Rave Reviews Log: Historical Fiction

July 15, 2009

The Edge on the Sword

By Rebecca Tingle
Era: medieval Britain (800's)
Rating: 4 1/2 stars

In this excellent bit of medieval history set in the 800's in Great Britain, 15 year old Aethelflaed is the daughter of the West Saxon King Alfred. She is happy living her quiet life becoming educated in the scriptorium by the priests and slipping away with her brother Edward to the woods. Then she is dismayed to discover her father has bethrothed her to the Mercian leader, Ethelred. She is even more unhappy to discover that a man has been sent to watch her every move to protect her from those who might oppose the union--a Mercian man named Red who wears the bonds of slavery. Disgruntled, Flaed begins to experiment with ways to slip away from her careful guard, even as she begins to like him. But her stubborn bid for a moment alone comes at a cost--one day when she does manage to elude Red, Flaed is abducted by some men awaiting just this opportunity. After Red rescues her, a decision is reached. Flaed must learn how to protect herself and how to lead, however reluctantly she may wish for these skills. There are many exciting scenes in this novel, and readers will be pleased to discover that Aethelflaed not only was a real person, but one of the most famous female leaders remembered from that period. Thumbs up for an excellent piece of historical fiction.


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