Review: The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar by Kim Rendfeld

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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 the Irminsul, the Pillar of Heaven. The relatives obligated to defend her and her family instead sell them into slavery.

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.

My review:

I was super excited about participating in this book tour. I do not believe I have read a fiction book that is set around the time of Charlemagne’s battles or the culture of the time…while this story does not really center on him, this story is centered on a family-a mother and her three children who lost their father- living during that time (who are fictional) and what they were going through. They were free people who were cruelly sold into slavery. Not that there isn’t anything nice about slavery…the fact that it was their own family that sold them into slavery makes it even more appalling…the obstacles and the horrid situations they went through and overcame, is truly remarkable and makes for a brilliant story.

I am thoroughly impressed with the author’s characterization and her strong historical detail. She really gives the reader a believable glimpse of what many of the people’s lives might have been like during this period. A truly extraordinary story that everyone must read.

Stephanie M. Hopkins

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Kim Rendfeld is the author of The Cross and the Dragon (2012, Fireship Press) and The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar (August 28, 2014, Fireship Press). To read the first chapters of either novel or learn more about Kim, visit kimrendfeld.com. You’re also welcome to visit her blog Outtakes of a Historical Novelist at kimrendfeld.wordpress.com, like her on Facebook at facebook.com/authorkimrendfeld, follow her on Twitter at @kimrendfeld, connect with her on Goodreads at www.goodreads.com/Kim_Rendfeld, check out her Amazon page at www.amazon.com/author/kimrendfeld, or contact her at kim [at] kimrendfeld [dot] com.

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