This is an absorbing, exciting, historically-driven novel that takes a mix of fiction and non-fiction characters and threads a romance through turbulent times. The first thing I do when I start a Jayne Castel novel is tap into Wikipedia and look up details on the monarchs mentioned. Raedwald was a true Anglo-Saxon king of East Anglia from c. 599 to 624. Once I knew that Raedwald was the king most likely to be the subject of the ship burial where the famed Sutton Hoo helmet was found -and that the novel picks up about one year before his death - I knew I was in for an adventure.
Raedwyn, the beloved daughter of King Raedwald, is at the heart of the fictional love story. Shortly after her marriage to an ealderman of her father's, they are ambushed and she is abducted to be held as a threat against her father. Raedwald must meet Ceolwulf in battle or Raedwyn dies. However, Raedwyn is feisty and smart and manages to get away from her captors. Ceolwulf's son, Caelin, is the talented tracker who finds her. Their alone time sparks an attraction and when Caelin realizes that Raedwyn is likely to be killed no matter what their fathers do, he takes matters into his own hands.
"Caelin watched the sunrise, knowing it was likely to be his last. The knowledge made this spectacular dawn all the more poignant......but knowing his father as he did, Caelin was sure Raedwyn would not have survived Ceolwulf's vengeance."
This novel went in such unexpected directions that I was completely fascinated. Slavery, deceit, betraying family secrets, and a maturing prince all wrap around the intriguing story line. Hero Caelin is not infallible and Raedwyn finds she must adapt to survive. Author Castel doesn't sugarcoat the position of women in Dark Ages society. Nor does she shy away from the violence of battle or the emotions that accompany preparing for possible death and the aftermath of being victor or vanquished. Women find they have to live with the consequences of decisions not their own and men in charge have to live with the blood of many on their hands.
I like the balance between romance and history this author achieves. Raedwyn discovers she is lucky to have an opportunity for love and Caelin determines she is the only important thing. Their path is not easy, their love is forbidden and many are fighting against them.
Note: Sexual content, including attempted rape.
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Dark Under the Cover of Night (The Kingdom of the East Angles Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
JAYNE CASTEL writes Early Medieval Historical Romance and Historical Fiction set in 7th Century Anglo-Saxon England. Two of her novels DARK UNDER THE COVER OF NIGHT and NIGHTFALL TILL DAYBREAK, reached the quarter finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards in 2013 and 2014. Jayne writes historical romance adventures about warrior heroes and strong-willed heroines. She weaves powerful love stories into meticulously researched stories about honor, valor, loyalty and vengeance. Her KINGDOM OF THE EAST ANGLES series spans a decade and the reigns of three kings: Raedwald, Sigeberht and Annan. The series is a 'must-read' for anyone who loves reading historical romance set in a warrior-dominated culture. Visit Jayne's website at: jaynecastel.com --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B0093W11AY
- Publisher : Winter Mist Press (29 August 2012)
- Language : English
- File size : 8758 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 160 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1723886254
- Best Sellers Rank: 212,658 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
4 out of 5
35 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries
Turbulent true history amid fictitious romanceReviewed in the United States on 4 April 2017
5 people found this helpful
Female was strong but that shifted quick......Reviewed in the United States on 5 August 2017
This was okay but not one of my favs. I enjoyed Jaynes The Deepening Night. I didn't realize this was series.until later on. I read this over the weekend. I forget I had it. Anyway I didn't like it as much as her other book. I found this lacking romance. It started strong for me and then towards the end it felt rushed and I didn't believe in the love really. I enjoyed 85% of the book and the rest was just blah to me. I still enjoyed the book just not the rest of it. I mean the female was a fighter and fought hard until she got back home and she just turned into a docile daughter that allowed herself to be treated like crap. Like how did she go from strong to weak.I couldn't understand it. I started to dislike the book a little a that point. She didn't put up a fight to defend her honor when she was home but went above and beyond to escape her captives as well as endure getting slapped like crazy and tried to kill a man. Whyyyyyyy?!!!!
2 people found this helpful
WOW.......I loved itReviewed in the United States on 29 March 2014
This is such a great read !! It was excellent from beginning to end .The story revolves around Raedwyn beloved daughter to the King of the East Angles. She is given in marriage for political alliance but still holds onto the hope of a love match .On her wedding night she finds out that the possibility of love is not likely because of her husband's rough treatment. On the Journey to her new husband's home they are attacked by an enemy of her father. What happens to Raedwyn after is a nightmare but expected in this time period .Men took what they wanted ,killed who they pleased ,and women had no say in anything .It is a world that a woman has to survive in not just live.Raedwyn never loses her will and is strong and brave even when her own father loses faith in her. I enjoyed every part of this story and will be reading the next book in this series .
2 people found this helpful
Ehhh...Reviewed in the United States on 3 March 2019
I began this book, then kept putting it back down and picking it up again...waiting for it to grab my attention. By the 72% mark it became apparent that was never going to happen. There are too many great books available out there, to push through one so disjointed. I’ve read another book by this author that I liked ok, so maybe others might like this one even if I don’t.
Wonderful storytelling, perfect details and characters that are true to their time.Reviewed in the United States on 5 May 2015
Loved this book! I'm fascinated with the history of my ancestors way of life. The description of life in this century as painted by the author brought it to life. Happily absent was the normal bodice-ripping sexualized encounters which in other novels can last several pages. I loved the romance without all the lurid details. If you really need that, shop Amazon's erotica selection. This book didn't need that. It was a truly good story with just enough romance. And the accurate historical details were the crowning touch. Looking forward to reading more from this author. Highly recommend!
6 people found this helpful