her mother and sister.Captured, brutalized, raped and left for dead, she is later found by Gwyl a bowman who nurses her back to health and although her body heals her mind is reluctant With her hair shorn [...]

  5. 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 ex [...]

  6. I ve given this an A for both content and narration at AudioGals.The 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 is being torn apart by what is, in essence, a civil war between the supporters of the Empress Matilda daughter of the late King Henry and those of her cousin and Henry s successor, King Stephen The bulk of the tale is set between 1141 and 1143, but the sto [...]

  7. 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 colloquial 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 authentic Everyone was always so angryI need than just that Hearing i [...]

  8. What fans of good historical fiction mysteries weren t devastated to hear about the death of the writer Ariana Franklin pen name of Diana Norman in 2011 She did leave us a wonderful gift, however a final novel, completed by her daughter Samantha Norman, and it is a very good work indeed.This book is not part of the series featuring the medical examiner Adelia Aguilar but is a standalone novel in the same time period, i.e the mid 12th Century, and also set in England During this era, England was [...]

  9. Having read English historical fiction as a favorite for over 50 years, and probably 100 s if not going into the 4 digit number of books, I have to post that this author and this particular novel is one of the very best.Outstanding In its eye witnesses narrative, in its emotive nuance to identities, in its chronological order, and especially within its realistic and often brutal intensity of the devious crack that almost always exists in a long and viscous civil war.The siege period under Maud i [...]

  10. This was one of the best historical fiction books I ve read in a long time After just finishing it I want to go back and re read it again, just becauseI was apprehensive because I haven t been the biggest fan of Matilda in my studies, to be frank she wasn t a very good politician and many times could have won the war if she had been of a tactician This book was aligned with the supporting characters and how the arena of war can turn men cold and women into heroines It wasn t until the 1950s th [...]

  11. Ariana Franklin s Mistress of the Art of Death books are one of my favorite historical fiction series and her death left the story without a satisfying ending This book was not quite as enjoyable, but I did find it interesting enough I liked the characters a lot, but found my attention wondering several times because I felt the story moved a little too slowly I m glad Ms Franklin s daughter was able to finish this book so that readers could have one taste of her work, even if it wasn t quite as [...]

  12. I loved this book I m a big fan of historical fiction I found it hard to put down I look forward to reading another book of hers.

  13. 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 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 eve [...]

  14. 3.5 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 [...]

  15. 3.5 Not bad at all I really enjoyed parts of it, but if you are looking for really good, authentic, medieval historical fiction, try Elizabeth Chadwick More review to come.

  16. The kind of book that reminds me why I love reading Ariana Franklin will be greatly missed, though I look forward to reading her daughter s books.

  17. I was sad to hear that Ariana Franklin had passed away I hope they do her credit in this story I would hate to see her legacy sullied.

  18. It s 1141, and in the harsh and dangerous world of medieval England, the war between Stephen and Matilda gathers momentum The people of the Cambridgeshire fens eke out a lowly living surrounded by convoluted rivers and reed beds, and bring up their children amongst the tree branches of willow and alder Raising the four thousand eels needed to pacify the Bishop of Ely, and keeping the protection of St Ethelreda is their greatest worry, until the construction of a new castle for Hugh Bigod, the ne [...]

  19. I received this book in a giveaway, and I was thrilled because it is one of those rare books in which the writing is so vivid that the real world around me faded away as I became immersed in the plot The historical novel is set in 1141 while Stephen and Matilda battle for the English throne The story is centered on Gwil, a mercenary Penda, the brutalized girl he protects and Maud, the chatelaine of Kenniford Castle, where siege is laid The story is fast paced and the dialogue is crisp and often [...]

  20. Listening to this makes me realize how much I miss Arianna Franklin, author of the fabulous Mistress of the Art of Death series, who died before it was finished She s such a good storyteller and gives us involving though flawed characters, compelling stories, lovely writing, and a real sense of time and place This is set in 12th century England and employs 2 time lines to tell the tale The Abbot of Perton Abbey is dying, but he has a story to tell and requests a copyist to record it That s 1183 [...]

  21. 9% in is rather early for me to DNF something but I realised something There are so many better things to do than reading about the redemption arc of a male character that is offset by him witnessing the rape of a female character.Like looking at pictures of kittens.

  22. I love the Mistress of the Art of Death books, and City of Shadows, but it s taken me a while to read this one and I m torn It has Franklin s great writing, and great characters, but frankly, it was too sad for me I simply don t like it when writers kill characters I care about but that s the only reason this book doesn t have 5 stars.

  23. Wow, I am on such a bad book streak I guess I was laboring under a misapprehension with this one I thought it was an historical novel, but it s of a Da Vinci Code type thriller complete with evil monks and dashing knights It s packed with cliches and strewn with anachronisms 12th century characters say things like thanks so much and keep your eyes peeled Just say nay.

  24. Before Winter Siege I d actually only read one book by Ariana Franklin, to wit Mistress of the Art of Death I loved that book, its setting and its characters and was sad to learn that had passed away only a few weeks before I read the book When I later discovered that her daughter, Samantha Norman, had finished her last book and that it would still be published, I really wanted to read it, especially since it is set in a time period that holds a special place in my heart The Anarchy, as the peri [...]

  25. Great historical fiction I haven t read too many books set in this time period so the history was as interesting to me as the story itself Gwyl and Penda are compelling protagonists, but Maud was my favorite character, somehow I really identified with her Ariana Franklin did an excellent job of describing castle life and the intricate politics of the time period, I was as captivated by all of that as I was the drama of the main plot I loved the relationships between all of the characters and the [...]

  26. I m sorry I just can t follow books written this way The peasant voices are written in the way they would have spoken I have to keep rereading whole passages because I can t tell what the heck the person just said It is written in slang, mispronunciations, etc I just couldn t do it any It very well may be an amazing book, but if I can enjoy myself reading it, I sadly am not interested.

  27. I enjoyed this book, but would call it historical fiction light There is no attempt to portray the characters as accurate to the time period Rather they appear as modern characterizations set in period costume and setting The dialogue and interactions are entertaining and appealing, but thoroughly modern.

  28. I REALLY enjoyed this The dialogue did seem occasionally too modern, but the setting was fascinating, and the characters were great I spent a lot of time wiki ing Matilda Stephen while I was reading it Excellent historical fiction

  29. Atmospheric and wintry novel set during the Anarchy, which focuses events around a young traumatised girl, a mercenary soldier and a female castelaine this is really rather moving at times.

  30. I m so excited for this I didn t realize she had passed away, that breaks my little heart, I hope her daughter is as talented as her mum

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