The Cold Light of Dawn

The King's Greatest Enemy #4

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
403 Pages
Reviewed on 05/17/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite

The Cold Light of Dawn by Anna Belfrage is set in the period following the crushing of the rebellion led by Henry of Lancaster in 1329, and a semblance of peace seems to settle on the land. But the young king, Edward III, doesn’t find it easy as both Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella show no sign of relinquishing their power. Adam de Guirande, a man who has grown into who he is now under the auspices of Mortimer, finds himself in a terrible dilemma. To whom should he give his loyalty: to the king whom he is bound to serve by duty or to the man whom he’s grown to love as a master? The Cold Light of Dawn explores this conflict against the backdrop of a powerful royal and historical setting as the reader follows the story of a man caught up in the crossfire. But can he fulfill his duties to the king without breaking the bond with his master?

If you don’t expect a thoughtful and insightful historical thriller, you’ll be blown away by the intensity of the action and the emotional depth of The Cold Light of Dawn, the fourth book in The King’s Greatest Enemy series by Anna Belfrage. The reader easily sinks into the world of the story, reliving historical drama and getting entangled with compelling characters, swept along by the wonderful currents of a cunning plot and the intrigue. Anna Belfrage writes with wisdom and unusual clarity, enriching her prose with vivid descriptions and dialogues that reflect the style and manner of the period against which her story is set. The characters are filled with life, well-fleshed out, and utterly interesting. Here is a rare book in which the classic game of power is shown to advantage; a very satisfactory read.

Deborah Lloyd

Adam de Guirande and his beautiful wife, Kit, serve in the fourteenth century royal court of King Edward III and Queen Philippa. The royal couple are still adolescents, aged 17 and 15 years old, and they are anxious to have their rightful power, and to begin a family. Presently, Edward's power is shared by his mother, Queen Isabella, and her companion and lover, Lord Roger Mortimer. While Adam supports his king, and suffers injuries to protect him, he also has an allegiance to Mortimer. Much intrigue, complicated relationships and betrayals form an engaging plot in the historical novel, The Cold Light of Dawn: The King’s Greatest Enemy #4, written by Anna Belfrage. Adam and Kit are intricately involved in the politics of the royal family, including travel within England and to foreign countries, leaving the care of their young children and their farm in the hands of hired caretakers, and attending to the demands and whims of the king and queen.

This fictional historical work is skillfully written. Ms. Belfrage uses just enough words and phrases from this time period to give the story authenticity. Yet, there is enough familiar language so that the book is a smooth and easy read. There are many characters in the book. As the author develops each character, in both narrative form and dialogue, the reader gains an accurate understanding of each one’s personality and motivation – whether it is supportive, or destructive. Anna Belfrage proves herself to be an accomplished author in The Cold Light of Dawn. While this book is the fourth in a series, it is a strong work on its own – although any reader will want to know how all these characters interacted in earlier books. An excellent read!

Ray Simmons

I love history. The culture or nationality is not so important. I like Greek history, Hebrew history, Roman history, Mongol history, Chinese history, and a whole bunch more that I don't have room to mention here. I have read good stories, and bad, from just about every ethnic group or nation on the planet. One of my favorites is good old English history. I think it is fascinating. I think the War of the Roses is the epitome of internecine strife, and nothing symbolizes it like the houses of Lancaster and York. I started reading about this epic struggle when I was a boy. It fascinated me then, and it fascinates me now. That is one reason I love The Cold Light of Dawn: The King's Greatest Enemy #4 by Anna Belfrage. I know these characters. They are old friends.

Anna Belfrage has really outdone herself with book 4, The Cold Light of Dawn. The greatest attraction of an historical novel for me is its portrayal of historical characters. Some of these characters are so well known to us sometimes that they have almost become a cliché. It gets boring when every writer follows the expected portrayal. But when someone decides to go down a slightly different path, as Anna Belfrage does in The Cold Light of Dawn, I find it an exciting breath of fresh air. I liked these characters, I liked the plots and personality conflicts. Though I knew how the story turns out in the history books, this novel still managed to surprise me.