"Masterful storytelling!" PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Castel does an excellent job of bringing this period in England to life withsome real historic figures. Her characterizations were vivid and thestory well told with much detail." REGAN'S ROMANCE REVIEWS.
"Castel very skillfully weaves the story into the larger-scale goings-on in her extremely well-researched and multi-faceted narrative." HISTORICALNOVEL SOCIETY
From the Author
"This is a lovely period piece. I care about what will happen to the characters and look forward to reading further."
"Dark Under the Cover of Night interested me for the entire excerpt. Thecharacters are all pretty interesting and there's a lot going on. The excerpt got right to the chase, which hopefully shows the swift pacing of the rest of the book. I found myself caring what happened next to Raedwyn and she is a very original female protagonist without many ofthe stereotypical features of female leads."
Excerpt from Dark Under the Cover of Night
The dragon's head broke through the rolling banks of mist and glided towards the riverbank. A sleek long ship followed in its wake.Silent, despite its great bulk, the Saxon ship emerged from curling tendrils of mist that moved like caressing fingers over its curved bow.
Raedwyn stood next to her mother, on a hill above the river, and watched the long ship approach. Despite that she had been looking forward to this day, nervousness tugged at the pit of Raedwyn's stomach and she glanced sideways at her mother. Sensing her daughter's unease, Queen Seaxwyn reached across and squeezed Raedwyn's hand. Neither of them spoke as they continued to watch the long ship dock.
On the shores of the River Deben, Raedwyn's father, Raedwald, King of the East Angles, stood with his son, Eorpwald, waiting to welcome Cynric the Bold. Nine winters younger than his king, Cynric was one of Raedwald's most trusted ealdormen - one of noble blood.Cynric the Bold would soon become a member of the illustrious Wuffinga Dynasty, for tomorrow at noon he and Princess Raedwyn would wed.
King Raedwald had just passed his fifty-fourth winter but still stood tall and muscular, although silver now threaded his thick, golden hair and his strong face was lined with care and grief. Raedwald had never recovered from the loss of his son, Raegenhere, eight years earlier. Eorpwald, quiet and diffident in comparison to his charismatic older brother, was a poor substitute for Raegenhere.
The gentle splash of oars broke the stillness as the newcomers maneuvered their craft towards the water's edge. Raedwyn's gaze fastened on the group of men on-board, searching for Cynric. Despite the twenty-five years age difference, she had heard the ealdorman was still a striking warrior to behold.
The long ship came to rest in the deep mud at the riverbank and a group of men disembarked. As they heaved the ship closer to the bank through knee-deep mud, Raedwyn caught sight of Cynric at last. He was a big,broad-shouldered man and was dressed more richly than his companions. Gold rings sparkled across his chest and his arms were heavy with silver bracelets and arm rings - all tributes to his heroism in battle. A thick fur cloak hung from his shoulders. Raedwyn was too faraway to pick out the details of his face but she could see he had a short blond beard and thick sandy hair flecked through with gray. Raedwyn felt a thrill of excitement. She had hoped he would be handsome.