Set in the Dark Ages, Avelynn is a debut novel by Marissa Campbell. The main character is Avelynn, a young Saxon noblewoman who helps her father rule the kingdom in Somerset. She is secretly a Pagan high priestess who every so often goes to an island by the name of Avalon to perform her rituals until the Vikings invade. Against her wishes she is betrothed to Demas, a man who she fears and despises.
While on one of her visits to Avalon, she meets a much hated Viking, Alrik who she comes to love but knows that their love is doomed as he is a hated and feared Viking. Even though he is kind and loving to her, he is still an enemy to her people and country. She knows that she needs to do her duty but when her father and young brother go off to fight the enemy and end up with the sickness, she finds herself to be in charge of the Kingdom. Demas becomes an enemy to her in her own kingdom, he does not love her or she him and all he wants is her wealth and the status. He is one evil self-serving man and will do all in his power to see that he gets what he wants. He is not the only enemy that she has as of course she is a woman and most men of the time feel that a woman does not belong in the battlefield or anywhere else other than in the running of a household.
As war is inevitable and in war comes tragedy and death including those closest to Avelynn she is tasked with being a warrior and leader that her people can trust. There is plenty of intrigue, heated romance scenes and historical detail of a time in Britain's violent history that kept me turning the pages. Can her love for Alrik endure or will she have to forsake him for duty? I love a good historical fiction story and this one kept me interested. Rich in historical detail, it appeared that the author did a lot of research without the book becoming a history book that can get pretty dry. I would recommend this story if you like your stories to be steamy but at the same time readable with a good plot without being mushy.
I received an arc of the book for review and was not monetarily compensated for my thoughts.
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