Book Beginnings: BELOVED PILGRIM by Nan Hawthorne

This is a challenge posted on A Few More Pages.  These are the instructions: “Share the first line (or two) of the book you are currently reading on your blog or in the comments. Include the title and the author so we know what you’re reading. Then, if you would like, let us know what your first impressions were based on that first line, and let us know if you liked or did not like the sentence.”

I am currently reading BELOVED PILGRIM by Nan Hawthorne. It begins like this:

With a loud crack the sword came down onto a helm already knocked askew by an earlier blow. The helm flew off and the wearer staggered and nearly lost his feet.

“Ho, valiantly done!” the fifteen-year-old Elisabeth von Winterkirche called from her perch on the wooden fence.

I love this beginning because it takes you right back into the Middle Ages (in this case to around 1100), and immerses you in the physicality of sword fights and the like. I also love the first line of dialogue, because I think those few words tell the reader that young Elisabeth is a spirited young woman, with somewhat unusual interests. (She’s not seated at her embroidery in her mother’s solar).

–Cynthia Haggard writes historical novels.  She has two completed manuscripts that will be published in the coming year. THWARTED QUEEN  is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear. FAMILY SPLINTERS is  a novel about identity, forbidden love and family secrets. For more on her creative writing, go to spunstories. (c) 2011. All rights reserved.


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