Thursday, April 10, 2014

G279 E-Reading Book Review of #1 Blind Allegiance by Violetta Rand

Name of Book: Blind Allegiance

Author: Violetta Rand

ISBN/ASIN: B00DMPL5FO

Publisher: Soul mate publishing

Part of a Series: Blind series

Type of book: 1011, 11th century, Vikings, England, ruler, inaccuracies, flirting, romance, adult, dream, fate, religion

Year it was published: 2013

Summary:

She’ll always fight for what she believes in…

Betrayed by a brother she hardly trusted before the bloodthirsty Viking, Jarl Randvior Sigurdsson, attacks her home, Noelle Sinclair is conveniently bartered as a means to save her cowardly sibling’s skin. Forced to leave her homeland and accompany the petulant Viking to the untamed wilderness of central Norway, Noelle is ever-aware of the burgeoning dangers around her—including her weakening resolve to resist Randvior.

Should Noelle surrender to his resplendent charms and seduction, or fight with every ounce of strength she possesses to get home?

Characters:

Noelle is very unconventional and I don't mean it in a good way. She seemed to act like way too much someone from 21st century rather than someone from 11th century. Women usually worked from behind the scenes rather than made themselves be in front of the fire, and for a landed gentry, I think, a protocol has to be followed when it comes to public appearances, or isn't Noelle aware of that? I also was a bit fed up with characters constantly commenting on Noelle being a spitfire and Jarl constantly wanting to, well, ravish or spank her. While I kind of did admire that Jarl was respectful towards women and was different than stereotypes, I honestly had a hard time understanding why he liked Noelle so much. Other characters tended to be very one-sided and somewhat predictable in my view.

Theme:

I have no idea what it should have been

Plot:

Its written in third person narrative from Noelle's and Jarl's points of views. In a way I did like the way it started, although I felt that Noelle was very unconventional for someone who comes from 11th century and not in a good way. In college my major was history, and while I studied history, I also read a ton of fiction before and after I began my major. I recall reading that women should have been familiar with running households because the men were away and women needed to know what to do in any situations. I also thought that the book should have been historical fiction, and by that I mean being accurate in history and what was going on, instead of me wanting to shout at my Sony Reader that this isn't right to the best of my knowledge. I also felt that romance didn't feel really genuine and the characters didn't act like someone from 11th century would when it comes to intimacy.

Author Information:

Opinion:

When I choose this book, I was a bit excited about getting it because I enjoy reading medieval or pre-medieval way of life, and I was curious about the life that would go into it. For a history major, this was a frustrating read because I felt there were tons, and I do means TONS of inaccuracies that I spotted in this short novella. If you are looking for something accurate when it comes to history, please skip the book. If you are looking for something of a fantasy that focuses on romance, then I'm sure this will be more enjoyable. The inaccuracies I spotted there could really fill up a book or two, but to be brief, I doubt that in 11th century the surnames were well used, especially in a year like 1011. Also as well, bathing was looked down on in medieval ages and the clothing was very conservative instead of being sexy and it wasn't very colorful either because during that time people were trying to survive or to have order in their lives to focus on beauty. And colorful and expensive materials came from the East not the West. The Silk Road has long collapsed by 11th century, and only after Crusades which happened closer to 12th century did color permeate England as well as other territories. The romance side was a bit enjoyable, although I do admit that inaccuracies really pulled me out of focusing on it. The book is more of a fun romp through a "what-if" alternative world, and I do wish I was warned about that.

This is for Reading Addiction Virtual Tours

3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

6 comments:

  1. Viking silk trade... (http://www.apollon.uio.no/english/vikings.html)

    Since the Oseberg excavation, silk from the Viking Age has been found in several locations in the Nordic countries. The last finding was made two years ago at Ness in Hamarøy municipality, Nordland county. Other Norwegian findings of silk from the Viking Age include Gokstad in Vestfold county, Sandanger in the Sunnmøre district and Nedre Haugen in Østfold county.

    The highest number of burial sites containing silk from the Viking Age have been found at Birka in the Uppland region, a few miles west of Stockholm.

    – Even though Birka has the highest number of burial sites containing silk, there are no other places where so much and such varied silk has been found in a single burial site as in Oseberg, says Marianne Vedeler to the research magazine Apollon.

    In Oseberg alone, silk from fifteen different textiles, as well as embroideries and tablet-woven silk and wool bands were discovered. Many of the silk pieces had been cut into thin strips and used for articles of clothing. The textiles had been imported, while the tablet-woven bands most likely were made locally from imported silk thread.

    Marianne Vedeler has collected information on silk and its trade in the Nordic countries. She has also studied manuscripts on silk production and trade along the Russian rivers as well as in Byzantium and Persia.

    – When seeing it all in its totality, it’s more logical to assume that most of the silk was purchased in the East, rather than being looted from the British Isles.

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  2. Vikings were considered some of the cleanest guys around...

    (http://www.danishnet.com/info.php/vikings/cleanliness-139.html)

    One needs to remember that most of our accounts of the Vikings come from Christian writers. A Viking writer would not be likely to give an account of the general cleanliness of his people as a whole. The Christian writers were writing about a fearsome group of pagan people who were ravaging Europe. A Christian writer would have strong biased to present the evil pagans in the worst light. To this day it is the writings of these Christians which give us the impression that Vikings were dirty savages. The reality seems to be quite the opposite.

    What we do know from the excavation of Viking burial mounds is that personal grooming tools are some of the most common items found. Items such as razors, tweezers and ear spoons have been found. In fact combs seem to be the most common artefact found from the Viking Age. We also know that the Vikings made a very strong soap which was used not only for bathing, but also for bleaching their hair. Vikings bleached their hair as blond hair was highly sought after in the Viking World.

    We also know from the accounts of the Anglo-Saxons that the Vikings who settled in England were considered to be ‘clean-freaks’, because they would bath once a week. This was at a time when an Anglo-Saxon would only bath once or twice a year. In fact the original meaning of Scandinavian words for Saturday (laurdag / lørdag / lördag) was ‘Washing Day’.

    There are also writings describing the cleanliness of the Vikings in the East. The Arab writer Ibn Rustah comments on their cleanliness.

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  3. Bright colored clothing--dyes used by the Vikings...

    (http://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/vikdyes.html)

    A report on the analysis of 220 samples of Viking Age textiles mentions 90 samples which yielded evidence of dyes. The samples come from Dublin, Jorvík, and 19 sites in Norway and Denmark; the dyes mentioned are

    red from madder or bedstraw; a purple derived from lichens; our mysterious yellow X [from an unidentified plant]; and a colorant identified as indigotin, almost certainly derived from woad. The insect dye kermes has also been found, and luteolin, presumably from weld, but only on imported silks. (Walton 1988b, 17)
    Yellow X is still unknown. Chemical testing has eliminated 25 possible dyestuffs, including weld, broom, buckthorn, heather, chamomile, and saffron (see Walton 1988a for a complete list of dyestuffs tested).

    Blended colors are also represented. Indigotin was used in conjunction with other dyes to produce several purples (with madder) and a green (with the unidentified yellow). Madder and lichen used in conjunction yielded a red-violet result (Walton 1988, 18, figure 9). Some evidence of brown from walnut shells has also been found, as well as one or two pieces that were intentionally dyed very dark brownish-black with walnut shells and iron (Hägg 1984, 289).

    The chemical evidence of textiles from several different sites seems to point to a preponderance of particular colors appearing in particular areas: reds in the Danelaw, purples in Ireland, and blues and greens in Scandinavia proper (Walton 1988, 18). This seeming preference could of course be explained by any number of variables--availability of dyestuffs, the differing site climates, or the sheer vagaries of archaeological discovery. However, although it is carefully hedged, there is a hypothesis in the scientific world that this might possibly reflect regional color preferences rather than archaeochemical factors. It is pleasant to think that this sort of "Viking heraldry" might have been practiced.

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  4. Thanks for hosting Sveta. As with Blind Mercy, its very important for me to clarify the accuracy of the history in my book.

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  5. Viking beauty treatments...

    (http://www.history.com/news/history-lists/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-vikings)

    To conform to their culture’s beauty ideals, brunette Vikings—usually men—would use a strong soap with a high lye content to bleach their hair. In some regions, beards were lightened as well. It’s likely these treatments also helped Vikings with a problem far more prickly and rampant than mousy manes: head lice.

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  6. Thanks for commenting and letting me know the details :)

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