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Blog Tour: The Fire of Winter by D. K. Marley: A Book Review

The Fire of Winter by D.K. Marley

Publication Date: June 1, 2019
eBook; 355 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: This book was given to me by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.


Synopsis: Gruah, granddaughter of King Cìnéad III of the Royal Clan Alpin, marries two men in less than six months, one she loves and one she hates; one in secret, the other arranged by the High King of Scotland. At the age of eighteen, she lays her palm upon the ancient stone of Scone and sees her destiny as Queen of Scotland, and she vows to do whatever necessary to see her true love, Macbeth macFindlaech, beside her on the throne.

     Amid the fiery times and heated onslaughts from Denmark and England, as the rule of Scotland hangs in the balance, Gruah seeks to win the throne and bring revenge upon the monsters of her childhood, no matter the cost or amount of blood tainting her own hands; yet, an unexpected meeting with the King called the Confessor causes her to question her bloody path and doubt her once blazing pagan faith. Will she find redemption or has the blood of her past fire-branded her soul?

      The story weaves the play by William Shakespeare with the actual history of Macbeth and his Queen in 11th-century Scotland.

“…a woman’s story at a winter’s fire…”
(Macbeth, Act III, Scene IV)

     My Review: The Fire of Winter tells the story of Lady Macbeth. Gruah’s greatest ambition is to be the queen of Scotland. She is willing to do whatever it takes - including getting her hands dirty - to see her husband crowned. When she meets Edward the Confessor, Gruah begins to question her evil deeds. She wonders if her crown was worth the price of blood. Could Gruah ever find redemption or would she continue to bloody her hands that she could never wash off?

      At first, Gruah is not a likable character. She comes across as a woman with a thirst for vengeance. She doesn't care who she hurts as long as she gets her vengeance in the end. This made her very ruthless. Gruah is portrayed throughout most of the novel as an ambitious, power-hungry manipulator. Later in the novel, Gruah’s character begins to change, and I hoped for her redemption. I wanted her to regret and be haunted by her evil doings. Gruah may seem like a typical villain, but she becomes a very complex queen who questions her beliefs and her actions.

     Overall, this novel is about ambition, power, love, and morality. One thing that I like about The Fire of Winter is that it touches upon religion in medieval Scotland, which were the Celtic faith and Christianity. The characters were at times one-dimensional. The writing was choppy in parts. Some of the parts were rushed. Still, the author did an excellent job in integrating the real history of Macbeth with Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The Fire of Winter will not only appeal to fans of the play but to anyone that loves reading redemption stories of famous villains. I recommend this novel for fans of Ophelia, Hag-Seed, and Mistress Shakespeare.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Praise:

     “This beautifully written reworking of the Macbeth tale told from Lady Macbeth’s point-of-view flows from the page and you quickly become immersed in the politics and intrigues of feudal Scotland as she fights for her rightful place and her true love! A mesmerizing read that grips from start to finish and Gruah is now one of my all-time favorite literary crushes. “ – Iain Leonard, ARC Reviewer


     “Brilliantly conceived and beautifully written, The Fire of Winter is a tale not to be missed by lovers of Shakespeare, lovers of history, or lovers of the written word.” – Riana Everly, Author of Teaching Eliza and Through a Different Lens

Amazon | IndieBound


About the Author:

     D. K. Marley is a historical fiction writer specializing in Shakespearean themes. Her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, gave her a volume of Shakespeare's plays when she was eleven, inspiring DK to delve further into the rich Elizabethan language. Eleven years ago she began the research leading to the publication of her first novel "Blood and Ink," an epic tale of lost dreams, spurned love, jealousy and deception in Tudor England as the two men, William Shakespeare and Kit Marlowe, fight for one name and the famous works now known as the Shakespeare Folio. She is an avid Shakespearean / Marlowan, a member of the Marlowe Society, the Shakespeare Fellowship and a signer of the Declaration of Intent for the Shakespeare Authorship Debate. She has traveled to England three times for intensive research and debate workshops and is a graduate of the intense training workshop "The Writer's Retreat Workshop" founded by Gary Provost and hosted by Jason Sitzes. She lives in Georgia with her husband and a Scottish Terriers named Maggie and Buster. 

     For more information, please visit D.K. Marley's website. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


Giveaway:

During the Blog Tour, we are giving away copies of The Fire of Winter + a surprise gift to three lucky winners! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules:

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on August 19th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

  The Fire of Winter 

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