The Siege Winter Summary and Reviews

The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman X
The Siege Winter by Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman
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Book Summary

A powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter Samantha Norman, The Siege Winter is a tour de force mystery and murder, adventure and intrigue, a battle for a crown, told by two courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in twelfth century England's devastating civil war.

1141. England is engulfed in war as King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda, vie for the crown. In this dangerous world, not even Emma, an eleven-year-old peasant, is safe. A depraved monk obsessed with redheads kidnaps the ginger-haired girl from her village and leaves her for dead. When an archer for hire named Gwyl finds her, she has no memory of her previous life. Unable to abandon her, Gwyl takes the girl with him, dressing her as a boy, giving her a new name - Penda - and teaching her to use a bow. But Gwyn knows that the man who hurt Penda roams free, and that a scrap of evidence she possesses could be very valuable.

Gwyl and Penda make their way to Kenilworth, a small but strategically important fortress that belongs to fifteen-year-old Maud. Newly wedded to a boorish and much older husband after her father's death, the fierce and determined young chatelaine tempts fate and Stephen's murderous wrath when she gives shelter to the empress.

Aided by a garrison of mercenaries, including Gwyl and his odd red-headed apprentice, Maud will stave off Stephen's siege for a long, brutal winter that will bring a host of visitors to Kenilworth - kings, soldiers...and a sinister monk with deadly business to finish.

This book is published by an imprint of HarperCollins. Members of the HC union have been on strike since mid-Nov, fighting for a living wage. More than 650 authors and literary agents have committed to not submitting books to the company until the strike is resolved. Recent news articles
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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The rigidity of status in feudal society rightly permeates every scene, but Norman and Franklin excel at showing how the war impacts everyone in this richly researched, female-driven historical mystery." - Library Journal

"This thoroughly captivating tale was begun by celebrated historical novelist Franklin, who died before its completion, and completed seamlessly by her journalist daughter, Norman." - Kirkus

"The cheeky wit and precise descriptions that were Franklin's hallmarks are as sharp as ever, and the major characters are delightfully human." - Booklist

This information about The Siege Winter was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman Author Biography

Ariana Franklin, author of City of Shadows, is the pen name of British writer Diana Norman. A former journalist, Norman wrote several critically acclaimed biographies and historical novels.

After working on local newspapers in Devon and the East End of London, Diana Norman became, at twenty years of age, the youngest reporter on what used to be Fleet Street. She married the film critic Barry Norman, and they settled in Hertfordshire with their two daughters. Her first book of fiction, Fitzempress's Law, was chosen by Frank Delaney of BBC Radio 4's Bookshelf as the best example of a historical novel of its year.

She died on 27 January 2011.

As Ariana Franklin she wrote:
City of Shadows (2006)
The Mistress of the Art of Death (2007) - her first book featuring ...

... Full Biography
Link to Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman's Website

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