Set in the 12th Century, between the Crusades, Sir Phillip Fitzwilliam, a veteran of earlier Crusades to the Holy Land, suspects another Crusade is imminent and he worries about his legacy and his estates. One son has already decided the Church is his future and the other son is determined to follow his Father's footsteps to Palestine and battle with Saladin, for God. Sir Phillip's daughter Aveline is, however, unique for a young titled lady of the time. A skilled horsewoman, archer and sword fighter, she wants something more from life than the boring, pointless, exercise of marriage and embroidery. She is equally determined that she wants nothing to do with the all-powerful Church of the time, its priests and nuns whom she mistrusts with a passion.
When Aveline finds the possibility of marrying for love, with the Earl's son, her natural womanly passions take over and when her and her lover are charged, by the Church, with the sin of fornication, their lives will be changed forever. Persecuted by the Church and separated from her beloved, Aveline determines to escape their clutches and follow her lover to the Holy Land, as a woman Knight.
As always, Fry's descriptive narrative takes the reader right inside the 12th Century and we feel the pain and the passion experienced by Aveline as she is mistreated and abused by the Church. As a hero, Aveline has so much to offer; courage, determination, compassion and not the least, femininity. I found myself riding alongside her, advising her and shuddering occasionally at the trials she faced. Fry is that sort of an author - his stories get under your skin.
Did I think the book was too short? Absolutely - I always hate it when I come toward the end of a Fry novel. I don't want it to end. Did I think the story ended too abruptly? For sure. There is much more to tell of Aveline and her adventures, but I can relax in the hope that Fry is currently working on the continuation of Aveline's journey.
I've said it before and I'll say it again - when it comes to Indie Author's in today's marketplace Ken Fry is one of the most adaptable, versatile and readable authors out there. He stands at the very top of my favoured author list. When I hear there's a new Fry due out - I jump. The Chronicles of Aveline is an absolute winner and I can not recommend it enough.