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Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice
Winner of the Global Ebooks Award for Best Historical Fiction
Finalist in the Wishing Shelf Awards and the Chaucer Awards
"Believable, page-turning and memorable." (Lela Michael, S.P. Review)
On the run from abuse, Estela wakes in a ditch with only her lute, her amazing voice, and a dagger hidden in her underskirt. Her talent finds a patron in Aliénor of Aquitaine and more than a music tutor in the queen's finest troubadour and commander of the Guard, Dragonetz los Pros.
Weary of war, Dragonetz uses Jewish money and Moorish expertise to build that most modern of inventions, a papermill, arousing the wrath of the church. Their enemies gather, ready to light the political and religious powder keg of medieval Narbonne.
Set in the period following the Second Crusade, Jean Gill's spellbinding romantic thrillers evoke medieval France with breathtaking accuracy. The characters soar and include amazing women like Eleanor of Aquitaine and Ermengarda of Narbonne, who shaped history in battles and in bedchambers.
"Historical fiction at its best." (Karen Charlton, author of the Detective Lavender Mysteries)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Writers and Authors on 08-04-18
Hidden mysteries and agendas
Song at Dawn is a historical fiction, set in Medieval Occitania after the Second Crusade. The author takes the readers/listeners on a medieval action-packed women's adventure following the Second Crusade. This is the first book I’ve read by Jean Gill and also my first listened to narration by Jake Urry I loved the narration Jake he did a fantastic job, making the characters come to life.
We follow Estela de Matin, a teenage runaway ran away. Estela de Matin encounters Aliénor of Aquitaine, the Queen of France. In time Estela will realize the court is full of political intrigue and gossip. In this volume we really watch Estela de Matin grow, I love her relationship with Dragonetz.
Song at Dawn has hidden mysteries and agendas, a girl on the run, the consort of the King of France, all the character were interesting and I look forward to seeing how the author builds them in The Troubadours Quartet, Volume 2 will we have more attempted assassinations, alliances, deception, and conflicts of interest.
The main and supporting characters are very well developed, with motivations, and desires we all have - money, love, and a darker side. The story unfolds each character revealing secrets, passion, and intrigue. The book has several characters which I think reading it maybe harder to keep track but the Audiobook with the narration just flows and you find yourself deep with intrigue, espionage, and romance. I have to give kudos to the narrator again as there are several female characters in the Song at Dawn and Mr. Urry does the voices perfectly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Melanie Preston Lewis on 05-03-18
I'll start with a disclaimer; I never read historical fiction. I love history and always chose non-fictional history books over fictional stories. Having said that, I enjoyed Song at Dawn hugely. I wasn't really expecting to as I do get frustrated when there are inaccuracies in historical fiction books. Jean Gill has kept a very close line to the true nature of the politics of the time. I highly commend her for the huge amount of diligent research she must have undertaken to get this story so accurate. It was also fascinating to learn about the life of a troubadour, as their role in Royalty's court is not fulsomely documented. Jake Urry provides exquisite narration, and what a task he had, providing voices for female singers as well as the troubadours, French aristocracy and the Jewish and Muslim characters. What an enormous and overwhelming challenge this must have been. Mr Urry rose to the occasion and must be congratulated on his success with so many difficult roles.
Am I a convert to historical fiction? Will I now be adding it to the list of genres I will read? Honestly, no, I like my history completely factual, even though I appreciate this makes me sound like an old curmudgeon! I will however be looking out for the next in this excellent series. If I'm going to break out of my comfort zone, it can only be with a writer who exhibits high standards and class, and Ms Gill is certainly that writer. Felicitations all round!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful