by Kim Iverson Headlee
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Gyan is a Caledonian chieftainess by birth, a warrior and leader of warriors by training, and she is betrothed to Urien, a son of her clan’s deadliest enemy, by right of Arthur the Pendragon’s conquest of her people. For the sake of peace, Gyan is willing to sacrifice everything…perhaps even her very life, if her foreboding about Urien proves true.
Roman by his father, Brytoni by his mother, and denied hereditary rulership of his mother’s clan because of his mixed blood, Arthur has followed his father’s path to become Dux Britanniarum, the Pendragon: supreme commander of the northern Brytoni army. The Caledonians, Scots, Saxons, and Angles keep him too busy to dwell upon his loneliness…most of the time.
When Gyan and Arthur meet, each recognize within the other their soul’s mate. The treaty has preserved Gyan’s ancient right to marry any man, providing he is a Brytoni nobleman—but Arthur does not qualify. And the ambitious Urien, Arthur’s greatest political rival, shall not be so easily denied. If Gyan and Arthur cannot prevent Urien from plunging the Caledonians and Brytons back into war, their love will be doomed to remain unfulfilled forever.
But there is an even greater threat looming. The Laird of the Scots wants their land and will kill all who stand in his way. Gyan, Arthur, and Urien must unite to defeat this merciless enemy who threatens everyone they hold dear.
AUDIOBOOK VIDEO TEASER (Prologue):
from Chapter 7: The prophecy
Upon completion of the joinings, the High Priest called for the sunderings. Weddings performed on Àmbholc night could be broken the following year with no shame clinging to either person. This year, no pair stepped forward for the sundering. More cheers raced skyward.
The congregation lined up to receive personal blessings and prophecies. As Gyan watched her father cross the Most Sacred Ground to dip his torch to the Sacred Flame, she tried to guess what the High Priest’s words to her would be. A year ago, he had spoken of betrothal to a foreigner. She recalled the depth of her disbelief, for there had been no alliance with the Breatanaich then, just seemingly unquenchable hatred.
Yet the impossible had occurred.
A gust wrestled with the flames as she approached the priests. Their faces were impassive in the wild light, as secretive as the stones. Gyan gave her torch to an attendant and knelt, head bowed, in ritual submission before the High Priest. The feathers of her robe whispered their own prophecies in the wind. Gnarled hands settled lightly upon her head.
The High Priest’s voice sounded subdued and sad: “A powerful chieftain of Breatein is fated to bring you great joy and great sorrow.” His voice dropped to a rasping whisper she had to strain to hear. “And death.”
It is my pleasure to read and review Dawnflight, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles Book 1, by Kim Iverson Headlee.
What a beautiful look at the old legend of Arthur and Guinevere from Guinevere’s view point as a warrior chieftainess. It is unlike any version of Arthurian legend I’ve ever read before!
Ms. Headlee knows how to write characters of great strength and strong emotion so exceedingly well. I fell into this story and didn’t realize I was reading the retelling of Arthur and Guinevere until I was well into the book. But by then Gyan and Arthur already had my heart.
The pictures that Ms. Headlee penned in my head with her words took me back in time to witness their eyes meeting for the first time, to the morning of their first practice session and Arthur’s pain at wounding Gyan, to the battles . . . Her every word adding a color or a contour or a shading to the last one that she drew.
One part that truly moved me was Gyan’s conversion to the One God from her pagan ways of worship. I could feel her heart turning, I could feel the warmth as she heard the words she didn’t yet understand, and I cried the morning she accepted the One God into her heart with the help of Dafydd.
I am so incredibly enamored of Dawnflight that I am cheerfully looking forward to reading Morning’s Journey soon.
I highly recommend Dawnflight by Kim Iverson Headlee and give it five steaming hot cups of Room With Books coffee.
© September 6, 2015
YouTube video interview:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Lydia escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels under her imprint, Pendragon Cove Press. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 0671020412).
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NEWSLETTER YOUTUBE CHANNEL – http://www.youtube.com/user/gyanhumara
BUY & TBR LINKS:
AMAZON KINDLE US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BLNN6XS
AMAZON KINDLE CA – http://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BLNN6XS
AMAZON KINDLE UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BLNN6XS
AMAZON PAPERBACK – http://www.amazon.com/dp/1939051134
AMAZON AUDIOBOOK – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E98ZQ8A
BARNES & NOBLES NOOK – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dawnflight-kim-d-headlee/1003548584?ean=2940016289618
BARNES & NOBLES PAPERBACK – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dawnflight-kim-d-headlee/1003548584?ean=9781939051134
GOOGLE E-BOOK – https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=okJiCAAAQBAJ
ITUNES E-BOOK – https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id660038137
ITUNES AUDIOBOOK – https://itunes.apple.com/us/audiobook/dawnflight-dragons-dove-chronicles/id681882480
KOBO E-BOOK – http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/dawnflight
SMASHWORDS – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/289281
Kim will be awarding an autographed print copy of Dawnflight (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.