Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Normans: The Conquest of Christendom by Trevor Rowley and Labyrinth by Kate Mosse -- BOOK BEGINNINGS



What book are you reading this week? It's time for Book Beginnings on Friday, so please share the opening sentence of the book you are reading or the book that caught your attention. 

I have two books this week. I'm reading Labyrinth by Kate Mosse, a novel set in the 1200s. That made me remember that The Normans, a new history by Trevor Rowley about the same time period, just came out this month. They compliment each other!


From The Normans:

The Duchy of Normandy emerged in the tenth century out of the region known in the post-Roman era as the Breton or Neustrian March, an area which occupied the western edge of the decaying Frankish, or Carolingian, Empire. 

-- from Chapter 1, "Vikings, Norsemen, and Normans," in The Normans: The Conquest of Christendom by Trevor Rowley (August 2021, Pegasus Books). 

This fascinating little book offers a comprehensive history of the Normans, who were a powerful force from the 900s to the mid-1200s. Based in what is now northern France, the Normans conquered England, Wales, Ireland, and parts of Scotland, and established kingdoms in southern Italy, Sicily, the Holy Land, and North Africa.

From Labyrinth:

A single line of blood trickles down the pale underside of her arm, a red seam on a white sleeve.

-- from the Preface to Labyrinth by Kate Mosse. This Holy Grail adventure goes back and forth between a holy crusade in southern France in the early 1200s and the modern day story of an archeological dig that uncovers the mystery. 

Labyrinth is a lot of fun, especially because the protagonists in the historical and contemporary stories are both women. It's a little long and shaggy, but there's nothing wrong with that in a summer read.

Please link to your Book Beginnings on Fridays post in the box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag.
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Freda at Freda's Voice hosts another teaser event on Fridays. Participants share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of the book they are reading -- or from 56% of the way through the audiobook or ebook. Please visit Freda's Voice for details and to leave a link to your post.


From The Normans:
William took full advantage of the situation of which he was in no small part the architect and, when the opportunity arose, he seized the throne of England. It seems probable that only a ruler with the energy, ambition and administrative ability of William's status could have managed to conquer England.

From Labyrinth:
Alaïs turned it over to look.
A labyrinth had been carved into the polished surface of the dark wood. 

Enjoy your summer weekend! Do you have a good book in store?

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