From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up - An exciting novel set in 10th-century England. In this sequel to The Edge on the Sword
(Putnam, 2001), which ended as King Alfred's daughter, Æthelflæd, was about to marry Ethelred of Mercia, Tingle moves a few years forward to tell of Æthelflæd's 16-year-old daughter, Ælfwyn. A scholarly girl with no interest in the riding, swordplay, or politics that absorb her widowed mother, Wyn is surprised to learn that her uncle, the West Saxon King Edward, has arranged her marriage to a much older earl in order to solidify a political alliance. Then her mother's unexpected death throws Mercia's future into a state of uncertainty. With King Wilfrid of Northumbria eager for an alliance with Mercia, Wyn's uncle insists that her marriage take place immediately or that she enter a convent. Knowing that either choice will mean the downfall of her country, Wyn decides instead to flee. Disguised as a boy, she passes herself off as a scop (itinerant bard) and adopts the name Widsith ("Far Traveler"). By chance, she joins King Wilfrid and his men and soon finds herself falling in love with him. When she unwittingly becomes embroiled in Wil's attempts to regain power from her uncle, she must decide where her loyalties lie. This compelling novel is filled with well-researched details, an action-packed plot, and well-drawn and sympathetic characters. Tingle is a worthy successor to Rosemary Sutcliff, sharing her ability to make British history come to life for modern readers. - Ginny Gustin, Sonoma County Library System, Santa Rosa, CA
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Gr. 7-10. In The Edge on the Sword
(2001) Tingle wrote about 15-year-old Aethelflaed, daughter of Alfred the Great, who became a powerful ruler in her own right. Little is known about her daughter Aelfwyn, who disappeared from historical record and literature following Aethelflaed's death in 919. Intrigued by the girl's disappearance, Tingle has created an immensely satisfying
back story for Aelfwyn (Wyn), which mixes fact and fiction as it vividly depicts the political turmoil of the time. Wyn's life
is probably more romantic than that of the historic Aelfwyn. At 16, Wyn seems shy and scholarly, but when her uncle commands her to marry or enter a convent, she disguises herself as a traveling bard and flees. Wilfrid, a Northumbrian king beleaguered by Norse invaders, offers the bard protection, friendship, and trust----a trust that may be shattered by a plan that can endanger England and force Wyn to choose between her own people and heritage and her friend Wilfrid. An introductory note provides a few facts about the real Wyn. Chris ShermanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved