Friday, September 30, 2016

Anna Belfrage's Days of Sun and Glory - Review #Historical #Fiction


My thoughts
I first became aware of Queen Isabella of England, wife of Edward II, in watching my favorite film of all time, Braveheart. I loved the character, although her story line in the film did stretch the boundaries of truth. In the film, she was a smart, strong, independent and defiant character and I greatly admired her. So, that is who I envisioned when I read her parts in this book. The author did a fantastic job of portraying Isabella as I imagine she really was.

I've actually done a lot of reading on Isabella, Edward II and Edward III. My great interest in the story behind Braveheart led me to read more about Edward II and his father, and then more extensively down the line regarding Isabella, Roger Mortimer and Edward III. I feel that Belfrage really captured the historical context of this troubling time in Edward II's reign. It felt like stepping into history itself.

I'm really not much on love stories (a skeptic from life experience), but I can't deny the wonderful relationship between Kit and Adam. Although the jealousy and possessiveness on both their parts got a bit old, in all, their enduring and loving marriage was endearing.

The politics and intrigue are on point with the age of 14th century England. War comes about once again and the strife it causes is palpable and accurately portrayed here.

This is the second book in Belfrage's The King's Greatest Enemy series, yet it can very much be read as a stand alone. She clearly has a knack for writing compelling historical fiction. I can't wait to continue on with the series.

About the book
Publication Date: July 4, 2016
Matador
eBook & Paperback; 418 Pages
Series: The King’s Greatest Enemy
Genre: Historical Fiction



Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit. England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.

Their suspicions are not unfounded. Tired of being relegated to the background by the king’s grasping favourite, Isabella has decided it is time to act – to safeguard her own position, but also that of her son, Edward of Windsor. As Adam de Guirande has pledged himself to Prince Edward he is automatically drawn into the queen’s plans – whether he likes it or not.

Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as the king and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.

Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.



About the Author
Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a professional time-traveller. As such a profession does as yet not exists, she settled for second best and became a financial professional with two absorbing interests, namely history and writing. These days, Anna combines an exciting day-job with a large family and her writing endeavours.

When Anna fell in love with her future husband, she got Scotland as an extra, not because her husband is Scottish or has a predilection for kilts, but because his family fled Scotland due to religious persecution in the 17th century – and were related to the Stuarts. For a history buff like Anna, these little details made Future Husband all the more desirable, and sparked a permanent interest in the Scottish Covenanters, which is how Matthew Graham, protagonist of the acclaimed The Graham Saga, began to take shape.

Set in 17th century Scotland and Virginia/Maryland, the series tells the story of Matthew and Alex, two people who should never have met – not when she was born three hundred years after him. With this heady blend of romance, adventure, high drama and historical accuracy, Anna hopes to entertain and captivate, and is more than thrilled when readers tell her just how much they love her books and her characters.

Presently, Anna is hard at work with her next project, a series set in the 1320s featuring Adam de Guirande, his wife Kit, and their adventures and misfortunes in connection with Roger Mortimer’s rise to power. The King’s Greatest Enemy is a series where passion and drama play out against a complex political situation, where today’s traitor may be tomorrow’s hero, and the Wheel of Life never stops rolling.

The first installment in the Adam and Kit story, In the Shadow of the Storm, was published in 2015. The second book, Days of Sun and Glory, will be published in July 2016.

Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitterand Goodreads.



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