Medieval Historical Fiction Novel of the Week

The Edge of Light by Joan Wolf

Paperback: 512 pages
Publisher: Onyx (January 7, 1992)
Average Customer Review on Amazon: 5 stars (5 customer reviews)

Editorial Review from Publishers Weekly:

At the outset of this powerfully wrought historical romance set in ninth-century Britain, Wolf lists her Anglo-Saxon characters, at least half of whose names begin with “Ethel.” It’s an aid readers will often turn to as the action-packed plot develops. Alfred, dubbed by history “the Great,” succeeds to the kingdom of Wessex on the death of his beloved brother, Ethelred. He is aided in his struggle against the invading pagan Danes by his haughty young wife, Elswyth, of the kingdom of Mercia. As warrior-king, Alfred establishes a governmental system; as Latinist, he translates the poetry and classics that become the foundation of English literature; as a Christian he puts into practice the principles to which he was devoted. Around Alfred’s magnificent defense of the English nation, Wolf ( Born of the Sun ) weaves convincing subplots of passionate love and betrayal that embellish the bare bones of history.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Editorial Review from Library Journal:

In ninth century England King Alfred of Wessex gathered an army which permanently halted a Viking invasion that had devastated the country. For this, as well as his devotion to literature, he is known as Alfred the Great. This novel tells his story from childhood, through marriage to his beloved Elswyth, battles with the murderous Northmen, and finally his defeat of them in 878. It is unfortuante, though, that this rousing period in British history is treated in such a plodding, dull manner. Although the historical events are competently described, the passion and vibrancy that pervaded these times are completely missing.
– Patricia Altner, Dept. of Defense, Bolling AFB, Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title

4 thoughts on “Medieval Historical Fiction Novel of the Week”

  1. Dan – You can get it from the designer’s site who created it, (scroll to the bottom for this theme), or you can download it from WordPress’ site, which is where I think I found it. I was searching for it just now on the WordPress themes site but can’t seem to locate it. If I run across the URL, I’ll post it here.

  2. I thought The Edge of Light was very good. I”m not sure I would really classify it as a historical romance though. There is some romance in the story, but it definately is not the focus (although from the 1980’s cover you wouldn’t know it!).

  3. Tanzanite – When I first saw the cover, I thought “historical romance” as well. But as I started reading about it, it really didn’t sound like a traditional “romance” novel, but more of an historical fiction. I like the story of Alfred the Great and the Danish invasion of England, and that is what peaked my interest in this novel.

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