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The Proud Villeins by Valerie Anand (eBook)

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When Ivon de Clairpont lies down for the night by the blacksmith's fire at Gildenford, sleep does not come easily. The great Norman knight knows himself to be an unwelcome visitor in England, for he is a member of the large party traveling with Alfred Atheling, an exiled son of the deposed English king. Ivon's intuition proves correct, for the evening in Gildenford is his last as a free man.

In darkness, Ivon and his fellows are assaulted and taken hostage by soldiers loyal to England's current ruler. And in the morning, Alfred's followers are systematically executed—until only a handful of their original six hundred remain. Ivon is one of the few survivors, but, to his mind, his is a state worse than death: The once-powerful knight is sold as a slave to Eric Olafson and put to work on the Dane's farm in isolated Northumbria.

Refusing to accept a life of servitude, Ivon ceaselessly plots his escape. After one particularly harrowing attempt to flee, he is nursed back to health by Gunnor, a young bondswoman who is determined to make him her own. With Gunnor's help, Ivon begins to accept the fate that has made him a thrall, but he never forsakes his only inheritance: the memory of freedom.

For Ivon's descendants, this legacy is a bitter blessing. The knowledge of a glorious past rules the dreams of future de Clairponts—who must live with the results of their determination to return the family to what it once was.

Praise for Valerie Anand

"Anand’s interest is in the intersection of cultures—here, Norse and Norman—which she dramatizes effectively."
Kirkus Reviews

"Valerie Anand has been building a remarkable body of work, a series of historical novels that have recreated England’s history both accurately and vividly."
The Anniston Star

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Bridges Over Time
6x9 in

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