'An absorbing re-creation of the 12th Century . . . this is a fast-moving story of humbler folk caught up in cruel battles' The Independent
`Original, atmospheric and genuinely moving . . . captures the imagination and does not let go' Giles Kristian
It's 1141 and freezing cold.
Gwil, a battle-hardened mercenary, is horrified to stumble across a little girl close to death. She has been attacked, just one more victim in a winter of atrocities. Clutching a sliver of parchment, she is terrified - but Gwil knows what he must do. He will bring her back to life. He will train her to fight. And together, they will hunt down the man who did this to her.
But danger looms wherever they turn. As castle after castle falls victim to siege, the icy Fens ring with rumours of a madman, of murder - and of a small piece of parchment with a terrible secret to tell, the cost of which none of them could have imagined . . .
Ariana Franklin was born in Devon and, like her father, became a journalist. Having invaded Wales dressed in combat uniform with the Royal Marines for one of their military exercises, accompanied the Queen on a royal visit, missed her own twenty-first birthday party because she had to cover a murder, she married, almost inevitably, another journalist. She then abandoned her career in national newspapers and settled down in the country to bring up two daughters, study medieval history and write. Ariana was the author of the acclaimed, award-winning Mistress of the Art of Death series. She passed away in 2011, before she was able to deliver the manuscript for Winter Siege. Her daughter, Samantha, decided to complete the novel on her mother's behalf. Samantha Norman is a journalist and broadcaster who is mad about horses. She lives in west London with her two sons Harry and Charlie, and their dogs Becks and Spider.