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on December 22, 2009
I loved 'Behold the Dawn'.

I'm not normally a historical reader--in fact, I usually avoid them--but so many people recommended I read this book, I broke down and bought it. I'm so glad I did.

Through the tale of Marcus Annan, K.M. Weiland shares some definite spiritual truths. But, it doesn't stop there. The tale she weaves is both engaging and adventurous--a real page turner. I could barely put the book down, and found myself thinking about the characters when it was away on my nightstand--even thinking about them in the middle of the night!

I was constantly surprised by the characters, though one twist especially had me stunned when I read the scene. I think I had to go back and read it again. :) The characters were so real to me that I was a little sad to see the book end, and will probably spend some time imagining what their lives are like after the close of the book.

If you want a great read, I highly recommend picking up a copy of K.M. Weiland's 'Behold the Dawn'!
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on March 24, 2010
K.M. Weiland's 'Behold the Dawn' has done something several other famous writers couldn't do - given me a renewed enthusiasm for historical fiction.I began to read without any expectations at all except that the back cover blurb sounded interesting - I was interested in the time period of the Crusades and was curious to see how she'd produced a story around it. And what a story she has written! There are no cliches about the good versus evil of the Crusades in Ms. Weiland's book. In fact, her hero is an outsider with dark secrets who is cynical about the upper echelons of the church and state even while being quite a spiritual and moral person. He is eventually forced to take a stand against the corruption that he abhors; he must also battle his inner demons as to his own worthiness in the eyes of God. Don't, though, have the impression that this is some sort of religious tome - the story is as raw, as violent, as romantic, colourful and courageous as the times in which it is set. There is also a convincing love story seasoning the plot - if I had to come up with any criticism at all, it would be that the heroine could have been a stronger character. That said, she is perhaps well suited as a product of her times. Add to that the impressive amount of careful research into every aspect of the time period, and you have a book that would appeal to both history buffs and anyone looking for a page-turningly good read. I should add that, as a writer myself, I'm not easily impressed but Ms. Weiland has certainly impressed me enough with this book that I've purchased another of her works,A Man Called Outlaw.A Man Called OutlawBehold the Dawn
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on November 7, 2009
Katie does such a great job of keeping the reader turning the pages. There's something in this book for everyone: there is enough action to satisfy the adventure lover; enough impossible awakening love to satisfy the romantic; enough research to satisfy the historian, enough intrigue, betrayal and murder to satisfy the mystery lover, and enough mercy and forgiveness to satisfy the Christ-follower.

Katie's book is one of hope. Nothing is too great to separate us from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:38-39). He came to heal not the righteous, but the sick (Matt. 9:12-13). I was reminded of these verses reading this book. Behold the Dawn is a great message of new beginnings.

In a nutshell, Behold the Dawn has beautiful prose, engaging plot, secrets that explode off the page...it's a compelling read.
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on November 28, 2009
I was a little wary of reading this book, because I really, really, really wanted to like it--and when you go to read a book you really, really, really want to like, or have high hopes for, there's always a nagging fear that it won't measure up to your preconceptions and hopes. I'd never read anything by this author before (excepting some excerpts from her books), so I didn't have the assurance that, hey, she's written good books before, so she's probably done it again (not that that's always a surety...I've read plenty of books I didn't like by authors whose previous books I'd loved). So, due to all that, my feelings going into the reading of this were, at best, ambiguous.

Behold the Dawn exceeded my expectations.

The characters were brilliant (I loved Marcus Annan and Lady Mairead; Marek was bloomin' awesome; and all the other main-ish characters were intriguing--sometimes frighteningly so). The plot was exciting and absorbing. I remember when I was on page 36, it felt like I should've been on page 70 or 80 due to how much had already happened--but the action never felt rushed; the pacing was just right. And, best of all, there was a crazy (and I mean that in the best way possible) plot twist at the end which I did not see coming at all (though in retrospect all the hints were there, craftily hidden within the conflict) and which made me want to flip right back to the beginning and read the whole thing over again.

And that doesn't happen too often with me.
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on January 7, 2013
I liked the settings & feel that the author paid due respect to historical accuracy, explaining departures from facts at the end. The action sequences were also well presented, characterizations well developed with a goodly share of nice folk together with a heavy measure of dastardly knaves; perhaps the hero was a little too powerful and invincible for my liking. He also should really be way more careful in his duty looking after the heroine; he constantly abandons her to get captured and abused.
The descriptions of events, and details regarding the actual period were realistically laid out. I was less convinced with the narrative and personal relationships which I feel suffered from a number of modernisms and anachronisms, not the least the ridiculous servant/master familiarity (unthinkable in those days) and the hero referring to his servant as "bucko."
I also felt that the historical military action played very much second fiddle to the breathless, heart-throbbing, dare I say it Mills & Boon, romantic interludes. The underlying mystery of the hero's guilt-trip from the events at St. Dunstan's, that linked him with the other principal characters, I found unconvincing and hard to follow. The ultimate unveiling scene I found over-melodramatic and laboured. Maybe it's because I'm a bloke.
The author can write, no doubt about that, but perhaps I inadvertently picked a book out of genre for me. If you like historical romance give this a whirl.
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on February 10, 2011
I recently - at long last - obtained a copy of "Behold the Dawn," and I read it as often as I sanely could all week. The writing is beautiful; the story is captivating! As a long-time follower of K. M. Weiland's marvelous blog "Wordplay" (which has the best tips for writers that I've ever read; if you ever write anything whatsoever at all relating to fiction, you should look it up) I enjoyed seeing all her lessons and tricks of the trade played out. My copy of "Behold" was riddled with post-it notes marking sentences or paragraphs that exemplified a trick of good writing that I wished to remember; for instance, I jotted on one: "In battle, switch from character to character" and on another "No adverb necessary here" and another, "K.M. never once said Marek was impudent, she lets dialogue tell us that." I can't wait to hit the keys on my own story and improve my shabby prose according to the things I've learned reading her novel.

Not only was the writing good, the story was fantastic as well. I'm not a fan of romance novels, but this was an exception. It was filled with unrelenting (but not cheap, perpetual shock-value) excitement; I forewent fun and family in my desperation to find out the ever-elusive "WHAT HAPPENS NEXT??" The characters won my heart, the excitement was unrelenting, and the plot twists knocked me senseless. "Behold the Dawn" is a wonderful, refreshing Medieval tale that I highly recommend!
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on June 26, 2011
This is one of the most enjoyable historical fictions I have read in quite awhile. The plot is complicated enough to prevent predictability and boredom. While some liberty is understandably taken with certain historical facts and figures of the Crusades, the author acknowledges her use of poetic license, which is justified in the interest of the story. The theme of redemption is skillfully woven throughout the story, much like a medieval tapestry, using the rich characterization of knights, ladies, and the clergy. There are several heart-stopping scenes that beckon the reader to return again and again. I found myself returning to several passages even before completing the book - not to remind myself of events, but to savor them. It is also one of the few historical novels that is so beautifully written that I used my notes and highlighter function several times. I would love to see more of this kind of work from this author.

I would highly recommend this novel for those who enjoy the time period without the anachronistic injection of 21st century mores (particularly of female characters) and for those who enjoy more thoughtful plots than those that involve romps through castle grounds by antagonists who become lovers.
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on October 23, 2009
I enjoyed reading about life during the time of the Third Crusade, an unfamiliar genre for me and thus an unexpected pleasure. As usual, Weiland is as deft with words as the swordsmen in her book are with their weapons. With her words, she paints characters, scenes, and confrontations with an accomplished writer's authority, although Behold The Dawn is only her second novel.

Weiland researches deeply and thoroughly before she writes. Besides reveling in the lives of which Weiland creates, I also benefited from her work in that I gained knowledge as I entered and lived vicariously in the world of her story. K.M. Weiland's book includes a map of the Holy Land in 1192 and a glossary of the out-of-the ordinary words she used in her writing that were common to the world at that time.

K.M. packs more action into each chapter than many authors offer in an entire book. Her first book, A Man Called Outlaw, was extraordinary as well. I look forward to more from Katie.

I thank her for the extremely enjoyable time I had since I began turning the pages of her latest release, Behold The Dawn.
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on December 21, 2009
After sixteen years of running, Marcus Annan is led on a journey to the Holy Land where he comes face to face with the ghosts of his past. Doing battle with external enemies and internal demons, he feels he is too lost to ever be forgiven. Yet there is hope! At journey's end, he discovers not only forgiveness, but love.

With intriguing characters, exciting adventures and villains you "love to hate", K.M. Weiland paints a vivid picture of life in medieval times. This young lady's literary talents will have you glued to the page as you travel back to the "days" and "knights" of the Third Crusade. A memorable and worthwhile read.
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on December 6, 2009
The rumble of horses, the clash of swords, the high-pitched cries of fighting and dying men in the mud-splattered color-whirl of jousting. What a way to open a book. Weiland starts this novel with powerful action and ends it with a gentle sigh that leaves you scrambling through Amazon.com in search of a sequel.

K.M. Weiland is an incredible writer with the ability to tell a spell-binding tale. In Behold the Dawn, she sweeps us from Italy to the Holy Land, from jousting matches in Bari to King Richard's Third Crusade, from tense action to tender moments, and she does it all seamlessly.
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