2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Story set in a fascinating time,
This review is from: Danegeld (Love Spell historical romance) (Mass Market Paperback)
Susan Squires is known for her 'Companion' series of vampire stories set in the Regency period or earlier. However Danegeld was her first published novel and it's set in the time of the Vikings and with a rather different supernatural element.
Britta is a Saxon woman whose parents have been killed by local chieftain Offa. After her parents' deaths Britta was raped by Offa but eventually escaped and made her way to a local island where she lives with her dog, Fenris, and collects herbs for her healing medicines. Her mother was known as a witch and healer and it seems that Britta may have inherited those talents - she trades with the local villagers for food and other necessities by carrying out healings and wound dressings.
When the Vikings come to the Saxon village they are defeated and all but one of the group of raiders is killed. The leader of the group is taken by Offa and tortured. Britta finds herself rescuing this man, Karn, and tending his wounds back on her island. Initially Karn is afraid of Britta, assuming that he is being restored to some strength so that he can be tortured again, but as time moves on he realises that she is doing this on her own. As Offa tries to kill them Britta and Karn have to work together, to learn to trust each other and to try to find a place for themselves somewhere in Anglia. Britta needs to learn more about her magical skills and what causes them and Karn has to find a future for a man who isn't physically whole and who is a member of a race that the Saxons hate.
Susan Squires is always a good author and, like her other books, this one moves along with great pace and some good characters. The setting in this period of history, not one that I regularly come across in fiction, was fascinating and Squires has included many historical people and places in the story. I particularly liked the way in which she described Karn's feelings of despair over his situation as a injured foreigner in a hostile land. This isn't a particularly cheerful book - the times were too difficult for that - but there is a deep love story within it and the central characters are both very endearing. It's certainly a book to enjoy for those who like Squires' other work and who are interested in different periods in history.