The Songbird of Rushen Abbey

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The Songbird of Rushen Abbey

The Hearts of Ellan Vannin Trilogy - Book 1

The trilogy begins in 1441 as Magnus; King of Isle Mann died leaving two sons Alban 12, and Godfrey 8. Then 17 years later, Alban is sitting judge against his wife of 12 years Eugenia, accused of adultery and treason which she confessed to. She's banished for life to Rushen Abbey with the marriage annulled and her title taken away. He's soon enamored of Estelle, (the Songbird) who's been raised in the Abbey and Emmanuelle's daughter - Magnus' mistress, but Estelle isn't the Kings daughter. Estelle becomes pregnant by Alban and Alban marries her to William Percy who has his own lordship in England. Alban is to marry Madeline bringing him wealth and stability, so he can't marry Estelle though he loves her and she loves him.

Estelle gives birth to Alannis and they make the voyage to Alban and Madeline's nuptials where Alannis is also christened. Madeline requests Estelle's presence as she's dying trying to birth her and Alban's child. As her last wish Madeline requests Estelle give Alannis to Alban to raise as his daughter. Estelle leaves Alannis with Alban to raise as his daughter. Estelle finally breaks free emotionally from Alban and she and William will soon have a son - Evan.

York has threatened the kingdom and both Alban and William go to fight. Alban returns, William doesn't - he's been captured. Alban and Roan, his half brother and under disguise, Estelle, go to the new King of England Edward to try to arrange William's release. William remains in confinement where he soon dies. Estelle is heartbroken.

Estelle, Evan (William's son), and Alannis come to stay with Alban where Estelle and Alban's relationship heals and this time they marry.

There are a lot of lives involved in this story and it's sometimes difficult to keep everyone straight, but the characters are very wonderfully written and you get caught up in them. There's many bad guys in this the first section of the trilogy, but the good guys work hard to balance them out. The characters fit well into their settings and dramas, but oftentimes the story makes huge leaps from one drama or period in time to another. I think one or two short sentences would make the story easier to follow. If your looking for a story that takes you back in time and immerses you into the lives of its characters this books is for you. You will live in the eyes of the characters and experience their loves, tragedies and hopes. I'm interested to see where Gloria Wiederhold goes from here. This looks to be an interesting series that you can get swept into. I'm looking forward to reading book two and three.

Book Blurb for The Songbird of Rushen Abbey

Torn between two powerful lords, pulled toward one infallible destiny.

On the hauntingly beautiful Isle of Mann, legends say that King Alban will cross paths with a maiden gifted in song who will one day be his queen. Alban finds that maiden in Estelle Percy, a young woman known as the "Songbird of Rushen Abbey" and reputedly the descendant of royalty. However, Alban is not alone in his quest to claim the Songbird; Lord William Percy has set his sights on Estelle, too. As these two powerful men vie for Estelle's heart, their lives become intertwined in a web of love, desire and deceit in this sweeping, romantic adventure.

Night Owl Reviews Feb, 2008 4.00