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Dawnflight (The Dragon's Dove Chronicles) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Februar 2013

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Kim Headlee lives on a farm in the mountains of southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, fish, goats & assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. Other published works by Kim Headlee: Dawnflight, first edition, paperback, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster, 1999. Liberty, writing as Kimberly Iverson, paperback, HQN Books, Harlequin, 2006.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

From Chapter 1:

The combatants circled warily in the churned mud of the practice field, blind to the swelling audience and the chilling autumn rain. One, a giant of a figure, was the teacher. The student was neither as tall nor as well muscled but moved with the speed and agility of youth. The mud splattered on both bodies was mute evidence to the length of the session.

"Keep up your intensity!" Ogryvan swiped at his opponent's midsection. "Always! Lose your battle-frenzy, and you're dead!"

Though neither was fighting in true battle-frenzy, the younger warrior understood. Smiling grimly through the rivulets of sweat, the student danced out of reach, whirled, and made a cut at Ogryvan's thigh. The blunted practice sword could not penetrate the hard leather leggings but was sure to leave a bruise. Precisely over the wound he had taken at Aber-Glein two months before.

Although the swordmaster gritted his teeth against the pain, his opponent sensed satisfaction in the accompanying nod. The reason for the sign of approval was clear: the student had made an excellent choice of moves. Exploitation of the enemy's weaknesses was a basic tenet of the warrior's art. Mastery of this principle would serve Ogryvan's pupil well in the years to come.

"Strive to outthink your foe. Stay one move ahead," he advised between feints. The clatter adopted a dancelike rhythm as the opposing blade deftly met each thrust. The onlookers shouted their approval.

The youth answered with a powerful counterattack, silent but for the creak of leather and the hollow thunks as sword met shield. The swordmaster staggered backward. His disciple quickened the attack.

And grew careless. The shield sagged. Ogryvan landed a blow to the unguarded left shoulder. Startled, the youth lost footing in the treacherous mud and fell.

The laughter sparked by the mishap, from teacher and audience alike, was not unkind. Yet it did not comfort the mud-painted student.

The Chieftainess of Clan Argyll hated to lose.

And the reason rankled like that awful brew Cynda called spring tonic: she'd not done her best. She didn't need her father to tell her that carelessness had caused the fall. The loss.

In battle, such a mistake was often fatal.

She began to pick herself up, seething, only to be unceremoniously shoved face-first into the mud again. Before she could twitch, her father's foot pinned her down. His sword at the base of her neck chilled her to the core of her being. It was too easy to imagine what might happen next.

Ogryvan whispered, "Pay attention now, Gyan. This is my favorite part." His rumbling voice poised on the brink of a chuckle. "All hear and beware! The Ogre takes no prisoners!"

Had this been actual combat, her head would have become the newest addition to Ogryvan's private collection. Such was the Caledonian way. For in this manner, not only was the foe defeated in death, but to the victor went possession of the soul. Well honored was the warrior who boasted the largest array.

Long years of training had hardened Gyan to this aspect of warfare. Yet the prospect of someday ending up on display in an enemy's feast-hall was grisly at best.

By the shifting of his foot on her back, she knew her father was posturing for the crowd. They rewarded his performance with gleeful claps and shouts. The official practice session was over, of course. But Gyan wasn't quite finished.

Her sword hilt nestled in the palm of her outflung hand. She carefully tightened her grip. In a burst of movement, she writhed and scissored with her legs, twisted free, rolled to her feet, and brought the sword up in both hands. Ogryvan toppled into the mud. The resounding wet thud of his landing was chorused by the guffaws of the audience.

Gyan grinned, holding the point of her sword to Ogryvan's throat. "And neither does the Ogre's daughter!"

No nectar was as sweet as the joy of winning. And winning before an audience of her clansmen tasted even sweeter. One day, she would lead them into battle; events like today's added another brick onto the foundation of trust. Their heartfelt adoration warmed her like the summer sun.

She sheathed the sword and offered a hand to her father. "Even?" Her voice was huskier than usual from the exertion of the morning.

Ogryvan took the proffered hand to regain his footing. "Even."

Now that the match was over, the crowd drifted back to their various duties around the settlement. One man remained at the edge of the field. Gyan strode toward him, swatting mud from her thighs and chest.

"Well, Per, how did I look?"

"Like the baobhan-sith Cynda used to try to frighten us with." Her half-brother reached for a glob of mud lodged in her braid.

"A fen-spirit? Ha!" Gyan playfully slapped his hand away. "You know what I mean."

Peredur beamed at her. "You did well, Gyan. I don't think I could have fooled Father like that. Or held him off for so long."

She didn't believe him for an instant. They had sparred with each other often enough to know who was the better swordsman. But she rewarded his flattery with a brilliant smile and a challenge: "Race you to the house!"

Without waiting for his reply, she launched herself down the path, bruises forgotten in the autumn mist.

The Chieftain of Clan Argyll stood alone on the practice field. Pride pulsed anew for the two promising young warriors, now racing like colts toward the family's living compound. Per, Ogryvan observed with critical interest, was gaining. Arms pumping, Per drew abreast. Too close: Gyan's scabbard bounced into Per's leg. His stride faltered. With a whoop of triumph, startling a cloud of pigeons from their perches on the timbered roof, Gyan flashed past him into the long, low stone building.

Ogryvan shook his head in amusement. She was so like her mother. Winning at any cost was one of his late wife's dearest passions. How often had Hymar played some mischief like that? When they galloped their horses beside summer-slim streams, Hymar's favorite move had been to drive her mare at full speed into the shimmering water. He could still hear her bright laughter as he spluttered his protest at the unexpected dousing.

Time had finally managed to ease the pain of his loss. Mercifully, his most cherished memories remained intact.

With a glance at the leaden skies, he hoped Hymar was somehow watching. If so, certainly she ought to be sharing his pride.

He began shambling down the path after the youths when his boot crunched against something hard. All but invisible to the casual eye, Gyan's rectangular oak shield nestled in a muddy bed. Stooping to retrieve it, he resolved to chide her about neglecting her gear.

Gyan ought to hearken well to his words if she had a mote of sense, her father mused. Per, too. They would be far beyond the reach of his guidance soon enough. The sorrow of this knowledge clutched his heart like a merlin's claw over a mouse.

To honor the treaty made after the Battle of Aber-Glein with Arthur the Pendragon of Brydein, Per and hundreds of other Caledonian warriors would be riding south after spring planting to join the Brytoni army at Caer Lugubalion. Gyan was finished with her basic martial training; the rest she would have to learn through constant practice, and in battle. But she would not be joining her brother. Her part in fulfilling the treaty terms would take her elsewhere, beginning with the Brytoni school on the Isle of Maun.

The problem was, she didn't know this yet.

Telling her wasn't going to be easy, Ogryvan realized as he resumed his course for the building. He had dodged the issue for two turnings of the... -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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In a war ravaged society, alliances are the key to survival. So when Chieftainess Gyanhumara (Guinevere) agrees to marry Urien map Dumarec to form a treaty, Gyan must put her feelings aside for the sake of her people. Never mind her intuition tells her that Urien is wrong for her. But destiny intervenes, in the form of the Pendragon of Brydein (Arthur). The result is an extraordinary tale that leaves the reader breathless with the unique retelling of the love between Gyan and Arthur. Even names have been restored to the writer's concept of history, time, and place. Kim Headlee carefully weaves this tale, moving slowly through the theological and cultural challenges faced by Gyan, who must not only confront and treat the enemy as allies but also marry one. An expert with the sword and Chieftainess of her people, Gyan must find a way to live in a world of Roman convention where women are in service of men, not leaders. This is not a traditional romance, but a tale much broader in scope. As the story builds, I found myself swept away, reveling in both Gyan's theological and religious battles, as well as her skill with the sword. As the pace of the novel quickened, this was one of those few books that I deliberately slowed down to savor for fear of having to leave the wonderfully created tale too soon. I wanted to remain within this world of mystery, miracles and lives of prophecy and violence. Cindy Penn, Reviewer.
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The proof of the pudding is in the eating they say, and the worth of the story is in the telling. The truth of the events surrounding the Arthurian legend are lost to history, but we love to speculate on what really happened. 'Dawnflight' goes far beyond a casual retelling of the legend of Guinevere, and embraces the life of a warrior queen, Chieftainess of her tribe and answerable to no man. Gyanhumara is wonderfully strong, independent and proud, as skilful with the sword as with her biting wit and intelligence. Her duty forces her to make a promise to marry a man who is a recent enemy and may be one still. Until she meets Arthur, the Pendragon, she is resigned to her duty and what is best for her clan. But after she looks into the eyes of her soulmate, she realises she could have so much more - and yet it seems impossible. In the end, Gyan's strength and honour allows her to fulfil her duty to her clan whilst not ignoring her heart.
We'll never know what really happened back in the days of Arthur and Guinevere, but I would love to believe that this is the true tale. If the worth of the story is in the telling, then this is pure gold.
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This is an excellent tale of the time of King Arthur. Ms. Headlee is a real storyteller. Long time fans of the legend will appreciate the research that has gone into this rendition and everyone will enjoy how the author has put the thoughts and dreams of an ancient noblewoman into perspective for modern audiences. Through Ms. Headlee's narrative, the reader is transported into the lives of the characters and becomes engrossed with the drama as the fates draw the most famous royal couple in legend together. The casting of Guinevere as a warrior clan leader, with the rank and power equal to Arthur's is a fresh perspective that holds your attention throughout. I have had the pleasure of reading a couple of Ms. Headlee's works, including a "working draft" of the sequel to Dawnflight and am very impressed with her writing. When she describes a winter scene in Northern England, you actually feel cold. It is my sincere hope that we get to see this entire series published.
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This book is really good and got me interested in Arthurian legends from the female perspective. I hope Headlee makes this a series. There is so much left to tell.
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Sit back and prepare yourself to be amazed as first time author Kim Headlee recreates an amazingly believable tale of Arthur and Guinevere in "Dawnflight". For centuries these lovers have created great controversy spawned countless theories and became amazing legends. Many authors have written their own interpretations of the Arthurian legend, but none so clever as Ms Headlee's. She takes this legend back to its roots, back before the mighty Great Britain was established, back to when Rome was Europe's super power and the Pope ruled man and country with a heavy hand. We see Arthur not as the knight in shining armor but a Roman warlord. Guinevere is not the demure wife of Arthur whose heart is tugged at from both sides but as Gyanhumara nic Hymar, chieftainess of Clan Argyll of Caledonia and a Pict warrior-queen.
The battle of Aber-Glein sees Gyan's country of Caledonia fall into the hands of Roman warlord Arthur map Uther, Pendragon of Brydein. In the treaty that has been drawn up, Gyan is obliged to marry a Brytoni noble in order to keep peace in Caledonia. Barely given a choice she finds herself betrothed to Brytoni nobleman Urien map Dumarec, the son of her clan's worst enemy, Clan Moray of Dalriada. She must honor this treaty or suffer the Pendragon's wrath. When she consults with the clan priests she's told of a grave prophesy and battles within herself how to change the its ultimate end. But when her gods refuse to listen to her cries for help Gyan finds herself looking for answers in other religions, which could ultimately cause her fall from power and be branded as a heretic.
When both Urian and Gyan are summoned to Cael Lugubalion to join Arthur's legions it's there that Gyan learns of Urien's true crueler nature.
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