The Challenge by Kim Iverson Headlee
Publisher & Release Date: Pendragon Cove Press, July 11, 2015
Time and setting: Arthurian Legend
Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance
Length: 22 pages
Heat Level: 1 Sweet Heart
Rating: 4 Gold Crowns
The gauntlet is thrown. One must die. Refusal is not an option.
Arthur, the High King of Breatein has fallen captive of a longtime enemy, the Saxon warrior-princess Camilla, who lusts to avenge the death of her betrothed at Gyan’s hands and will stop at nothing, even the black arts, to achieve her goal. Because Gyan and Arthur have grown estranged, she fears that Arthur may side with Camilla and make her his new queen.
Now Gyan must face all her demons—public as well as private.
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The guard drew a long breath. “Your Majesty, it is time.”
Time to face all my demons, private as well as public.
At her nod, he returned to his post outside—a mite reluctantly, she observed.
“Any last advice?” she asked Merlin at the tent’s entrance. She barked a mirthless laugh. “How does one fight a demon?”
“You must not forget your shield.”
She felt her eyebrows rise. “You know I am no novice warrior.”
“I am not talking of wood and metal, Your Majesty.”
Recently I read Kim Iverson Headlee’s, Liberty, a book set in ancient Rome and Britain and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I was offered a chance to read and review The Challenge, I eagerly agreed to participate in the tour. This book is very short but packs a lot of riveting action from start to finish.
Gyan, queen to the high king, Arthur of Breatein, must fight the evil Saxon warrior queen, Camilla, to the death or forfeit her kingdom, her husband, and her twin daughters. She is placed in a heart-wrenching situation. Does she walk away from all she holds dear, or does she accept the challenge and fight?
Of course she accepts, but when her opponent arrives, she finds out that if she kills Camilla, Arthur decrees that she will still lose her life, which will she choose, to fight or give their kingdom to the sorceress, Camilla?
The challenge is very fast-paced and is over almost before it has started. I enjoyed the battle a great deal. The fight scene is executed with precision and pulled me in. I was rooting for Gyan, even though she will face her husband’s wrath if she wins.
Kim Iverson Headlee has penned an expertly executed short story. Her writing style is smooth and her editing is meticulous. Her ability to set the scene is incredible. I found The Challenge a highly entertaining read.
My only complaint is that the book is so short, 22 pages, it was over before I had a chance to fully understand why the fight was necessary. However, if you are looking for a riveting very short read, then you will enjoy The Challenge. This book would be interesting to men as well as women. Happy reading!
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and 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.
Kim is a Seattle native and a direct descendent of twentieth-century Russian nobility. Her grandmother was a childhood friend of the doomed Grand Duchess Anastasia, and the romantic yet tragic story of how Babushka escaped Communist Russia with the aid of her American husband will most certainly one day fuel one of Kim’s novels. Another novel in the queue will involve her husband’s ancestor, the seventh-century proto-Viking king of the Swedish colony in Russia.
For the time being, however, Kim has plenty of work to do in creating her projected 8-book Arthurian series, The Dragon’s Dove Chronicles, and other novels clamoring for attention. She has been a published novelist since 1999, beginning with the original editions of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and Liberty (writing as Kimberly Iverson, HQN Books, Harlequin).
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE – http://www.amazon.com/Kim-Headlee/e/B001KE2LK2
This book will be offered FREE on Kindle Oct 27-28