Source: eARC courtesy of publisher
Rarely will I pick up medieval tales as I just couldn’t stand reading about how tough life was then… to me, that’s one of the darkest material in fiction. I don’t completely avoid it though. I have read and quite enjoyed the epic The Pillars of the Earth. The main attraction of Winter Siege to me was the girl disguised as a boy as it’s one of my main fictional staples. Plus I have read Ariana Franklin’s Mistress of the Art of Death series and really liked them too. I was pretty confident that I’d like Winter Siege.
Even though Winter Siege is set in the same era as the Mistress of the Art of Death series, they are of different matter. The series is a crime / forensic investigations whilst Winter Siege is strictly historical fiction with a hint of mystery. There is a trail of mystery from beginning to end but it’s not a whodunit kind; it was just what brought these different characters together.
To begin with, there were 2 threads to this story, Em’s and Lady Maud’s, until they were woven together. Whilst these 2 women suffered (I’m afraid to imagine just how horribly), I was thankful that it was delved upon. I was actually quite relieved that there wasn’t any details on these particulars aside from being mentioned that they have gone through such and such. Em and Lady Maud came from the opposite spectrum of society and each with their own troubles yet in the end, it is their own pluck saved them.
One of the things which made me smile were Em’s companion, Gwyl, the humorous foil due to his view of God and hence, how he related to his God. The other thing was the romance of Lady Maud –oh, it was sweet.
Winter Siege turned out to be quite a light & fun read. It was a story of courage and strength, of cunning and love –a lovely stand-alone historical fiction to brighten my day.
Thanks, Bantam Press for copy of eARC via NetGalley