Sunday, November 11, 2012

Article - The Briton & The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal

About The Briton and The Dane by Mary Ann Bernal
The First Book in the Trilogy!

After the last of Rome's legions left Britannia to the mercy of the invading barbarian hordes and before the age of chivalry, when knighthood was in flower and troubadours sang of courtly love, there lived a King whose love for his people and the land left a legacy coveted by his descendants who sought to wear his crown. Travel back in time to the late Ninth Century, to the tumultuous days in the reign of Alfred the Great who successfully defeated the Danish Viking King Guthrum and kept his precious Wessex free from Viking rule. Journey to the Burh of Wareham where Lord Richard oversees the training of Alfred's army; where his children, Stephen, David and Gwyneth, swear fealty to their King and support Alfred's vision to build a nation to rival the glory that once was Rome in a land ravaged by war and conquest.

What readers are saying:

5 Star Review

The Briton and The Dane is the first book in a trilogy set in the ninth century. From the very first page this book caught and held the reader's attention taking them from the modern twentieth century back in time of warriors, kings, queens, princes and princesses, as well as, evil doers.

With the authors insight and historical knowledge, the reader is able to visualize the fortress, the ship and the warriors who dwelled within and without, and is entangled into the religious decisions and deception of that time. This reader is particularly fond of Erik and the internal battle he faces as he is forced to accept a religion not of his own beliefs. It will be interesting to see how the next two books handle this discord. The language the author uses also depicts the time period well and reminded the reader of the famous movies made for that era. It was lovely to read that dialogue!

The author intertwines many characters within this plot and provides both a map and a character list to help with any confusion. Personally, this reader did not refer to the map or list the author provided but it is available if needed.
The plot contains twists that will leave the reader wondering what is coming next. The plot moves along at a nice pace and brings you into the character's lives, thoughts and emotions. Treachery is amongst the kingdom as the plot builds, pitting family relations against each other.

In that age, it can only be assumed, that women have little role or say about their future; however, the author depicts great love and respect by the King in this story to allow his daughter to assume some decision in the role her future would take. For the reader, you will either like this or not, depending on your viewpoint of the story. Personally this reader enjoyed that aspect of the story!

It is with great delight that this reader is moving on to the second book in the trilogy and will therefore bid you farewell until the reader finishes the next one in line!

Another 5 Star Review:

The Briton and the Dane is a novel that takes readers back to the time of King Alfred the Great. It is a time of rivalry between the Christian King of Wessex and the pagan Viking, King Guthrum. As the story begins, Gwyneth, daughter of Lord Richard (Buhr of Wareham under King Alfred's rule), meets and cares for a wounded Danish prince, Erik. The two fall in love. Things get a little complicated when Gwyneth realizes she loves the enemy. It gets even more complicated when Erik's past is revealed. As the cast of characters grows, readers are drawn into a world of violence, deceit, and seduction.

The book is well written. The dialog between the characters is told using the vernacular of the period. This may take some getting used to, as it is more formal than our modern day English. Throughout each chapter, the scenes jump around to show what is happening in each of the character's lives. Initially, readers may find it challenging to keep all the characters straight and remember all of the relationships. By the middle of the book, things should be clear.

Readers should know that as the story closes, there are still unresolved issues - unfinished love stories, ongoing battles, and an important character who after being wounded, suffers from amnesia. (Does it sound like a soap opera?) Readers will have to buy Ms. Bernal's sequel, The Briton and the Dane Birthright, to see how everything resolves.

The Briton and the Dane is a book that would appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially fiction set in the Nineth Century Britannia.

About the author Mary Ann Bernal:
I fell in love with medieval England after I read Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe. Then came the great Hollywood epics such as Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, The Black Shield of Falworth and The Vikings, to name but a few. Add to the mix Camelot and an incurable romantic Anglophile was born!

The Briton and the Dane novels are set in Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain when the formidable Vikings terrorized the civilized world. The epic adventure runs the gamut of deception, treachery, intrigue, and complicated relationships during a time of war and conquest. Resource material such as book club discussion items, glossary of terms, period maps and character lists are available for download at

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