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AVELYNN Paperback – 8 Sep 2015
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"Marissa Campbell brings a long-forgotten era splendidly to life in this adventurous and passionate debut." --Susanna Kearsley, New York Times bestselling author of The Winter Sea
"Avelynn is a captivating tale of star-crossed lovers. He is a Viking and she is a Saxon. Their struggle to be together will lead you on an exciting journey through a background filled with rich and detailed description." --Connie Mason, New York Times bestselling author of Viking Warrior
"Marissa Campbell's Avelynn is a fast-paced, rollicking historical novel whose irresistible heroine starts out as the willful daughter of a Saxon earl and evolves into a warrior and leader, as fierce as she is passionate." --Barbara Rogan, author of A Dangerous Fiction and Suspicion
"A hot-blooded tale of Viking invasion, Saxon valor, and a love that conquers kingdoms. Get ready to be bewitched by the bold, brave Avelynn." --Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Exiles
About the Author
MARISSA CAMPBELL is the co-author of the award-winning self-help book Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society and an ERYT Hatha Yoga instructor and studio owner of Pure Intention Yoga. Campbell lives in Ontario, Canada.
Top customer reviews
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If you’re expecting something historically accurate, don’t. If you’re expecting something along the lines of a Harlequin novel, this might be for you.
The story in general did hold my interest from beginning to end, and I enjoyed it enough to give it four out of five stars, but I think Campbell should have put more effort into this story. The timeline left something to be desired by jumping ahead by months at a time, time that could have been spent developing the characters and their relationships further. The characters were not very believable for that time period and there seemed to be a lot of missed opportunities to work in some serious action, such as the Viking raid.
While the forbidden romance keeps the story going at a decent pace, there are a lot of insignificant details brought up. I wish Buckley had sent more time describing the differences between the cultures of the various characters. I would have loved to read more about Avelynn’s time with Druid priestess Muirgen, but it is barely mentioned, even though her lessons play an important part in Avelynn’s life. I also think Muirgen’s connection to Bertram should have been given more pages.
I think fans of romance novels might enjoy Campbell’s series (The Edge of Faith is the sequel), but I personally think Avelynn is more a coming of age story.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Strongest point to this book is our lead, Avelynn. You want a woman with guts? Look no further! Facing a brutal, tragic timeframe for women in history, she fights for choices in her life and to lead the one she wants. She personally experiences violence and the threat thereof; yet she doesn’t let that break her. She reminds me of another female from the British Dark Ages I came across in another book recently. Badass doesn’t begin to describe Avelynn!
All of that bravado and guts is balanced out with an impulsive nature that leads to the ruin of many of Avelynn’s plans. She doesn’t always contemplate all the consequences of her actions or thinks she’s completely prepared for what may come. She makes choices that burn many of her bridges in life; regret is an emotion she’ll become familiar with in book two, I predict.
The author does a great job in making Dark Ages Britain a real location. Around the time frame of a young Alfred the Great and at the height of the Viking threat, all the gory brutality and threats make an appearance, from bloody battlefields to graphic threats against Avelynn’s person. She also shines a light on local customs, holidays, and religion. I especially liked seeing Christianity and Avelynn’s Four Goddess’ religions shown side by side; it was interesting to see the strengths and weaknesses of both religions and their adherents.
My one let-down with this one was the romance, my biggest expectation that wasn’t met. Don’t get me wrong; the chemistry and emotional connection between Alrick and Avelynn is there when they share page space. They were powerful when together and made my heart sing.
However… And it’s a big “however”. The page time these two share is ridiculous for a book that pushes its romance as a big draw. For the actions that transpire at the end, I didn’t see any build up to it. They seem to come out of nowhere and with little motivation. Their romance is one of those “insta-love” things that drive me up a wall. Little development makes it lack much of the punch that I could have had given its forbidden nature and their mutual chemistry when together. Missed opportunity there.
Where the book leaves off makes me believe that we’ll get more development of this primary relationship in book two. I mean, it can’t help but develop unless Campbell changes the story flow drastically from where it left off. So this disappointment looks to get better in future; I can only hope as this was what drew me to the book in the first place.
While it failed in some expectations for me, I still got a great story and main character. Her history provides a vivid backdrop for Avelynn and her struggles; what romance there was shining all the brighter for the background darkness. The relationship front looks like it might get more development and page time in book two. I look forward to more of that development as I would desperately love to see more of these two together. I’m looking forward to book two; Campbell, bring it on!