The Outlander King/ posted in: Reading The Outlander King by Hilary Rhodes
on June 1, 2015
Series: The Aetheling's Bride #1
Source: Book Tour
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The story of The Lion and the Rose and the Norman Conquest continues in this spellbinding new historical fiction series from author Hilary Rhodes, pulling back the curtain on the lives of two remarkable women connected across centuries: Aislinn, a seventeen-year-old English girl caught up in the advancing army of the “outlander king,” the man who will become known to history as William the Conqueror. Thrust into the center of the new Norman court and a dizzying web of political intrigue and plotting princes, she must choose her alliances carefully in a game of thrones where the stakes are unimaginably high. Embroiled in rebellions and betrayals, Aislinn learns the price of loyalty, struggles to find her home, and save those she loves – and, perhaps, her own soul as well.
Almost nine hundred years later in 1987, Selma Murray, an American graduate student at Oxford University, is researching the mysterious “Aethelinga” manuscript, as Aislinn’s chronicle has come to be known. Trying to work out the riddles of someone else’s past is a way for Selma to dodge her own troubling ghosts – yet the two are becoming inextricably intertwined. She must face her own demons, answer Aislinn’s questions, and find forgiveness – for herself and others – in this epically scaled but intimately examined, extensively researched look at the creation of history, the universality of humanity, and the many faces it has worn no matter the century: loss, grief, guilt, redemption, and love.
After the Battle of Hastings William the Conqueror rode across England taking a child from each of the farms he came to as a tribute. He decided to take Aislinn along with her brother for reasons that aren’t clear to anyone but him. She becomes helpful though with some herb knowledge and can help work as a healer.
When they get to the capital she is given as a servant to the family of the deposed heir to the throne of England. This puts her in the middle of a web of secrets and plots between the Normans and those trying to return to Saxon rule.
Somehow I missed the fact that there were multiple times lines in this story so when the story suddenly switched from the 1060s to 1987 it was a bit of a shock. I liked the stories in both timelines but they aren’t tied together enough in this book to have them relate to each other well. An excerpt of the next book at the end shows that book starting with the 1987 story that ties things together a bit more. That feels like it should have been the end of this book to have it make more sense.
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