Title: Crown of Rowan
Author: Kim Wilkins
Series: Blood and Gold #0.5
In: Legends of Australian Fantasy (Jack Dann & Jonathan Strahan)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Medieval fantasy, Strong women
Publisher: Harper Collins Australia
5th sentence, 74th page: Quietly, careful not to wake my sister, I return to the window.
There are seven kings in Thrysland. My father is one of them, and my husband is another. In my belly, perhaps, I carry a third.
Rose is the beautiful unhappily married daughter of a king and she has a secret to keep, not just from her husband but from her sisters, fierce warrior Bluebell, and Ash, a seer in possession of great but unknown powers. But larger events are afoot in Thrysland. The country is plunged into war with merciless raiders; religious zealots are at work on Rose’s husband, King Wengest, and more than that, there is a dark and deep magic at work throughout the land that threatens them all…
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this novella since I first read it! I love the idea of four sisters set in pre-Christian Europe, and the very different roles that they all play in their lives and the safety of the kingdom. Rose (the main sister in this story) is so clear and striking in my mind’s eye, and I find myself returning to her story again and again. She is the epitome of what many women must have experienced in that era – married to a man she doesn’t love, whilst yearning for the one that she does.
Although this story is about Rose and her hidden love, and is based on pre-Christian Europe, I love the fantastical elements within it. The sendings and the secrets that are obviously hidden with each of these characters sent goosebumps up my spine. Especially, reading this late at night, by a small light, the world seemed so real and vivid. It’s always a good story (whether it is short or long) when it not only stays in your mind, but also features heavily in your dreams. I can’t wait to read (but, firstly buy) the first novel in this series, Daughters of the Storm!
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