A SONG OF AWAKENING
by Roby James
is a monumental, richly romantic historical with a subtle touch of fantasy.
Born into the 13th century's turmoil and warfare, Briana of Flint is a lady of legend. Myrrdin, the greatest bard in Wales, prophesied at her birth that she would "rise from fetters and bring freedom with her."
In the struggle of the Welsh against the ruthless King Edward I of England, Briana loses almost everything she loves -- her family, her home, and her liberty. But three extraordinary men offer her ways to discover the ultimate, unanticipated truth of Myrrdin's prophecy.
Ine, a lesser bard, has no idea why he has been chosen to inherit the Welsh bardic tradition...
Rees, the King's nephew, experiences a near death on Crusade, an event that transforms him more than anyone guesses...
Owen Glyn, the last of the Welsh rebels, gathers to himself in the fastness of Snowdonia all that remains of Prince Llewelyn's dream of freedom for Wales...
Ranging from the deep valleys and high mountains of Wales to the English court at Windsor and Westminster, with stops in France and the Holy Land, this intricate story of music, swordplay, loss, and redemption follows exceptional men and women trying to live in an age with values different from their own -- an age of awakening.
"Roby James' historical novel A Song of Awakening, set in the reign of Edward I Plantagenet, ranges over the known world from the Holy Land to the North, but, in the end, returns to England, Wales and, in particularly, Flint Castle, to which the child Briana is heiress. Its native rock is strong beneath her feet and dear to her heart. She also has fire in her blood, a spine of steel, and carries the burden of bardic prophecy. She needs all three of these things to fight for her land's and her people's survival during the wars between England and Wales. Although a canny Edward Longshanks seeks to use her as a pawn, she is very much her own woman. She becomes a fit adversary for the half-Norman Crusader whom the king also advances on a bloodstained chessboard of castles, crowns and hearts. A Song of Awakening is a worthy successor to Edith Pargeter's trilogy set over 100 years earlier: The Heaven Tree, The Green Branch and The Scarlet Seed."
Author of Shards of Empire and Cross and Crescent
Nebula, Hugo and World Fantasy nominee
"Roby James spins a web that draws us deeply into her mythic Celtic world, described in her latest novel, A Song of Awakening. A trio of male bards opens the door to this post-Arthurian universe, but it is the memorable female characters who keep the reader locked inside. Duty, honor, war, love, death: each makes its appearance, and its mark, but the deepest search is the one that leads toward healing, both personal and political."
Author of Keeping the Feast