A while ago, I read a nicely written short story by K M Weiland, so I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity to receive a free copy of Behold The Dawn in exchange for an honest review. What I didn’t pay attention to before grabbing it was that it’s marked as a Christian book. I was looking forward to reading something set during the time of King Richard’s crusade, but I’m not a Christian. I seldom enjoy Christian literature because it is often more intent on converting me than entertaining or educating me.
I was pleasantly surprised when I ended up really enjoying the book. It kept usurping the place of the other four or so books I’m reading. While the main conflict of the book is an internal one between a man and his god, there was an action-packed story framed around that conflict, and the book didn’t preach.
The protagonist, Marcus Annan, is a well-drawn character with a way of thinking and a need for forgiveness that fits well with history. The bodies needed to feed the fire of the Crusades were often supplied by men seeking a guarantee of absolution of their sins.
Throughout, the book rolled right along with lots of action inter-cut with romance. The characters were well-developed with believable villains, and the author included a less serious sidekick (Marek) who served the story well by providing a much-needed break from the grim reality of the story.
It is important to note that Behold The Dawn is not Historical Literary Fiction but *Historical* and *Romance* in approximately equal measure. The aspect I enjoyed the most was the fast-paced action that wrapped around the elements. Be aware of what you’re getting, and you should also be satisfied with this book.
Because this is clearly genre fiction and not for the reader of the “serious” historical novel, I have no problem giving the book a 4.25 star rating against other books in the genre. What keeps it from being a five star for me is that the author’s formula sometimes shows through just a little too much, most notably in the romance portions of the book. However, if you like Romance novels, that would obviously be a bonus. Additionally, some of the story elements were a little too predictable.
I recommend this book for people who enjoy Historical Romance or Historical Action / Adventure with romantic elements. You can purchase a copy of the novel from Amazon.com