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Can love triumph over war?
772 AD: Charlemagne's battles in Saxony have left Leova with nothing but her two children, Deorlaf and Sunwynn.
Her beloved husband died in combat. Her faith lies shattered in the ashes of Irminsul, the Pillar of Heaven. The relatives obligated to defend her and her family sell them into slavery instead.
In Francia, Leova is resolved to protect her son and daughter, even if it means sacrificing her own honor. Her determination only grows stronger as Sunwynn blossoms into a beautiful young woman attracting the lust of a cruel master, and Deorlaf becomes a headstrong man willing to brave starvation and demons to free his family.
Yet Leova's most difficult dilemma comes in the form of a Frankish friend, Hugh. He saves Deorlaf from a fanatical Saxon and is Sunwynn's champion - but he is the warrior who slew Leova's husband.
Set against a backdrop of historic events, including the destruction of the Irminsul, The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar explores faith, friendship, and justice. This companion to Kim Rendfeld's acclaimed The Cross and the Dragon tells the story of an ordinary family in extraordinary circumstances.
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Here is why I think you will like The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar, a companion to The Cross and the Dragon.
In The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar, Leova must grapple with why her gods let a holy monument burn and how to protect her children when she's lost everything - her husband, her home, her faith, even her freedom.
In writing this novel, I wanted to give readers a little told side of the early Middle Ages. When source documents depict pagans as brutes, treat war captives like war booty, and rarely mention peasants at all, historical fiction such as The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar fills a gap. In fact, it might be the only way to see historical events, including Charlemagne's destruction of a pillar sacred to the Continental Saxon peoples, through the eyes of pagans and peasants.
Although separated from Leova by more than 1,200 years, modern readers will identify with her as she sacrifices her own honor for the sake of her children. They will grieve with her at the pyres of her loved ones, understand her desire for justice against the relatives who betrayed her, and agonize with her as she tries to determine who is friend and who is foe.
Kim Rendfeld has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon, The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar, and other stories set in early medieval times.
She grew up in New Jersey and attended Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and English, with a minor in French. If it weren't for feminism, she would be one of those junior high English teachers scaring the bejesus out of her students, correcting grammar to the point of obnoxiousness.
Instead, her career has been in journalism, public relations, and fiction.Kim was a journalist for almost twenty years at Indiana newspapers and won several awards from the Hoosier State Press Association. Her career changed in 2007, when she joined the strategic communications team at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She gets paid to agonize over commas and hyphens, along with suggesting ways to improve writing, and thoroughly enjoys it. She is proud to have been part of projects that have received national recognition.
She lives in Indiana with her husband, Randy, and their spoiled cat. They have a daughter and three granddaughters.
Kim opines about the craft of writing and history at her blog, Outtakes of a Historical Novelist, at kimrendfeld.wordpress.com, and she is a contributor to the blogs Unusual Historicals (unusualhistoricals.blogspot.com) and English Historical Fiction Authors (englishhistoryauthors.blogspot.com).For more about Kim, visit kimrendfeld.com, like her on Facebook at facebook.com/authorkimrendfeld, or follow her on Twitter at @kimrendfeld.
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Book Description Fireship Press, 2014. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M161179305X