I use Grammarly for proofreading because the ghosts of my father and Sister Mary Gabriel are forever hovering, rulers at the ready, to slap my knuckles when I err.
Charles feels his death looming so he divides the kingdom up between his three sons; Carloman and Pippin from his first marriage and Gripho from his marriage to Sunni. He has a ceremony where he makes his nobles swear fealty to the boys for after his death but we all know how those promises play out in time. A subplot has Charles’ daughter Trudi refusing to marry the man of Charles’ choice and running away to marry for love.
All I can write about this book is – WHERE IS THE SECOND VOLUME AND CAN I HAVE IT RIGHT NOW.
I found myself lost in this 8th century world populated with fascinating and diverse characters and I was so very sorry when I turned the last page. I am thrilled that this is Book One because that means there will be more to come. Mr. Gleason writes a thrilling story taking what little is left to history and spinning it into a page turning look into the world before the countries we consider Europe were drawn. There are really 7 main charaters, Charles Martel, his three sons, Sunni and Charles’ daughter Trudi. There are several very strong secondary characters and they are all distinctly developed and unique unto themselves. It took me a little to sort them out at the start but once I did I had a very hard time putting this book down. It carries some tough scenes as there are battles, scourgings, rape, pillage and all that you would expect in these times. These scenes are handled in a straightforward manner and not exploited.
The weakest subplot I do feel was Trudi’s but apparently there is some basis in history for it. Mr. Gleason leaves his reader with a detailed Author’s Note which I appreciated. It is always a pleasure for me to find one at the end of a historical novel so I can glean fact from fiction. I will anxiously await the next installment of The Carolingian Chronicles.