Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
Discover how the at-odds Kimbrians and Kimbrii became one people in the epic fantasy saga, The Ansgar Treasury by Aleksandra Layland. As a young man, peace-loving Ansgar has completed his education and is preparing to take his rightful place as Duke of the Southlands in the medieval kingdom of Kimbria. Shortly before he leaves university, Ansgar hears about the Kimbrii, an indigenous people that have all but become extinct due to the overly strict laws of his people. Curious, and full of compassion for the Kimbrii, Ansgar sets out to find the clans that survive. After several painful accidents that leave him nearly dead and almost paralyzed, Ansgar locates the hidden city of Kimbrii. In desperate need of healing and care, Ansgar is stranded, cut off from contact with his family, forced to stay in the secret village. Afraid of how the gentle people will respond to him being a Duke, youngest son of the King, Ansgar keeps his identity hidden, allowing the Kimbrii to believe that he is merely a humble monk. Able to observe the respectful, loving people of Kimbrii, Ansgar finds a home and acceptance. Things become complicated when Ansgar finds himself falling in love with the Kimbrii Clan Chief, Keholani. In a string of surprising events, Ansgar and Keholani are married. Together, they set out to change the ancient, unjust Kimbrian laws against the Kimbrii. Will they succeed? Will they be able to pierce through the prejudices inherited through generations of misinformation and anger?
The Ansgar Treasury by Aleksandra Layland includes Ansgar: Struggle of A People. The Triumph of A Heart, Part I of the Windflower Saga Trilogy and three fascinating novellas, The Feathered Crown, Far Endeavour, and The Three Brothers of Ansgar. Each intricately woven novella introduces a more in-depth character story from sub-characters of the Windflower saga. I was surprised by the quality of writing found in this saga and was impressed with the vivid characters and settings. Although considered fantasy, the romantic subplots intertwined threads of love, excitement, danger, and loss throughout the stories. I enjoyed the Kimbrii way of life; peaceful, compassionate, respectful of all things, and without ego. Reading about the strong character traits of the Kimbrii people, I found myself hopeful for our own future. Similar to the blue people, the Na'vi, in Avatar, the Kimbrii are our future's hope, if used as models. Highly recommended, this beautifully written saga is a must-read for those who enjoy romantic fantasy.