Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace. Abridged Edition

Part II of The Windflower Saga Trilogy

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
420 Pages
Reviewed on 11/21/2018
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 K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace. Abridged Edition is a work of epic fantasy fiction written by author Aleksandra Layland, and forms Part Two of The Windflower Saga Trilogy. In this new abridged edition of the once-epic tale, we return to the pseudo medieval land of Kimbria where the standard of living, ethics and morality has certainly declined. Corruption is rife amongst the high born members of the Royal Council, and the people demand a monarch. The council obliges by appointing the young Duchess of Ansgar as their Queen. But an arranged marriage for the Duchess threatens her likelihood of ever seeing the throne, and as corruption continues, war brews on the horizon.

Having read the original Of Wisdom and Valor, I am delighted to see this streamlined version hitting the shelves. The original was an excellent drama but did take a truly committed reader to get through, whereas this simplified version gives the excellent core plot and character dynamics without overwhelming readers with the extended mythology of the kingdom of Kimbria. I think first time readers will enjoy the struggles that the central characters go through to try to defeat the corrupting forces of the Royal Council, and all the most exciting and dramatic scenes have been brought to the fore to increase the pace of this exciting fantasy work. Overall, I believe Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace. Abridged Edition stands author Aleksandra Layland in good stead with a whole new generation of fantasy fans.

Romuald Dzemo

Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace is part two of The Windflower Saga Trilogy by Aleksandra Layland, an epic fantasy with powerful plot lines and believable characters. This is a story with strong political themes, one that reflects the game of power and how political leaders can manipulate the will of the people and use lies, intrigue, and machinations to deceive the people and keep them in ignorance and misery.

Kimbria is plunged into misery, thanks to the very few who hold her destiny hostage. The people live in abject poverty and the days of glory are long gone. The people want the Royal Council to be replaced. Their only hope is in a woman, the young Duchess of Ansgar who has spent the last twenty years in a convent. When the Royal Council decides to make her Queen and give her to a powerful warlord, it is not with the best intentions. In fact, they don’t plan for her to ever rule as Queen. But she has her own plans and what follows are surprises that both readers and characters in the story won’t see coming.

Aleksandra Layland is a good storyteller and I enjoyed her unique sense of world building and the deft handling of conflict. She doesn’t just make readers care about her characters but succeeds in making them want to see what becomes of a people. The descriptions are vivid and even though the setting is imaginary, the writing leaves vivid images in the minds of readers. Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace is ingeniously plotted and written with skill, an entertaining narrative that will appeal to fans of epic fantasy.

Peggy Jo Wipf

Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace is a continuation of The Windflower Saga. This novel is the second in the trilogy by Aleksandra Layland, which could stand as a standalone story. Layland has written several novellas which give a clearer vision of the descendants of Duke Ansgar and his indigenous wife, Keholani. This novel focuses on Duchess Keridwen and her husband, Leofric the Longsword. He is a warlord commissioned to marry the young, inexperienced Queen of Kimbria. She has grown up in a convent, but is educated in all things to help her rule if they chose her. The Royal Council just wants a figurehead while they dictate and manipulate the people. Together, Leofric and Keridwen become a force the Royal Council didn’t anticipate. Their love and resources allow them to give back to their people and turn the tide for a new beginning of rulers.

Aleksandra Layland describes her characters well, giving Of Wisdom and Valor an edge and endearing the characters to the reader. The challenges Leofric and Keridwen face take the reader to another world where rulers need both brute force and intelligence to gain the respect of their people. The author has built a world around this family and the reader feels compelled to read each of their lives and the different directions they take. I would recommend this novel to anyone who loves historical romance, but the added books about the family are a definite plus in my eyes.

Pikasho Deka

Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace is Part II of The Windflower Saga trilogy by author Aleksandra Layland. It's an epic romance novel set in the fictional kingdom of Kimbria. Lord Leofric Longsword is a mercenary hired by the Royal Council to act as the Warlord of Kimbria to deter neighboring states from declaring war on it. Accompanied by his trusted Lieutenant Wulfgar, Leofric travels to Whitehaven on the Council's orders to crown the Duchess of Ansgar, Lady Keridwen, Queen and take her hand in marriage. Keridwen soon charms her way into Leofric's heart, and they both fall in love. But the Royal Council have plans of their own as they threaten to shake the foundations of Leofric and Keridwen's relationship.

Of Wisdom and Valor is a well-written fantasy epic that seems set to worm its way into the hearts of fans of both fantasy and romance. Riding on the backdrop of a love story between two star-crossed lovers, author Aleksandra Layland's story is tragic, heartwarming, brutal, and poignant in equal measure. The characters have well-thought-out arcs and layers of depth. I was deeply enamored by the worldbuilding and the depth of lore provided by Layland. The ambiance created by the narrative takes the reader straight into a medieval world, which makes for an immersive reading experience. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and I would highly recommend it to fans of medieval fantasy worlds and romance.