Monday, August 29, 2016

Mark Noce Blog Tour - My Review for Between Two Fires


Blurb:
Saxon barbarians threaten to destroy medieval Wales. Lady Branwen becomes Wales’ last hope to unite their divided kingdoms when her father betroths her to a powerful Welsh warlord, the Hammer King.
But this fledgling alliance is fraught with enemies from within and without as Branwen herself becomes the target of assassinations and courtly intrigue. A young woman in a world of fierce warriors, she seeks to assert her own authority and preserve Wales against the barbarians. But when she falls for a young hedge knight named Artagan her world threatens to tear itself apart. Caught between her duty to her people and her love of a man she cannot have, Branwen must choose whether to preserve her royal marriage or to follow her heart. Somehow she must save her people and remain true to herself, before Saxon invaders and a mysterious traitor try to destroy her.

My review:
Lady Branwen is Wales' last hope to unite divided kingdoms, but it means marrying a man she's never met. The Hammer King is a powerful warlord, and surely he will drive off the Saxon invaders and bring peace to the land again. From the beginning, Branwen's marriage is shadowed by assassination attempts and a spy within. Yet she must choose between duty and love when she falls for a hedge knight named Artagan. But can she save her people and be true to herself at the same time?

A magnificent historical romance that has renewed my love for the genre. Long ago, I became a fan of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It's been a long time since another medieval tale has captured me in the same way, but I found the magic again in Between Two Fires. It's masterfully written with beautiful detail and wondrous settings. The action is intense and the mystery clever.

Right from the beginning I was hooked, and it is because of the fantastic characterization. Branwen is a strong and admirable heroine. She might be young when she's married, but she has to grow up fast to survive. Artagan might come off as a flashy flirt, but there's so much more to him under it. The whole cast of characters is many layered, and they make this world even more brilliant.

I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book in a giveaway, and I was under no obligation to review it. But when something this amazing comes along, I want to share it with the world! I cannot wait for more from Mark Noce.

Buy the book:

Praise from Bestselling Authors for Between Two Fires
“A spirited ride through a turbulent slice of Welsh history!” – Paula Brackston, NYT Bestselling author of The Witch’s Daughter
“A fast-paced read that has a wonderfully visual style and some memorable characters. Mark Noce combines Welsh history with a touch of folkloric magic in this promising debut novel. Lady Branwen is a strong and engaging narrator and the turbulent setting of early medieval Wales makes a fine backdrop for an action-packed story.” – Juliet Marillier, Bestselling author of Daughter of the Forest and Wolfskin

 
Mark Noce writes historical fiction with a passion, and eagerly reads everything from fantasy to literature. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s an avid traveler and backpacker, particularly in Europe and North America. He earned his BA and MA from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, where he also met his beautiful wife. By day, he works as a Technical Writer, having spent much of his career at places like Google and Facebook. In addition to writing novels, he also writes short fiction online. When not reading or writing, he’s probably listening to U2, sailing his dad’s boat, or gardening with his family.
His debut novel, Between Two Fires, is being published by Thomas Dunne Books (an imprint of St. Martin's Press and Macmillan). It is the first in a series of historical fiction novels set in medieval Wales.

Social Media Links:

20 comments:

  1. Hi Christine - Mark sent me a copy too ... which I've just uploaded to my ipad - so I'll read it later on. The premise sounds fascinating ... so I'm sure I'll enjoy it ... cheers to you both - Hilary

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  2. So glad you liked this so much. I love this genre too so I'm adding it to my TBR list.

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  3. Mark will appreciate that review. Look forward to reading Mark's book.

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  4. Good morning all! Thanks for stopping by. This is a book not to be missed.

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  5. This was a nice review. I read (and reviewed) Mark's book and also had an interview with I'm on my own blog. This was such a good read and Mark is such a bona fide nice person to deal with.

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  6. Sounds a bit Arthurian, if you go back to the more earthy takes on Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. Interesting.

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  7. I read The Mists of Avalon a long time ago. I enjoyed parts of it but I think it was the length that wasn't my cup of tea. lol However, I do enjoy stories like this and Mark's sounds really good.

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  8. I just met Mark on Saturday. Great guy. Glad his book is out and about. I enjoyed reading it.

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  9. So pumped to be here, thanks for having me Christine! :)

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  10. I'm in the middle of reading this and it is a great one! Congratulations to Mark.

    And oooh, your blog looks fantastic!! Love the new Totem look. :)

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  11. Congrats to Mark! I loved reading Between Two Fires.

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  12. I've already put Mark's book on my TBR. Your review has me really excited for it,

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  13. Sweet! So glad to hear so many of you are enjoying it! :) :) :)

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  14. Solid review. Looking forward to reading this!

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  15. Fantastic review and I enjoyed getting to know Mark. Your book sounds intriguing. I'm eager to read it.

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  16. Yay Mark!

    I've missed your blog. Glad to be back in the blogging world. Fun post. Book looks fab. <3

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  17. Great review! Mark's book is getting lots of buzz. I can't wait to read it.

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  18. I've loved seeing this one around--I can't wait to get my hands on it!

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  19. Grats Mark! Great review, Christine. :)

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