vrijdag 29 februari 2008

Helen Kirkman - A fragile trust

In 872 the plundering of the Vikings has devastated the English country. The people of England are frightened because only Wessex, the last Kingdom resisted the Vikings attack. Will the last Kingdom be able to stand against the brutal Vikings?

On her way back home Lady Gemma finds a wounded man lying beside the road in the forest. By the look of the stranger Gemma knows he must be a warrior and most likely a Viking. Gemma ignores the warning of her friend Boda and she takes the stranger home and nurtures the injured man back to health. Gemma still believes that the stranger is one of the enemies, but she cannot help herself feeling attractive to him. When she wakes up the next morning in his arms and at the same time face one of her enemies Erik, she believes this stranger can protect her.

Ashbeorn, an Englishman who’s raised among Vikings has sworn his loyalty to the English King Alfred. But during a battle against the Vikings, he has been betrayed by one of his own and was left to dye. The only thing on his mind is revenge for the death of his people and his brother. After the battle Ash looses conscious and the first thing he remembers is the beautiful young woman and when he wakes up the next morning with her in his arms the feeling is a little overwhelming.

Fate has brought the two of them together, especially when Gemma needs a strong man by her side to protect her against the Vikings and to get her little brother back out of the hands of Erik, who happens to be the sworn enemy of Ash.

A fragile trust by Helen Kirkman is the first novel in the Warrior of the Dragon banner and it is and nice start with the series. The story tells you what the people went trough after the Vikings came to England, plundering and murdering innocence people.

Gemma is a strong young woman who learns the skills of goldsmith from her father. When Viking Erik hears about her skills he captures her little brother to force Gemma rebuild an ancient sceptre. The story tells whoever has the sceptre will have power and brings fear in their enemies. Gemma risks all to nurse the stranger Ash back to health while he vows to keep her safe and free her brother.
Ashbeorn is an English warrior and vows to protect his King against the Vikings, but when one of his own people betrayed him to the enemy, he wants revenge. He was left for death but a beautiful angel saved him and nursed him back to health. The only thing he can do for her is to keep her safe and free her little brother from his sworn enemy.

Boda is a great secondary character, at the age of fifteen he is a banded and alone. But Gemma is looking after him, she gives him food and clothes even though she has not enough food for her own.
The determination of this boy is huge, he will do anything to protect Gemma and save his little friend in prison, even if this means he has to stand up against the stranger warrior Ash. I believe we will read more about him in the future novels.

Helen Kirkman has written an interesting story, but this novel didn’t blow me off my feet. The two main-characters are great together but I missed the extra sparkling and attraction between them. Although the two of them are strong individuals, they are not quite one yet.
Ashbeorn is a high rank warrior on the English side but I really missed the skills and fighting of that warrior in this novel. It was a little disappointed to see him beating up and not fighting back like I expected he would. Although this novel didn’t blow me of my feet I’m curious about the second novel.


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