Title: Eire's Captive Moon
Series: Eire's Viking Trilogy
Author: Sandi Layne
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: January 10, 2013
*I received this book from The Writer's Coffee Shop via NetGalley
Synopsis from GoodReads:
Éire’s Captive Moon, the first book of Sandi Layne’s Éire’s Viking Trilogy, brings you to the unsettled era of the early Viking raids along the coast of Éire – today’s Ireland.
A wounded refugee from the violent Viking raids on Éire’s coast is healed so well by Charis of Ragor that Agnarr captures the moon-pale woman for his own and takes her home to Nordweg to be his slave.
Also captured is Cowan, a warrior gifted with languages. He is drawn to the healer of Ragor and finds himself helpless before her. In more ways than one!
Through the winter, Charis plans a fitting vengenance upon her captor for the men he killed. She also prepares to return to Éire and the children she left behind.
But will her changing feelings interfere with these plans? When two men vie for her heart, will she give way before either – or both?
Wow! There is so much to say about this book, I don't know where to begin. First, I think I'd like to thank Ms. Layne for not leaving me with a cliffhanger - at least not in the true sense of a cliffhanger. I know Charis' story isn't over, but I wasn't left hanging on the edge and I'm grateful for that. Also, I love Norse mythology (and Celtic mythology for that matter), so I was so pleased to have that woven into this story.
This story is richly told, the prose very affecting. I was transported back to a time when Vikings were a threat and very much maligned. The characters are strong. The author's use of language made it possible to lose myself in this story. I love great detail in storytelling and Ms. Layne's prose dropped me into the life of a Gaelic healer living in the 9th century...I was able to feel the cold of a winter in Nordweg, smell dried fish and Charis' dried herbs, feel as though I was witness to the carnage and gore of a battle between warriors and the invaders trying to pillage and plunder their village. That's some impressive writing.
Charis is a feisty heroine. She is of interesting heritage and I look forward to seeing if this has some bearing in her future. She bravely endures her struggles after being captured and taken from her homeland, while suffering through her grief at the loss of not only her husbands, and her home too. That she survives her time in Norweg and comes to mean something to her captor, develops feelings of her own towards him, yet still carries out her vengeance is incredible.
Agnarr, oh what to say about him. I know I shouldn't have tender feelings for him (much like Charis) but I have a thing for bad boys who have redeeming qualities. Agnarr believes that Thor and Odin have had a hand in making Charis his destiny. He felt drawn to Charis' village and knew he must have her. He treats her with kindness and respect even though she's his slave. Once Charis carried out her act of vengeance, Agnarr still couldn't bring himself to harm her.
Then there's Cowan...such a brave Irish warrior. He, too, believes God placed him in Charis' life. He goes on his own mission to save Charis and somewhere along the way, fell in love with her.
Throughout Eire's Captive Moon, adventure and suspense accentuate the details of daily life, both in Ireland and Norway. This is a love story, but not a typical one. It's more a love story between a woman, her home, and her people.
I'm completely invested in Charis' story. I look forward to returning to Eire and learning what becomes of her, Cowan, and, of course, Agnarr.