Avelynn by Marissa Campbell
Publication Date: September 8, 2015
St. Martin's Press
Formats: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
One extraordinary Saxon noblewoman and one fearless Viking warrior find passion and danger in this dazzling and sensuous debut. Marissa Campbell's debut novel is a winning combination of romance, history, and adventure sure to appeal to fans of Diana Gabaldon. It is 869. For eighteen years, Avelynn, the beautiful and secretly pagan daughter of the Eadlorman of Somerset has lived in an environment of love and acceptance. She hasn't yet found a man to make her heart race, but her father has not pressured her to get married. Until now. With whispers of war threatening their land, her father forces Avelynn into a betrothal with Demas, a man who only covets her wealth and status. The dreaded marriage looming, she turns to her faith, searching for answers in an ancient ritual along the coast, only to find Alrik the Blood-Axe and sixty Viking berserkers have landed. Alrik is unlike any man she has ever known, strong and intriguing. Likewise, he instantly falls for her beauty and courage. The two stumble into a passionate love affair, but it's more than just a greedy suitor who will try to keep them apart. As the Saxons and Vikings go to war, Avelynn and Alrik find themselves caught in the throes of fate. Can they be true to their people as well as to each other?
“Avelynn” by Marissa Campbell is an intriguing novel about a passionate woman from the 800’s. She was not raised like a normal girl was during that time period. She had been allowed by her father to speak her mind, and to have some say in her future; to a point. Eventually he becomes tired of waiting for her to choose a husband, and decides to choose one for her. Avelynn is set on marrying for love and passion, and the man her father has chosen for her is her worst nightmare. However, she has met a man who ignites the flames of passion inside her, something that no other man has done. The problem is, there is no way she can be with him, and no way would her father or anyone approve of him.
This is an interesting book, and I like Avelynn’s character the majority of the time. I like that she is passionate, and that she is a strong female character in a time when women were made to be submissive, and had their lives mapped out for them by their fathers. I don’t feel like I really knew her though, at least not as well as I would have liked. I felt that I knew her character on the surface, but I would have liked to understand her thoughts and feelings more. Like, her “dabbling” with the goddess rituals—I felt like there was not a whole lot that led up to this. Also, we were only introduced to the man she is betrothed to that she can’t stand, and we’re given a quick glimpse of one suitor that she had turned down, but it would have been interesting to have an idea of what other types of men she had rejected. I don’t know, I just felt like I didn’t know her very well as a reader, so it was hard to get really invested in her character, I liked her, but didn’t love her, if that makes sense. Also, while it is an interesting book, it took a while to pick up. I really didn’t get interested in it until she met the man that she basically fell passionately in love with in less than a day. After that happened, the book began to pick up, and there was some suspense, and something to look forward to. Prior to that, it did drag for me.
“Avelynn” is well written, and the author obviously did her research when writing it. I like the descriptions, and the author’s writing style, and I would recommend this book to readers, because I think that it is a book that people will enjoy. I usually enjoy historical fiction that is based on a real historical figures life, so that could possibly be why this wasn’t a five star book for me? As it is, I would give this book a 4 stars out of 5.
PRAISE"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." - Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author
"Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." - Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior
"Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." - Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion
"A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." - Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles
ABOUT THE AUTHORMarissa Campbell is a published freelance author, and co-author of the award-winning, spiritual self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. Look for her debut historical fiction Avelynn coming September 8th, 2015, from St. Martin’s Press. Currently, hard at work on the second book in the Avelynn series, she is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society, Romance Writers of America, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, and local critique group B7. When she is not writing, she is busy looking after her wonderful children, spending time with her fantastic husband, hanging out with her awesome friends, teaching yoga, dancing, laughing, and having fun! For more information visit http://marissacampbell.com. You can also follow Marissa Campbell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
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