Ariana Franklin was an accomplished writer in not just fiction, but non fiction and journalism, where she wrote under her name Diana Norman. Diana was a wife to Barry Norman, film critic and mother to two daughters and after leaving journalism she settled down to write and study medieval history.
Famous for her award winning series of books Mistress of the Art of Death, Winter Siege was her last novel and one that remained unfinished after her death in 2011. When her daughter Samantha, also a journalist, found the manuscript she decided to finish what her mother had started, writing the final chapters of Winter Siege.
In the 12th Century England was torn apart by bloody battle after bloody battle as Matilda and Stephen fought a bloodthirsty war to take control of the English Crown and in turn England herself. In a time vastly different from our own, it was all to easy for the innocent to suffer the atrocities of war, without a second thought.
Gwil is a mercenary, once hardened by the rigours of war in the 1100s, he watches on as a young red haired girl is attacked by his very own men, just one of the horrendous acts that have occurred during this war. He later happens up the shivering, shell of a child in a freezing cold church and immediately decides what he must do, save her, train her and protect her.
When he discovers the little girl she is clutching a piece of parchment which holds a terrible secret, one that the man who likes to call himself a monk will stop at nothing to retrieve it.
The epic tale of a war ravaged country, set amongst the Fens and which moves from castle siege to castle siege, is told with an emotional understanding of the terrors and trials that befall the pair. It is deeply atmospheric to the point of haunting the reader as they move amongst the landscape of Medieval England. A story that was begun by a mother and finished beautifully by a daughter, Winter Siege is a book that should not be missed, it will move you, grip you and leave you feeling you have survived the turbulent times of the day.
We enjoyed Winter Siege so much that we have three copies to give away to our readers. All you have to do if fill out the widget below, don’t forget to follow the instructions and good luck!