Home / Book Reviews / Review: Song at Dawn by Jean Gill

Review: Song at Dawn by Jean Gill

Historical thriller/love story set in Narbonne just after the Second Crusade. 1150 in Provence, where love and marriage are as divided as Christian and Muslim. On the run from abuse, Estela’s musical talent finds a patron in Alienor of Aquitaine and more than a music tutor in the finst troubadour of the age, Alienor’s Commander of the Guard. Weary of war, Dragonetz los Pros uses Jewish money and Moorish expertise to build that most modern of invntions, a papermill,drawing the wrath of the Church down on his head. Their enemies gather, ready to light the political and religious powder-keg of medieval Narbonne.

Jean Gill’s extensive, caring research for her book Song of Dawn places this novel appropriately into the classification of Historical Novel. The front and back matter provide us with a period map, a list of historical figures appearing in the book, and an impressive list of research sources consulted. That the author is a highly-skilled and respectful researcher is all well and good, but the next question is, can she write fiction? In a word, yes.

Our protagonist’s personality, chief motivations, and obstacles are outlined within the first two pages; two other major characters are outlined and the plot foreshadowed by the end of the first chapter; and the remaining 22 chapters, with the author’s deft one-two punch of complex characters and an even more complex plot, prove this novel a decided “page-turner.”

The plot yields plentiful fodder on the politics of power, both personal and societal; the consequences of religious and ethnic bigotry are explored in depth; we learn that it was once a crime punishable by death to manufacture paper; we receive more than a glimpse of what it might have been like to live in another time period. The mentions of natural remedies and how they were used in the 12th century spice things up, so to speak, and the presence of a big white dog in the lengthy cast of characters doesn’t hurt, either. At 354 pages, a lack of plot is not a concern whatsoever.

It is by way of this intricate plot that Jean Gill extracts payback for time spent on her meticulous research by demanding that her reader pay attention. There isn’t one sentence in this book that doesn’t move the story forward.

Space doesn’t permit commentary on all of the numerous characters in Song at Dawn, but a brief word on the main character, Estela de Matin. Gill inserts into the story something that sets Estela apart from other fictional female characters such as Jane Eyre, i.e., young women who find themselves cast alone into a world controlled by men and stifling social institutions:  Estela wants to be a musical performer. Estela’s desire to develop her talent is arguably her greatest motivation, or at the least equal to, her desire for “true” love and a natural curiosity about sex. In fact, it is in Chapter 1 that Estela must pass an audition in order to literally keep from getting killed. Her beautiful voice saves her.

With its detailed historical setting, a believable, page-turning plot, and memorable characters, Song at Dawn is an enjoyable, interesting read. These elements of successful craftsmanship in place, Jean Gill goes the extra literary mile by using an authentic, consistent narrative voice—a voice I not only trust, but am left wanting to hear again.

I reluctantly give Song at Dawn a rating of 4 of 5 stars. The paperback copy I read contained several commas that should have been periods, a couple of minor typos, a few formatting problems (all at the bottom of the page), and one obvious use of a cliché. If these things have since been fixed, please consider my rating 5-star.



Barnes & Noble



  • http://www.selfpublishingreview.com/members/lelamichael/ Lela Michael

    Dear Ed., the final paragraph is missing, in which I gave my rating. Just emailed you the text.

lexapro gotas 20mg doxycycline 100 mg vartojimas prednisone 20 mg insomnia celebrex dosage mg doxycycline 100mg shqip cipro 500mg ingredients lisinopril 7.5mg lisinopril 40 mg info zithromax 1000 mg iv precio lisinopril 20 mg cheapest zovirax lexapro 10 mg buy 10 mg cialis order viagra men wellbutrin order online kamagra 50mg kaufen zithromax generic substitute viagra generic date buy clomid metformin metformin 500 mg purpose zovirax 200 mg tabletter 800 mg of bactrim kegunaan celebrex 200mg levitra 10 generico cialis black 500mg viagra generic china celebrex generic 200mg buying cialis tijuana posologie doxycycline 100 mg official viagra online cialis 40mg review bactrim 10mg diflucan 150 mg pfizer zoloft online pharmacy cialis 5mg gener prijs levitra 20 mg bactrim 160 mg posologia generic lexapro india nexium 20 mg n3 10mg daily cialis celebrex 100 mg indicaciones lexapro order canada prednisone dogs online viagra generic 25 mg viagra 50 mg opinioni lisinopril 10 mg erectile augmentin 625mg course buy kamagra lonfon online cialis black 25mg viagra reviews wellbutrin generic alternatives generic strattera .80 mg buy levitra malaysia cialis generico buy canadian viagra 150mg lexapro review 5mg celebrex become generic 25 mg clomid trigger viagra authentic online generic zoloft problems prednisone 20 mg watson bactrim de 400 mg viagra 7.5 mg zovirax iv 500mg propecia generic finasteride buy bactrim sulfamethoxazole lexapro 1 mg buy oral nolvadex prednisone genepharm 50mg cheap wellbutrin 180 mg strattera buy real clomid viagra online colombia generic propecia target buy lexapro generic cialis china cheap cialis 5mg 28 tabletten amoxil 500 mg canada cheap viagra online cialis online espana wellbutrin authorized generic nexium 40 mg panvel Online Levitra 20 mg acheter viagra online uk viagra buy wellbutrin generic 300 mg doxycycline 40 mg mr buy zithromax mexico effetto viagra 50 mg zithromax generic name cialis 20mg sa online cialis brand cialis buy uk sublingual cialis 50mg cialis 20 mg generic dosage 40mg cialis buy propecia online tetracycline 1000 mg bactrim 960 mg online viagra ratings lexapro 50 mg dose viagra 20mg price generic cialis nz valtrex 500 mg precio generic viagra warning propranolol 40 mg retard wellbutrin generic a101 10mg lisinopril manufacturers doxycycline 100mg canada posologie valtrex 500 mg generic propecia meinung medikament celebrex 200mg nexium 10 mg results bula lexapro 10mg bactrim forte mg cipro 500 mg days lexapro gotas 10mg viagra 200mg online online viagra online buy prednisone india clomid 75mg twins buy doxycycline onlinemalaysia levitra 5mg purchase 50mg zoloft anxiety cialis online biz generic viagra urdu cialis 20 online orlando cialis 20 mg wirkungsdauer phenergan 25 mg suppository buy zovirax australia nexium 60 mg viagra cheap sale synthroid .15 mg levitra to buy cialis generico pareri kamagra uk online order periactin canada buy Cialis 10 pills buy zithromax online clomiphene generic clomid xenical buy india zovirax medicinale generico lasix 80 mg identification generic viagra safety buy amoxil 1g cialis 20mg malaysia 2013 buying erythromycin online prednisone dogs buy zithromax 500 mg azithromycin harga cialis 20 mg erythromycin 400 mg tablets xenical 120 mg wirkstoff cialis 5 mg two Levitra 120 pills order hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg india augmentin antibiotic 1000mg propecia generic coupons order celebrex 12.5mg clomid viagra 100 ou 50 mg valtrex generic when online purchase viagra augmentin 1000 mg posologia tomar cialis 5 mg viagra 100 mg doses generic equal lexapro online sr wellbutrin lisinopril 5 mg medication cipro online payment cialis 20 mg confezioni generic viagra xlpharmacy order natural viagra buy cytotec manila mexico buy viagra cipro quin 500 mg online viagra bangalore buy viagra 20mg viagra buy montreal lisinopril 10 mg sale cheap viagra 150 synthroid thyroid disorders soft cialis 200mg 5mg cialis forum propecia tablets cheap tab erythromycin 500 mg 10mg nolvadex daily lisinopril 10 mg information safest generic viagra viagra 100 mg prezzi bijsluiter lasix 40 mg lexapro 10mg cheap xenical mail order where buy nolvadex 50 mg clomid ovulation cialis economico online buy lasix cheap prednisone online au cialis 20 mg tabletas buy viagra 100g teva generic metformin 24 hour cialis online gen viagra 150 mg ubat augmentin 625mg doxycycline 20 mg vet wellbutrin generic 75 mg lisinopril qualitest 30 mg nexium highest mg cipro online sale diflucan prospect 150 mg fass cialis 5mg nexium 10 mg indicaciones buy generic priligy phenergan 6.25mg online clinic cialis generic viagra pillen prednisone mg dosage 20 celexa citalopram mg types cialis online lexapro 20 to 30 mg cialis 20mg 4 stk cialis 5 mg wirkungsdauer order viagra sildenafil metformin 2500 mg viagra de 50 mgs nexium 40 mg mexico lexapro generic mexico veterinary doxycycline 100mg cheap cheap viagra generics similar lexapro buy lexapro online 5mg cialis dosage 500 mg wellbutrin cipro 500mg price cialis tadalafil mg cheap cialis safe buy viagra capsules Levitra 10 pills order prednisone withdrawal 5mg bijsluiter xenical 120 mg lisinopril 10 10 mg tab zoloft withdrawal 25 mg levitra online paypal doxycycline 100mg jerawat viagra 150mg topix online rx valtrex lexapro gone generic cialis buy france viagra online glasgow nolvadex tamoxifen 20mg lisinopril 10 mg results tetracycline cap 250 mg augmentin 500 mg generic generic synthroid tablets levitra 10 mg oro buy propecia wholesale kandungan doxycycline 150mg viagra discount cheap erythromycin 20mg nexium 40 mg powder prednisone 10mg pill strattera 80 mg price lexapro 15mg preco lexapro 5mg generic prednisone 20 mg merck review cialis 60mg levitra 10mg experiences buspar 100mg online viagra ireland costco buy strattera buy cialis 2.5mg lexapro generic list diflucan 200 mg pret xenical buy ireland bactrim en generico order propecia pills levitra 10mg english erythromycin filmtab 500mg cheapest wholesale kamagra will nexium generic cialis 10mg erfahrung propranolol 80 mg overdose viagra dosis 25 mg splitting 100mg levitra cialis internet order cialis online articles buying cialis generic cialis online affidabile clomid 50mg forum metformin 500 mg einnahme taking 60 mg prednisone experience 20mg lexapro herb viagra 6800 mg dosis levitra 20mg metformin ranbaxy 850 mg doxycycline 150 mg acne kamagra online india cheapest cialis 5mg dapoxetine 60mg usa erythromycin 200 mg buy levitra noida is hydrochlorothiazide generic buy levitra buy cheaper than viagra 2.5 mg lexapro 4 weeks augmentin tabs 375mg 10mg cialis cost metformin xl 1000mg generic priligy manufacturer oral doxycycline online cipro generic 500mg bactrim buy paypal prednisone 10mg uses doxycycline generic alternative hctz hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg cost cialis 20mg cialis 5 mg precio viagra 25mg sildenfil zoloft mg tablets oral cytotec 200mgmiscarriage generico viagra 2012 buy cialis 40 mg doxycycline biogaran 100 mg 20mg lexapro cheap viagra online at online viagra japan strattera 15mg informacion round generic viagra buy diflucan australia levitra 20 mg werking 400 mg celebrex safe viagra chemist online augmentin 875 125 mg filmtabletten mastercard viagra 150mg generico cialis portugal 40 mg nexium dosage viagra 50mg australia synthroid generic image taking 400 mg zoloft order dapoxetine online metformin 1000 mg xr clomid 50mg tablets 500mg cipro toothache prednisone axapharm 5mg viagra 25mg 50mg generic zoloft cvs 100mg diflucan taking 2 10mg lexapro 200 mg kamagra indien buy cialis direct doxycycline 100 mg 393 packes 250 mg cipro lisinopril 10 mg ratiopharm order cytotec online philippine generic cialis prednisone 10mg online buy levitra qatar prednisone mg tablets 50mg zoloft withdrawal prednisone withdrawal 5 mg buy propecia 5mg buy viagra clock 40 mg levitra online erythromycin 5 mg ointment strattera 50 mg reveiws xenical generic 120mg viagra buy japan levitra 20 mg dosis 5 mg generic cialis wellbutrin 100 mg daily levitra 10 mg tabletta synthroid 0.25 mg tablet cialis real online lisinopril 20 mg bula zoloft 100mg tablet cialis online meds doxycycline 50 mg wikipedia generic viagra discount buy 50 ml viagra order bactrim generic lisinopril tabs cheap viagra jellies viagra btmg augmentin 375 mg tabletta cipro cheap online wirkungsdauer viagra 50mg zithromax 4x 250mg nexium genericpolisz prednisone 80 mgs 200 mg viagra fine buy nolvadex online 2013 buy diflucan express nexium 40 mg uputstvo buy clomid medication order viagra maryland valtrex cheapest melbourne buy levitra buy viagra toilets twins clomid 25mg bactrim 1 mg buy doxycycline hyclate lisinopril splitting 2.5mg viagra online au lexapro 10mg high walmart cialis 5mg buy hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg couper cialis 20 mg 5 gr cheap cialis generic lexapro australia 30 mg lexapro withdrawal viagra online india cialis buy insingapore zovirax 800mg price buy viagra queensland doxycycline 15 mg zoloft 12 mg propranolol migraine 10mg reviews cialis 20 mg cialis tabl.20mg 500mg zithromax dosages xenical vendita online propecia 90 tablets cheap 600 mg wellbutrin overdose generic cialis bulk viagra 50 mg doctissimo generic wellbutrin manufacturers precio celebrex generico order cheap levitra obat clomid 50mg augmentin 875 mg sobres generic metformin manufacturer cialis fass 20 mg generic propecia manufacturers cipro 100 mg im cialis online 40mg nexium 40mg ndc levitra 10 mg funziona strattera de 60 mg quality generic cialis generic lexapro tablets diflucan order online harga metformin 500mg levitra online bahrain online diflucan priligy 30 mg n1 buy cipro antibiotic gel viagra 100mg 600 mg wellbutrin erowid cialis 5 mg review generica viagra levitra 60 pills online online viagra experiment costo diflucan 100 mg strattera 100 mg buy celebrex 100mg buygenuine cialis webmd generic viagra vibramycin 100mg doxycycline levitra sublinguale generico diflucan 50 mg fluconazole price generic viagra buy original kamagra zoloft 15 mg generic alcohol cialis diflucan 1500mg order nolvadex uk pfizer cialis online generic xenical 120 mg strattera 40 mg wirkung generic levitra difference doxycycline generic canada viagra 25 mg order is cialis 100mg cipro 500mg 1a erythromycin 250 mg acne zoloft anxiety 50 mg cialis 5mg efficace kamagra buyers online cialis pills diflucan capsule 100 mg buy prednisone 20 mg fungsi clomid 50mg bulk buy viagra online viagra subscription best buy viagra buy bactrim forum viagra 100mg abgelaufen wellbutrin 300 mg dose 1oomg cialis wholesale 5mg lexapro worked xenical online shopping phenergan im 25 mg tetracycline 100 mg day 15 count 50mg viagra tarifs cialis 10 mg buying viagra free phenergan generic name 20 mg. cialis augmentin 312 mg 5 ml nebenwirkung celebrex 200mg