Author du Jour: Mark Noce

Between-Two-Fires_Cover-smallBetween Two Fires
by Mark Noce
Thomas Dunne Books
($25.99, 327 pages)

This book will appeal to the fans of Game of Thrones. Here, the story of Between Two Firestakes place in 597 when Saxon Barbarians are about to destroy medieval Wales. So what? you may say. Just another fictionalized slice of history.  But the reason the book made it to Author du Jour page lies in the strength of its main character, Lady Branwen. We are miles away from giants with inflated biceps performing miraculous acts. Noce has drawn a fine character.  She is a young woman in a world of fierce warriors, reminding me very much of Boudica when she organized her uprising against the Romans. Branwen is courageous and determined, which always makes for captivating hero. Lady Branwen seeks unity to push back the enemy, but the trajectory get skewed when she falls for a man she cannot have, opening a good emotional dilemma. She sees herself forced to choose between her people, her nation, and the man she loves . . .