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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review and PDF CD Giveaway: Woman of Honor by Nicole (Open Worldwide)

 A lovely medieval story of a young girl dreaming to be a Lady Knight.
Woman of Honor (Kingdom of Arnhem, Book 1) by Nicole Zoltack
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 428 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing, Inc (March 27, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0021L9YDK
      Genre: Fantasy, Historical Romance - Medieval
      My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0
Product Description
Aislinn of Bairbhe dreams of becoming a lady knight to honor the death of her fallen brother. To her mother's horror, King Patrick grants Aislinn's wish and she begins her long years of training.

Despite the mockery of the other pages, and the disdain of Prince Caelan who also trains to be a knight, Aislinn commits herself to her dreams and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and bravery. Through the years, Aislinn and Caelan grow from sparring classmates to good friends. They both know that someday Caelan will marry for the sake of the kingdom, but even that cannot keep them from falling in love.

The threat of war with the Speicans is a constant threat, and one that grows more frightening as she and Caelan train toward their eventual knighthood. Aislinn has committed herself to serving Arnhem, and has promised herself as King's Champion when Caelan claims the throne. She is willing to give up everything... her childhood, her life, even her heart for Arnhem. No matter the pain it brings.
Review: This is a sweet story covering the challenges facing a girl’s unique journey to knighthood...and more. The book covers Aislinn’s years from 1155 to 1169 AD.

Aislinn is a determined young girl of 8 when she seeks permission to train to become a lady knight. The King agrees to a probational two year period and her work and struggles against prejudice begins. The King allows another young girl, a street “rat” to train too. Instead of helping each other the girls are jealous and distrustful. Unlike the other outgoing girl, Aislinn, who has some reading and math skills already, has few friends among the boys.  She is lucky to get Geoffrey, a friend of Caelan, as a mentor and Prince Caelan himself as a silent watcher/companion.

As the pages grow to squires they grow closer together and Aislinn finds others to help her with the areas that she needs help with. The “brain” helps her with math. The stable master tries to help her when she is assigned a beautiful horse who just won’t respond to the reins. She figures out that she needs to start from scratch to train Dream Rider without saddle trappings and finally she makes head way.  Aislinn even takes secret weapon training from a mysterious Shadow Warrior, Ryu.  These warriors are not trusted by either Arnhems or Speicans and had something to do with the war between the two nations.

Slowly the other pages and teachers learn to respect Aislinn for her unyielding determination in tackling her challenges.  Aislinn struggles with her emotions as well as her mental and physical training. As she matures she also has to struggle with conflicting desires between her dream to be a lady knight and her growing feelings and friendship with Prince Caelan who is destined to be married for political and royal position.

Prince Caelan is quiet and intense. It is clear he likes Aislinn from the beginning even if they seem to quarrel and set each other on edge. He admires her and tries to help when her stubbornness will let her accept help. But he is the Prince and is well trained to understand his duties which will include marriage as arranged by his parents. He struggles with his clear feelings for Aislinn which conflict with the duty to his position.

This book is the author's debut novel. Although I feel the writing could use a little more depth, which I think will come with experience, the story concept, plot and action are sound. Also the book seemed well researched offering some interesting insight in the life of pages and squires. It is an easy going story with sweet primary characters, harsh villains, plenty of action, emotional stress, dangerous enemies, battles and magical mysteries. At the end of the book there are still open questions to be further explored in the next story in the series which I am confidant will be another lovely read.

I won a pdf cd copy of this book which I am passing on in this giveaway. This is light enough that overseas mailing would not be outrageous. The pdf can be converted for Kindle reading or read on PC. I am not familiar with converting for other ereaders. 
I will be doing an interview and hosting another giveaway with this author in the near future so keep an eye out for that. :-)


1.  Mandatory entry: Visit the author's website and tell me something of interest you find there.
Please leave your e-mail!

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower or tell me if you are already a follower.

3.  For two extra entries, blog, facebook, tweet (any of those networks!) about this giveaway and tell me where you did.

(Four total entries possible.)
It is not necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.

* This contest is open Worldwide
* No P.O. Boxes Please - for shipping reasons.
* This contest will close 10:00 PM (Central) on April 22, 2011.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries.

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