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The Angel and the Sword

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  105 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In the dark and bloody days of the Ninth Century, a courageous young woman took the guise of a gallant warrior to preserve the precious legacy of the past, and protect her people from destruction. Here is a bold retelling of one of Europe's greatest sagas, by one of the world's most acclaimed historical novelists.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 6th 2001 by Tom Doherty Associates (first published December 1st 2000)
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Clay Kallam
Dec 16, 2015 Clay Kallam rated it it was ok
When I stumbled across "The Angel and the Sword," I was more than pleased -- a Cecelia Holland book I hadn't read is generally something to celebrate.

Sadly, not this time. "The Angel and the Sword" is one of her weakest efforts, and I'm a huge Cecelia Holland fan. Perhaps not coincidentally, the book also marks what I believe is her first venture into magical realism, which she incorporated in the Corban Loosestrife series to excellent effect. In this case, though, the book sputtered and stagger
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Phoebe
Jan 16, 2010 Phoebe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nanci
Spanish Princess Ragny is on the run for her life when her mother dies, and her appalling father locks her in a tower and intends to marry her himself to gain the kingdom. Dressed as a man, she and her father's former sergeant flee over the mountains to Francia, and join the fight against the Northmen (Vikings) who are intent upon taking Paris. The current king is the grandson of Emperor Charlemagne and lives everyday with that glorious shadow hanging over him. Ragny, now Roderick the beardless, ...more
Penny
Dec 22, 2009 Penny rated it liked it
This is my second try with this author. I am glad I gave this author a second chance; I like everything better. The story was more interesting and I "got" the authors style, which has been described as terse and stripped down. I found the action sequences a little boring ( skimmed them) but where the author shines and captures you is in the illustration of Ragny/Roderick, her faith, and her struggles.
Della Vance
Oct 23, 2009 Della Vance rated it it was amazing
The best Cecelia Holland book yet! She is an amazing Historian who puts you in the time she is writing about. This is the story of Historical figure Roderick the Beardless, ninth century warrior who took on the Vikings for France's King Charles the Bald. No one does history better than Cecilia Holland. A terrific book.
Barbara MacRobie
Nov 27, 2015 Barbara MacRobie rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, from the riveting opening sentence to the final paragraph that literally sent shivers of wonder down my spine. Ragny is a splendid hero —intelligent, moral, and brave, yet flawed and human. The secondary characters are all fully drawn and interesting. The story manages to combine the gritty reality of 9th-century life with a brooding aura of mystery and myth. This is a world where spiritual powers are real. Holland’s style is spare and elegant yet shines with hard-edged, jewel ...more
Kayla
Mar 21, 2013 Kayla rated it it was amazing
Oh, how I loved this book. It was everything I love most in a book. Royal historical fiction taking place in Europe with an insanely strong female character making a place for herself in a world where only men hold the power. I loved Ragny and how entirely good and brave she was. I loved the symbolism and references to the angel so obviously protecting her. This was such a quick read and I absolutely loved it all!
I did not like Seffrid; well, I liked him until he met Erma. I still wish Roderick
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Megan
Interesting, but not great. Some of the secondary characters make up for the flat major personalities.
Sabrina
Aug 24, 2015 Sabrina rated it liked it
Not one of the better Holland books IMO. I loved the majority of it until we reached the wedding. That seemed too strange to swallow and I thought the ending abrupt.

Before all that though, I really enjoyed it.
Paul
Jan 08, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, 2011
This was an excellent book. She pulls you right in and does a wonderful job describing the inner termoil going on within Ragny/Roderick. It made me want to go look up the history of these people. If we could give half stars this would get 4 1/2.
Donie Nelson
Oct 03, 2015 Donie Nelson rated it liked it
Very slight, lacks sense of reality
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Pen name used by Elizabeth Eliot Carter.

Cecelia Holland is one of the world's most highly acclaimed and respected historical novelists, ranked by many alongside other giants in that field such as Mary Renault and Larry McMurtry. Over the span of her thirty year career, she's written almost thirty historical novels, including The Firedrake, Rakessy, Two Ravens, Ghost on the Steppe, Death of Attila,
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