Faces in the Fire: The Women of Beowulf

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9781450271387: Faces in the Fire: The Women of Beowulf

For Freawaru, proud daughter of Danish King Hrothgar, growing up in a sixth-century Viking settlement should be a wonderful adventure. Blessed with a strong mother and a loving nurse, she also bears a birthmark that promises future power. Only the arrival of her treacherous cousin Hrothulf, who intends to become a rival for her father's attention, mars her happiness. But Freawaru has no hint of what is about to come.

Without warning, darkness envelops Freawaru's innocence and brings unimaginable terror as a night-stalking monster invades the mead hall. When a stranger arrives and off ers his assistance to aid the kingdom in fi ghting the Grendel with magic, runes, and, shockingly, poison, everyone wonders if Unferth can live up to his promises. Meanwhile, two other contenders enter the picture: Beowulf, a boastful warrior who pledges to kill the monster with his bare hands; and Ingeld, a feuding rival chieftain who gives his word to lay aside his thirst for blood vengeance in order to save the kingdom from evil.

Each man presents a challenge to Freawaru, whose path ahead seems unclear. With her survival at stake, Freawaru must decide whom she can trust-before it is too late.

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Review:

Donnita L. Rogers' The Women of Beowulf is far from being a romanticised tale of a Danish princess in the world of Grendels. It is a mesmerising novel that animates the old Scandinavian world of reality and superstition.

The novel strikes as a literary embroidery, a tapestry of the golden age of bards, Beowulf, brutality, and beauty. The author sculpts dozens of characters throughout the novel and keeps up with each life in fascinating detail.

Above all, Rogers depicts a woman's world, as rich and unique as any, set in the far away past of the old religion.

The Women of Beowulf is one of those special novels which hold on like a hug on the soul.

- Annie Martirosyan, Huffington Post

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