Welcome to the OFFICIAL 'About The Author' page of:
Mary Ann Bernal
Historical fiction author, Mary Ann Bernal, fell in love with medieval England after reading Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. Then came the great Hollywood epics such as Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, The Black Shield of Falworth and The Vikings, to name a few. Add to the mix Camelot, and an incurable romantic Anglophile was born!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels and the Scribbler Tales series, is an avid history buff, focusing on the Dark Ages. She is also a passionate supporter of the U.S. military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm.
All of Mary Ann’s novels and short story collections are dedicated to fallen military heroes who gave their lives defending our freedom. A prolific writer originally hailing from New York, Mary Ann now resides in Omaha and has traveled for pleasure and research to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy and Greece.
Travel back in time to late Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain where Alfred the Great rules with a benevolent hand while the Danish King rules peacefully within the boundaries of the Danelaw. Trade flourishes, and scholars from throughout the civilized world flock to Britannia’s shores to study at the King’s Court School at Winchester. Enter Concordia, a beautiful noble woman whose family is favored by the king. Vain, willful, and admired, but ambitious and cunning, Concordia is not willing to accept her fate. She is betrothed to the valiant warrior, Brantson, but sees herself as far too young to lay in the bedchamber of an older suitor. She wants to see the wonders of the world, embracing everything in it; preferably, but dangerously, at the side of Thayer, the exotic Saracen who charms King Alfred’s court and ignites her yearning passions. Concordia manipulates her besotted husband into taking her to Rome, but her ship is captured by bloodthirsty pirates, and the seafarers protecting her are ruthlessly slain to a man. As she awaits her fate in the Moorish captain’s bed, by sheer chance, she discovers that salvation is at hand in the gilded court of a Saracen nobleman. While awaiting rescue, Concordia finds herself at the center of intrigue, plots, blackmail, betrayal and the vain desires of two egotistical brothers, each willing to die for her favor. Using only feminine cunning, Concordia must defend her honor while plotting her escape as she awaits deliverance, somewhere inside steamy, unconquered Muslim Hispania.
This is the first of Mary Ann Bernal's novels I've read but it won't be the last! I enjoy historical fiction but don't want to be bombarded with facts at the expense of a good story so, I'm delighted to say, the author did not disappoint. Concordia, a wilful, spoilt young girl, brought up close to the court of King Alfred during the late 9th century, has her heart stolen by an exotic, foreign dignatory before he returns to his homeland. Her infatuation and naievity take her on a journey, by boat, to Europe and beyond. The scenes are beautifully set to stage battles, voyages and royal courts and the reader sees through Concordia's eyes the violent, often uncivilised times she lives in, as well as the honour, gallantry and bravery of many of the characters. Part of me wanted to see Concordia's journey from naievity and innocence to maturity and wisdom but that would have been a different story! This book receives my 5* rating as I loved the story telling, would recommend to others and read again. I look forward to reading more books by this author.
Having read the three previous novels in The Briton and the Dane series, I was anxiously waiting for Concordia to be released. I am have been obsessed with this series; it's wonderful. I was impressed with how seamlessly Concordia fits with the rest of the series. I didn't reread the other novels in the series, but I did skim some passages I had noted earlier and didn't have to double back. Concordia was a hard novel to put down, but I loved that it drew me in immediately each time I picked it up again. To me, that is the mark of a great book. While I really liked Concordia the novel, Concordia the character was a different story. She was a very hard character to like because of her impulsive, manipulative nature. While I think part of that is the young age of her character, it was still hard to root for her. Yet at the same time, part of what kept me reading was I had to know if Concordia grew up a bit during all her ordeals. In Concordia there were so many complex and strained relationships. Chad and Thayer were my favorite characters to read scenes of. They were the most diabolical and trying to figure them out was so enjoyable. The ending was the most amazing part for me. I wasn't sure how everything was going to come together and the ending completely blew me away. It was unexpected and the more I thought about it, I don't see how things could have ended another way. I am unsure if this is the last novel in the Briton and the Dane series. If it is, it will be hard for me to say goodbye to these characters, but I will eagerly read anything that Mary Ann Bernal writes. She has a knack for writing characters that is so enjoyable. I cannot recommend this series enough.