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The Siege Winter    by Ariana Franklin & Samantha Norman order for
Siege Winter
by Ariana Franklin
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2015 (2015)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Before she could complete this novel Ariana Franklin passed away, so her daughter, Samantha Norman, stepped in to finish it. Set in England in 1141, The Siege Winter focuses on two women. First there's Emma, an eleven year old who is left for dead after a band of mercenaries raids her village and leaves the child in a burnt-out church.

Found by another mercenary, Gwyl, the girl's life is saved and she is raised as a boy named Penda for safety's sake. Under her savior's tutelage the young girl becomes a skilled archer.

The other young woman featured in this novel is Maud, a fifteen year old who, after being married off to an older man, Sir John of Tewing, is given a small but strategic fortress by the king. When Maud transforms her loyalty to a usurper to the throne, King Stephen's armies attack Kenniford Castle.

Aided by a band of mercenaries, including Gwyl and his protégé, Penda, Maud must survive the long winter siege. Weaving political intrigue and a captivating coming-of-age tale with adventure and a touch of romance, this is an action packed novel set during medieval times. Samantha Norman has done an admirable job of maintaining the continuity of this story. Her mother would be proud of how she completed the manuscript.

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