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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Dawn of Ages is a work of fiction in the historical, intrigue, and interpersonal drama subgenres, and was penned by author Jana Petken. The work is suitable for the general reading audience and is set during the early Middle Ages in Europe. The two central male leads of the story are William, the young Duke of Normandy, and Troy of Lisieux, who saves the duke’s life during a winter storm. When these two characters get together and explore their dark family histories, their desire for revenge bonds them in an unexpected quest. In a Europe deeply divided, William seeks to control by deadly means, and Troy will do anything to reconcile the lies he’s lived with all his life.
Author Jana Petken has a clear commitment to authentic history that runs through this novel and provides the backbone to every sinister and engaging detail of the bloody history of William of Normandy. Balancing artistic license with actual fact in perfect symbiosis, the narration explains and exposes the devious and cut-throat mechanics of royalty and politics in the early Middle Ages without ever overdoing the explanation or feeling like a lecture. The action scenes are rapt with tension, and the dialogue is accessible to modern audiences, but well-balanced to still give an atmospheric sense of olde-worlde parlance and the class divides of the time. I personally enjoyed Troy’s story and his emotional journey immensely. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Dawn of Ages to historical fiction fans looking for a new author to obsess over.