My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Writing about the 12th century and doing it with authenticity is a daunting task. Jean Gill has stepped up to the challenge and achieved success in “Song at Dawn: 1150 in Provence”, Book One in the Troubadour Series. Blending true events with the imagined experiences of both real and fictional historical characters, Gill has created a story that takes hold and won’t let go. From the moment Estela, her lute, and her canine companion Nici awake in a ditch my attention was focused on their adventures and what would become of them. Soon they are joined by Dragonetz los Pros and Alienor of Aquitaine in a journey of discovery and revelation where Christians, Jews, and a mysterious Moor live in an uneasy community.
Inadvertently using her lute and magical voice to capture the attention of Queen Alienor and her famous Commander of the Guard and troubadour Dragonetz, Estela is drawn into the intrigue of the court of Ermengarda in Narbonne. What ensues is a beautifully developed love story and tale of political conspiracies that will keep the reader guessing until the very end. It’s impossible to read this book without falling in love with the characters. Cheering on the heroes, angry with the villains, and shocked by the duplicitous, each character brings the flavor of the time period to the plot, enriching the story with his or her unique personality.
I am so enthralled with this story that I have already begun Book 2 of the series, “Bladesong: 1151 in the Holy Land.” Rarely has an author captured my attention with characters that live and breathe, stepping out of the pages and into my heart. I highly recommend this exquisitely written book. Whether a fan of historical fiction or not, this story will captivate any reader who enjoys a well told romantic thriller.
IPPY Award for Best Author Website http://www.jeangill.com
The Troubadours Page https://www.facebook.com/jeangilltroubadours
Youtube book trailers https://www.youtube.com/user/beteljean