Title: The Cold Light of Dawn
Author: Anna Belfrage
A bit about the author
Anna is Swedish, multilingual, married, mother of 4, cook & baker, works full-time, an award-winning and prolific writer who has published more than a dozen books.
This is book 4 in The King’s Greatest Enemy series: “Adam de Guirande has cause to believe the turbulent times are behind him: Hugh Despenser is dead and Edward II has been forced to abdicate in favour of his young son. It is time to look forward, to a bright new world in which the young king, guided by his council, heals his kingdom and restores its greatness. But the turmoil is far from over… Soon enough, he and his beloved wife Kit are fighting for their survival – even more so when Adam is given a task that puts them both in the gravest of dangers.”—from the author’s website
The scene that made you laugh out loud
Kit and her maid are discussing the dangers of Kit getting pregnant too soon after giving birth…
“It would be best if you did not fall with child too soon, m’lady.”
Kit agreed but did not say as much, tucking a wisp of fair hair into Ellie’s coif. “It’s as God wills it,” she said instead.
“God?” Mabel snorted loudly. “It’s not Him in your bed, is it?” Her face softened into a smile. “Mind you, had Sir Adam been my husband—”
The place where you wanted to throw the book across the room
I don’t want to give away spoilers, but there are a number of scenes between Adam and the young King Edward where I wanted to throttle the boy. Ms. Belfrage left me wondering through each of the passages whether Edward did and said things to protect Adam; or if he truly was a spoiled brat with little regard for others’ feelings; or if he was just torn by his inability—initially—to fight his mother and Mortimer.
A memorable line (or two)
Adam speaking with Roger Mortimer…
“You’re becoming just like him.”
Lord Roger stilled. “Despenser?” He flexed his hands a couple of times, casually picked up his dagger, and locked eyes with Adam.
“Aye.” Adam stood his ground. “Ah. So you have appointed yourself my conscience, have you?”
My verdict: ***5 stars***
We can’t travel back to the 14th century, but Anna Belfrage brings us as close as we can be. In The Cold Light of Dawn, the writer immerses us in time and place with rich details of life in medieval England. The book is well researched and fast paced, weaving the fictional lives of main characters Adam de Guirande and his wife Kit with historical figures during the reign of young King Edward III.
A heroine with spunk; a hero who is a man of honor and unflagging loyalty.
Adam is the king’s man with strong ties to Roger Mortimer, lover of the king’s mother Isabella, both of whom serve as regents for the young teenaged king. The story of Edward III’s rise to power is the backdrop for this story, and the reader is plunged into the drama and turmoil through the eyes of Adam and Kit.
“There will come a time when you won’t be able to save us both.”
“And you think I don’t know that, my lord? That I don’t live and breathe that every day?”
The relationships between Adam and the king, Adam and Mortimer, and Kit and Edward’s wife Philippa, were both the best and the hardest parts to read. I cared for Adam and Kit. I worried about them. And Ms. Belfrage puts us through the emotional wringer time and again.
Anna Belfrage is a master storyteller. This is the 4th book in her The Greatest Enemy Series – it can be read on its own, but there is a rich history in books 1-3 that enhance book 4 that much more. If you want drama, adventure, history, and romance, The Cold Light of Dawn has it all. Highly recommended. Get it on Amazon.