Albina

A Windflower Saga Novella

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
108 Pages
Reviewed on (not set)
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Author Biography

Aleksandra Layland is a retired civil engineer and federal civil servant who worked primarily for the United States Air Force as a senior installation engineering manager responsible for buildings, airfields, infrastructure, fire protection, and emergency preparedness. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Western Caroline Islands where she helped build school classrooms and cafeterias, low income housing, and simple village water distribution systems. Her other interests include arts and crafts, family genealogy, religion and spirituality, fostering peace in the world, and enjoying retirement with family and friends.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Albina (A Windflower Saga Novella) by Aleksandra Layland is a short story/novella in the science fiction fantasy genre. This is a book that would appeal most to a mixed audience of adults and young adults who have enjoyed the Windflower Saga, as well as those who enjoy a strong female main character. Albina was born a twin and the only daughter of Tribune Loris Kennet and Lady Keridwen - she grew up in a mixed household in Torun. Albina had a happy childhood, thanks to her father’s position as Tribune, though her mother’s position as Duchess of Ansgar did force young Albina out of her old dresses and her workshop to attend a ball.

Albina (A Windflower Saga Novella) by Aleksandra Layland is a book meant for those who have already read the Windflower Saga; I found myself a bit confused on the setting and importance of Albina as a character in the beginning of the book. However, as I continued to read, I found myself growing to like young Albina and to understand the uniqueness and importance of her as a character. Her desire to be accepted by society and people, due to who she was as a person and not just because of her father’s position, showed the strength of her character and her wish that all people would be seen as equal, regardless of their skin color, household, or position. My favorite scene in the whole book is when Albina discovers that the two old women she has been seeing are actually dead, and that they are her grandmothers watching over her. Overall, I enjoyed this book and it has awakened a desire in me to seek out the rest of the books in the Windflower Saga.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Albina takes you into the adulthood of a young woman's life, which was just a whisper in a previous Windflower Saga novel, Far Haven. Author Aleksandra Layland records that the young woman, Lady Albina Kennet, is not only very intelligent, but also able to see those who have gone on before. Just as this special gift guided Albina through important events in her life, she also learned that the absence of her grandmothers' presence was an indication that she had taken a wrong path somewhere in her life. Albina was quite confused when these elderly women followed her around, just waving at her, and, to make it worse, no one else could see them. She learned to accept their presence as a blessing in her life.

Aleksandra Layland takes a subject that could be very sensitive and demonstrates how, if handled correctly, this could be used as a teaching tool. I love how Aleksandra Layland uses Albina's parents' influence to teach her young peers that the value of a person is not in their appearance. What I find the most beautiful about the novella, Albina, is when Albina learns to embrace both parts of her heritage. She grows up in the wealth and prestige from her father and grandfather's scientific influence, then later she lives among her mother's people. Though this novella is a spin-off of Far Haven, I love how the author gives the highlights and history of both families so this short book can stand alone. I enjoyed reading about this young woman who realized how the decisions she made in her life affected those around her. When you read this, be prepared to want to read all the rest of Layland's books.