Tuesday, March 4, 2014

BLOG TOUR: Pilgrim Footprints: On the Sands of Time by Sylvia Nilsen

Publication Date: December 2, 2013

LightEye Editions
Paperback; 396p
ISBN-10: 2917183349


A few months after Richard FitzUrse and his fellow knights murder Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, Lord Robert and Lady FitzUrse are instructed by King Henry to make a penitential pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint James the Greater in Spain in order to earn redemption for his disgraced family.

William Beaumont has made a promise to his dead mother and younger sister to go on a pilgrimage to save their souls. William is secretly in love with Alicia Bearham, niece of Lord Robert. He is overjoyed when he is asked to accompany the family and their servants on their three-month pilgrimage.

They face many adversities, dangers, and an attempted murder on the long and hazardous journey across England, France and Spain. Who is trying to kill Sir Robert and Alicia? What does the gypsy woman they meet in Paris mean when she predicts that Alicia and William are destined to be soul mates, but only when the eleventh flaming star returns to the skies and the water carrier rises over the horizon? One fateful night, a shocking event changes their lives forever.
Buy the Book
About the Author
Sylvia Nilsen, well known in the Camino world for her ‘amaWalker blog’ is a South African freelance writer who has been published in numerous local and international publications.
She has worked as a research agent and editor for a UK-based travel guide publisher and produced several African city and country guides.
Sylvia has walked over 5,000 km of pilgrimage trails in Europe including Paris to Spain, the Camino Frances from St Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles to Santiago, from Lourdes to Pamplona, el Ferrol to Santiago, Santiago to Finisterre and from Switzerland to Rome on the Via Francigena. She also walked from Durban to Cape Town as part of the ‘Breaking Free’ team in aid of abused women and children. Sylvia has served as a volunteer hospitalero in Spain and is a Spanish accredited hospitalero trainer having trained over 40 people to serve as volunteers in Spain. She was the Regional Co-ordinator for the Confraternity of St James in South Africa from 2003 to 2010.
In 2009 she started amaWalkers Camino (Pty) Ltd and takes small groups of pilgrims on three weeks walks of the Camino Frances in Spain.

For more information on Sylvia Nilsen please visit her website.  You can also find her on Facebook.

My Review:
I enjoyed reading “Pilgrim Footprints: On the Sands of Time”. It is a well-written story with a about the strength of love and the perils of pilgrimages during this time period. I loved reading a story that took place during the time period of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is by far my favorite time period, and my favorite books always seem to take place during this time. The author, Sylvia Nilsen, clearly did her research, and I learned a lot about pilgrimages while reading this novel. She also is an excellent writer, and it was easy to follow along with the story.

My only issue with this novel is that it is a little slow moving. I wanted more action, and I wanted a more passionate love story. Sure, William and Alicia talked A LOT about how in love they were, and how they couldn’t live without each other, but I thought it would have meant more if they had showed it more and talked about it less. The first part of the novel I was a little bored, but once they started out on the pilgrimage things began to pick up. I’m glad that I stuck with the book, even though the first part was slow, because it ended up being a great novel. I just wanted more action during the first half of the novel. I also felt like I didn’t really get to know the characters. The author did a great job at writing about the characters actions during the pilgrimage, but I never felt like I really knew them, so it was hard for me to care about them or to root for them. I am a big fan of novels where I’m really rooting for the character, so that was a little bit of a letdown for me.

Even though it was a little boring, it was obviously well-researched, and I think that it would be a great book to read if you’re interested in pilgrimages or in this time period in general, because you can definitely learn a lot.
I give this novel a three out of five stars.

Virtual Book Tour Schedule
Monday, February 24
Review at 
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Thursday, February 27
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Review at 
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Wednesday, March 5
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
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Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Friday, March 7
Review at Reading the Ages
Monday, March 10
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Tuesday, March 11
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Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
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Review at Book Nerd
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Wednesday, March 19
Guest Post at 
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Thursday, March 20
Review at 
From L.A. to LA
Friday, March 21
Spotlight at Passages to the Past


  1. Hi, nice to connect. What an interesting blurb!
    I found your blog through Book Review Diva's Website/Blog hop. Here's mine:

  2. That is a great review. I like how you pointed out what you did and did not like about the review. I'll have to check it out.