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.

Links

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

jeangill.com

  • 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.

cheapest kamagra netherlands aquisto viagra generico clomid 100mg chances doxycycline 100mg eyes lexapro generic withdraws ohss 50 mg clomid diflucan online kaufen generic nolvadex online hydrochlorothiazide 12 5mg levitra 20mg longevity nexium pliculete 10 mg cialis 20 mg walmart levitra 20 mg duration tesco cheap viagra buy synthroid levothyroxine lisinopril 10mg medicine .025 mg synthroid cialis 5mg warszawa buy doxycycline walmart viagra 100mg dangerous propecia 5mg online doxycycline 100mg human capsulas celebrex 200 mg valtrex dosage 500 mg apo doxycycline 500mg doxycycline 100mg mekophar reliable online cialis lexapro generic 2011 clomid 50 mg reviews bootleg online cialis xenical 15mg free online cialis diflucan sciroppo 50 mg cialis 20mg cpr4 zovirax cream 30 mg cheap viagra qatar generic doxycycline 50 mg prescription order propecia viagra online australia. online cialis europe cialis 50 mg varmi buy 40 mg cialis buy doxycycline 20mg nexium 40 mg nebenwirkungen buy cialis 36 hr cialis generics cheap cheap cialis 2.5 fedex viagra 10 mg packaging generic name doxycycline borderline personality zoloft augmentin bid 200 28 mg order viagra generic generic kamagra buy viagra generico lasix comprimidos 40 mg augmentin 80mg fertomid generic clomid cyproheptadine generic periactin free cialis online prezzi cialis 10 mg doxycycline online shop 25mg of zoloft kegunaan zithromax 500 mg trust viagra online generic valtrex philippines vaistai nexium 20mg 50 mg zoloft reviews medicinale levitra 10 mg cheapest levitra cialis prednisone pack 4 mg soft cialis online india nexium 40 mg lexapro xl 1000 mg generic wellbutrin 2012 metformin 500 mg fertility bactrim dosage 80 mg propranolol hcl 10mg levitra 10mg 12 lisinopril tabs 20mg generic cialis authenticity online black cialis 250 mg of metformin viagra 100 mg filmtabletta lisinopril 20 mg ratiopharm lexapro online canada weaning 20 mg prednisone propecia canada generic glucophage tablet 500mg cialis online argentina erfahrungsberichte viagra online viagra 100mg safe viagra 100 mg upotreba zithromax 250 mg malaysia zithromax chlamydia 1000mg buy 60 mg nolvadex bactrim ds 800 generic buying viagra toronto 250 mg of phenergan viagra 150 mg dosage buy viagra alternatives take 2 levitra 10mg erythromycin 5oomg prednisone 20 mg qualitest generic cialis 40 cheap brand cheap viagra prednisone 150 mg cialis 5mg libido cialis soft 10 mg cialis 29mg generic for lexapro 2011 temoignage cialis 20mg diflucan capsules 150 mg cipro order nexium 10 mg granulat viagra online gb 50mg vs 100 viagra nexium 20 mg prospecto cheapest lexapro generic cialis 20 online buying cialis 10mg order canadian cialis synthroid buy it glucophage 1000 mg dosis generic cialis soft lasix generic drug cytotec generico funciona celebrex 100 mg price 20mg lisinopril generic viagra benefits phenergan 250mg levitra 10 mg online augmentin 875 mg posologia viagra buy budapest kosten cialis 10 mg ranbaxy viagra 50 mg zoloft lek 100 mg levitra 40 mg online cialis 10 mg buy 500 mg tetracycline dosage clomid 100 mg capsules viagra 25 mg dauer buy pill viagra nexium packets 10mg trustable generic viagra 150 mg red viagra shop online lasix lexapro 5mg efectos augmentin generic price generic viagra craigslist doxycycline 100mg indonesia cialis 25mg paypal viagra professional 50mg kamagra jelly 25mg viagra generic us generic cialis philippines lisinopril 20 mg effects nexium 20 mg esomeprazol cialis order australia glucophage buy cheap buy kamagra delhi cheap cialis sales cialis 40 mg better clomid 50mg pct viagra online stations cialis dosage 40mg cialis 5 mg original phenergan buy online cialis online erfahrungen order cheap diflucan xenical 60 capsules online levitra 20mg berichte mg prednisone buy levitra strips beipackzettel metformin 1000 mg rate lexapro generic levitra 20mg preisvergleich lexapro generic drug wockhardt lisinopril 20 mg get wellbutrin online effetti cialis 5 mg phenergan 25 mg price prednisone 20 mg winthrop prednisone 20 mg arrow 40mg generic cialis cheap viagra store 0.5mg propecia eod zithromax 250mg svenska online nexium cheap buy doxycycline onlinemalaysia wellbutrin generic date buy metformin cheap cialis 20mg canada generic zovirax forum buy lisinopril 2.5 wellbutrin 15mg buy nolvadex dianabol buy zithromax cheap xenical comprar generico lexapro generic hives cialis 20 mg argentina nolvadex tabs cheap acquistare levitra generico lisinopril 10 mg vision bactrim ds 50 mg buy uk clomid cheapest online cialis cheap 200 mg cialis buy celebrex usa online viagra drugs generic cialis tabs dosage zithromax 500mg buy zovirax us clomid nombre generico doxycycline buy australia doxycycline 100 mg tablets cheap authentic cialis lasix 12.5mg cost generic wellbutrin anger buy 25 mg doxycycline fgr 100 viagra mg valtrex stomach disorder viagra generico existe bijsluiter viagra 50mg kamagra generics24 viagra mg 200 lexapro 5 or 10 mg cialis generic purchase lasix pills online buy canadian lexapro cheap viagra 150 mgs viagra pink buy viagra generic 150 mg viagra 8 100mg online viagra baby levitra 5 mg effects doxycycline onlineamerica celebrex 100mg erfahrungsberichte viagra buy here order viagra generic took 2 5mg cialis cheap cialis nz misoprostol cytotec online levitra generic discount purchase zovirax online cytotec 200 mg vidal cipro 500 mg 7 days indikasi celebrex 200mg generic wellbutrin lawsuit cialis generico prospecto cipro 500 mg faydalari 5 mg propecia descriptions priligy 60mg uk nolvadex 10 mg ginecomastia propranolol 40 mg vademecum buy clomid where 5 mg of lisinopril cialis generic prices 50 mg zoloft libido cytotec 200mg prospecto viagra 200mg cheapest kamagra australia buy viagra 50 mg packungsbeilage cialis split 20mg buy zoloft china propranolol 10 mg contraindicaciones prednisone 10mg alcohol coomeva cheap viagra nexium granules backorder levitra dosage generic xenical 500 mg prednisone 20mg direction original viagra online wellbutrin xr 100 mg pfizer diflucan 150 mg cialis prescribtion online cialis 20mg bestellen clomid 150mg follistim cialis de 5mg cialis 100mg order prednisone 50 mg apo wellbutrin sr 75 mg nexium esomeprazol 20mg khasiat metformin 500mg generic 10mg levitra levitra online brand propranolol eg 40 mg buying viagra shops levitra cheapest price cheap gerne cialis erythromycin sale online augmentin 312 mg dosage generic cialis best generic discount levitra xenical 120 mg paraguai doxycycline acne 200 mg cialis generico roma compare cheapest cialis 80 mg lasix iv cialis 2.5 mg sverige levitra 20 mg prospecto phenergan 10 mg lasix 500mg tabs cialis 20 mg yorumlari augmentin 400 mg posologia dapoxetine viagra online buy cialis locally lexapro generic patent buy prednisone 2.5mg cheapest levitra 100 nolvadex uk order 500 mg viagra 50 mg viagra dosage lexapro 5mg success viagra 100mg prix propecia cheaper buy viagra toronto 647 buspar 15 mg medication clomid dose 25 mg azul generico viagra zovirax ointment 15 mg cialis generic safe celebrex 200mg reviews phenergan suppository generic bactrim forte 800 mg Levitra 10 mg Buy generic of lasix prezzo lasix 25 mg levitrabuy levitra online buy viagra portland propranolol 60 mg anxiety cialis 20 mg drunk 36 hour cialis mg generic of xenical cheap legal viagra nexium 20 mg uputstvo priligy 60 mg cialis generico rischi viagra 100mg indien 50 mg zoloft pregnant cialis 20 mg originale cialis tolerance 2.5 mg metformin 500 mg pdf levitra 100 mg vardenafil cialis 30 mg erection nexium 40 mg manipulado 40mg levitra nexium online canadian xenical generico 120 mg cipro 500 mg kullananlar 200 mg celebrex cheapest viagra alternative doxycycline on backorder clomid 50 mg einnahme cialis adderall online prednisone generic buy prednisone 5 mg dog nexium generic brand generic viagra spray online viagra sellers generic propecia for .40 lexapro 20 mg sale clomid twins 100 mg lexapro 15 mg reviews cialis 05mg bula viagra dosage 25 mg levitra 20 mg 30 tb order viagra man cialis spliting 20 mg generic wellbutrin pharmacy buy orodispersible levitra viagra 100mg vaikutus xenical 120 mg seattle dosierung levitra 10mg 100mg viagra street Levitra pill Buy 24 mg prednisone doxycycline monohydrate buy zoloft 50mg dejstvo generic viagra use cheap periactin online generic levitra cialis taking 50 mg clomid generic zovirax sale kamagra cheap nl order celebrex online generic drug cialis viagra online bluff metformin 1000 mg er taking 2 50mg viagra propecia 1 mg 90 tablets 200 mg clomid pcos prednisone 5 mg vaccines doxycycline 50mg review zithromax 500 mg sport lisinopril al 20mg lexapro 10mg depression viagra 100mg satchel viagra cheapest buy kaufen viagra online generic zithromax online bactrim forte 480 mg nolvadex online kopen strattera anxiety disorder augmentin 625 mg tb xenical 120 mg funciona prednisone 5mg alcohol generic kamagra 100mg cipla generic lexapro cheap clomid pills metformin 850 mg prices celebrex 200mg wikipedia cheap kamagra bulk buying viagra ireland lasix 500mg price buy propecia 90 site cheap viagra strattera 60 mg adults existe xenical generico nyari viagra 50mg cipro 500 mg doses zithromax 1000 mg buy teva doxycycline 100mg using 80mg cialis nexium granule generic bactrim 200 mg kamagra online store zithromax bestellen online buy viagra forum buspar 60 mg day cialis 50mg tablets cialis generic walgreens 60 mg prednisone injection prednisone sandoz 20 mg buy generic dapoxetine viagra generic brand generic viagra 150 mg. clomid 50mg kr lisinopril 5 mg walmart valtrex generic otc amoxil 500mg caps medco order cialis buy propecia men buy zithromax 1g pret diflucan 150mg female cialis cheap overseas generic viagra generic zoloft buy wellbutrin generic works zithromax 500 mg dosis wellbutrin generic study propecia athens buy generic cialis cyprus buy 9 zithromax valtrex 1000 mg online buy nolvadex ireland lasix cleaning 20 mg generic viagra manufacturer cialis 5 mg reviews clomid 150 online google viagra 800mg zoloft 50mg bid par generic wellbutrin clomid prescription online levitra generico orosolubile levitra 10 mg 4 st wellbutrin hives generic order cytotec online nexium 40 mg flakon cat 50 mg doxycycline lasix nombre generico viagra 150 mg france augmentin duo 125 mg zithromax pill online buy propecia brazil viagra costs 100mg priligy 60 mg uk online cialis doctor propranolol 10 mg bid propecia buy prescription metformin 1a 1000 mg order cheap cialis Online Levitra 20 mg generic zoloft pregnancy wellbutrin cyclothymic disorder 20 mg daily cialis vendita viagra online diflucan 150 mg ringworm cialis italia online lasix 40mg thuoc 20mg cialis cheap lasix 100 mg viagra generic meltabs nexium 40 mg panvel buying nolvadex pct prednisone 5mg take metformin denk 500 mg zithromax buy cheap cialis 40 mg review nexium capsules online cheap viagra singles