Ansgar: The Struggle of a People. The Triumph of the Heart. Abridged Edition

Part I of The Windflower Saga Trilogy

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
268 Pages
Reviewed on 11/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Faridah Nassozi for Readers' Favorite

Ansgar - The Struggle of a People, The Triumph of the Heart is written by Aleksandra Layland. Over a century after explorers conquered and settled in Kimbria, King Bogumil finally managed to unite all its regions, appointing each of his sons a leader of one of the four regions. Ansgar, the king's youngest son, was given the Southlands where the Kimbrii, the indigenous people, now resided under very unfair colonial laws. Ansgar had never met the Kimbrii but he was keen to find them. He did not expect his first journey to the Southlands to be an easy one but it was much more challenging than he could have imagined. It was while on this quest that he woke from his second near-death accident to find himself staring into the face that he could only describe as that of an angel. This accidental meeting started a union between two people so different and yet so alike, with its effects spiraling far beyond the two of them.

Ansgar by Aleksandra Layland is a beautiful story with a heartwarming sense of love, family, and community. Although set in an unknown place and time, it carries an important message on many issues that our society still struggles with. It delivers a message about race and social injustices and a hopeful reminder that love conquers all. It also shows us the true meaning of civilization; beyond power and status. I absolutely loved this story and as Ansgar began to learn and understand the ways and traditions of the Kimbrii so did I; falling completely in love with the beauty and simplicity of their ways. Aleksandra Layland did an amazing job bringing this incredible tale to life.

A. L. Peevey

In Ansgar: The Struggle of a People, The Triumph of the Heart, Aleksandra Layland has given us a story of conflict and victory. It involves the history of a land called Kimbria, which is conquered but united as the result of colonial war. Yet, as a result, the native people, the Kimbrii, have become broken and elusive. A young man, Ansgar, a monk from among the conquering people, the Aspatrians, goes in search of the Kimbrii. His mission is one of compassion in spite of the fact that, as an Aspatrian noble, his position in society is superior. But when he is badly hurt on his journey, Keholani, a Kimbrii woman and leader, finds him and everything that he has ever been and known is forever changed.

Aleksandra Layland’s Ansgar is meticulously written and rich in detail. Its background history is recounted in almost textbook fashion. Here is a culture described in terms of its belief system, education, societal levels, and economy. It is obvious that Layland cares deeply about this world and her characters. As their creator, she has breathed life into them in a way that cannot be taken for granted. Her writer’s voice does not falter, conveying a narrative sureness that makes her story seem almost nonfiction. Ansgar and Keholani’s love story and life together are described in realistic terms as well. As readers, we also care about them because their story is something we can believe in.

Ray Simmons

I did not read The Windflower Saga in the correct numerical sequence. I may have even read the last book first. One thing that I do remember, though, is that it is an excellent series. That is why I decided to read the first book now. I know how the series ends and I may as well learn how it begins. I am very glad that I decided to go back and read Ansgar: The Struggle of a People. The Triumph of the Heart. Aleksandra Layland has yet to disappoint me. Each book in The Windflower Saga has been a delight and Ansgar is no exception. It is a fitting start to a wonderful generational saga. It delves deep into why we do things and what is really important without being preachy or coming on too strong. The story always comes first and that is Aleksandra Layland’s strong point

I like the plot. It is simple enough but there are enough layers of complexity woven into it to make it just interesting enough to keep turning the pages. Characters are what make Ansgar really stand out though. Starting with the title character, moving on to the various monks and finally the unusual queen. We are introduced to an array of complex characters, something in which other fantasy tales sometimes fall short. The setting is great. The writing is good, and the various themes are presented very skillfully and artistically. If you are not familiar with the other Windflower Saga novels, this would be an excellent place to start.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

King Bogumil has sent his four sons to oversee various regions of the kingdom. To his youngest son, Ansgar, he assigns the least desirable region, the Southlands. En route, Ansgar’s ship is tossed by a powerful storm, not like any seen before. All are lost, except Ansgar. Though his family believed he was lost too, and he might well have been lost for his time of healing at the monastery on Lomza Island, Duke Ansgar of Kimbria doesn’t even remember who he is, or why he was strapped to the prow of a ship, the only part that survived the terrible storm. Once his memory returns, Ansgar sets out on a dangerous trek across the wasteland that separates him from the royal city. He almost meets his fate again, only to be rescued by a fair maiden. This is only the beginning of Ansgar’s journey, as he sets out to reunite with his family, claim his new love as his life’s partner and settle into the task his father had assigned him. Only, his parents are no longer alive and there is much that needs changing in this world that is not our world in a time that is not ours.

Aleksandra Layland has created another dimension to her ongoing Windflower Saga stories. Ansgar: The Struggle of a People. The Triumph of the Heart, Part I of the Windflower Saga Trilogy leads the reader through the history pages of another world, another time. The plot follows first Ansgar’s life and struggles, and then his daughter, Keridwen, who follows in her father’s footsteps as a strong monarch and leader to make a better life for all the people, not just the wealthy and powerful. It’s a story that follows faith in God, much like many stories, and the characters represent the strong, the weak, the good and the bad. Although this is an abridged version, the book is a strong and powerful reminder of the importance of caring for one another to formulate a strong community and a powerful kingdom. Enchanting, enriching and enjoyable.