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The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar

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4.24  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  19 reviews
772: Charlemagne’s battles in Saxony have left Leova with nothing but her two children, Deorlaf and Sunwynn. Her beloved husband died in combat. Her faith lies shattered in the ashes of the Irminsul, the Pillar of Heaven. The relatives obligated to defend her and her family instead sell them into slavery.

In Francia, Leova is resolved to protect her son and daughter, even i
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Paperback, 357 pages
Published August 28th 2014 by Fireship Press (first published August 26th 2014)
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4.24  · 
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 ·  34 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Aditi
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The love of a family is life's greatest blessing."
---- Anonymous

Kim Rendfeld, an American author, spun a spectacular historical tale called, The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar , which takes us back to the period when Saxon Wars destructed faith among Saxon pagans and peasants and uprooted millions of families with the war raged on over 30 long years.

Synopsis:
772 AD: Charlemagne’s battles in Saxony have left Leova with nothing but her two children, Deorlaf and Sunwynn. Her beloved husband died in
...more
Tinney
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love it that this book tells the story of a peasant family. I've been reading historical fiction since I was a child, and I've reached the conclusion that the inevitable kings and queens are probably not the people with the most interesting lives, or the most meaningful stories. So this refreshingly original novel struck a chord with me. It's a tale with no shortage of action, danger, and romantic love, but at its heart it is a story of strong family ties and the courage and resourcefulness of ...more
Jessica Knauss
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar brings Kim Rendfeld's painstaking research and sensitive psychological drama to some people we never hear about in the history books. Not only are the main characters the losers in Charlemagne's campaigns, but they also start out in a hardscrabble life and spend most of the book under horrifying conditions of servitude. As in Rendfeld’s first novel, the emotional impact of the story slowly builds to epic proportions as the plot becomes more complex, but it never dips ...more
Stephanie
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I do not believe I have read a fiction book that is set around the time of Charlemagne’s battles or the culture of the time…while this story does not really center on him, this story is centered on a family-a mother and her three children who lost their father- living during that time (who are fictional) and what they were going through. They were free people who were cruelly sold into slavery. Not that there isn’t anything nice about slavery…the fact that it was their own family that sold them ...more
Erin Al-Mehairi
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar takes place in the 8th century, during the Saxon Wars. Charlemagne’s soldiers are destroying villages, as well as they destruct the pagan’s sacred Irminsul (Pillar of Heaven), and he insists that all of them stop praying to their gods and convert to Christianity. Kim always does a tremendous amount of research on her books and her historical detail is accurate and authentic, as well as detailed. Though she writes her prose, and it reads, as a medieval legend or fairy ...more
Casee Marie
Sep 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Faith and family are the basis for Kim Rendfeld’s second novel, The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar. Following up her first release, The Cross and the Dragon, Rendfeld returns her readers to the 8th century in the time of Charlemagne where her story unfolds around the king’s enemies, the Saxons. Leova and her children, son Deorlag and daughter Sunwynn, are left without a home and with a dying faith as Charlemagne’s armies gain victory in Saxony, burning even the Irminsul, known to many Saxons as the Pi ...more
Brandee (un)Conventional Bookworms
The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar is a beautifully written, character-driven story. While the story revolves primarily around Leova and her two children, Rendfeld incorporated a rich cast, which combined with all the historical detail created a compelling and satisfying read.

The story begins with Leova having to flee her home, with her children, when the Franks attack. Once the smoke settles, Leova sees how much has been lost, including her husband. While Saxon tradition requires a blood oath for ven
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D.M. Denton
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the opening of The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar, the ideals of loyalty, love, and honor are challenged by the harsh reality of survival for Leova and her son and daughter. Tragically jolted out of their poor but contented Saxon way of life, the violent interruption to the rhythms and routines of this loving family creates a heartbreaking and harrowing story of bodily, emotional, and spiritual enslavement; but also one of endurance—especially regarding the heart and spirit of Leova. For me, her ...more
DeniseF

The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar is unlike any book I have ever read. I have read the companion novel but while The Cross and the Dragon focuses on the nobility, this book focuses on the regular people, servants and slaves living under the reign of Charlemagne.




Likes: I loved the story. Ms. Rendfeld has done a lot of research and created a wonderful story surrounding a Saxon family as they deal with slavery, heartache and betrayal. I enjoyed reading about everyday life and the issues that people had
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Jo Barton
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
When Leova’s husband is lost in combat during a particularly vicious conflict with Charlemagne’s army, she has no choice but to try to protect her children Deorlaf and Sunwynn by whatever means she has in order to survive. Sold into slavery, Leova watches as her children grow into adulthood, but, life is always complicated for them and there are many obstacles to be overcome.

The story opens in 772AD and steps right into the dark ages of our time when there was little respite from treachery, and
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Jennifer Corkill
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Normally I steer clear of anything during this period because of the sheer barbarism of the era along with the subject matter. Either authors are too technical or don’t put forth the amount of effort needed to make the world feel real. Ms. Rendfeld breaks both molds.

Immediately she creates a tight family unit we immediately care and identify with. Leova is a mother struggling to protect her child after a savage raid by Charlemagne’s men. Everything she has ever known (husband, village, way of li
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James (JD) Dittes
This summer I found myself in Ingelheim, Germany, site of one of Charlemagne's palaces. And in looking for books about Charlemagne, I was lucky to stumble upon Kim Rendfeld's The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar.

It would seem that Rendfeld has a unique area of historical fiction--8th-century France and Germany--all to herself. She is worthy of the era, fashioning interesting insights into the conversion of enemy Saxons to Christianity, and the ways that traditional beliefs stayed with them.

The three pri
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Mirella
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Set in 8th century Europe, The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar is about the Saxon wars and the fight for Christianity. Charlemagne and his army sweep through the country, threatening pagan villages, urging its inhabitants to convert or die. The author does a fantastic job of mixing fiction, lending credibility and interest to this fascinating tale about a rarely written about era.

The author gives the reader a birds-eye view of daily life in the early Middle Ages via a protagonist named Leova who is wid
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Kim Rendfeld
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
What author would give her own work anything less than five stars? Here is why I think you will enjoy this book.

In "The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar," Leova must grapple with why her gods let a holy monument burn and how to protect her children when she’s lost everything—her husband, her home, her faith, even her freedom.

This novel gives readers a little told side of the early Middle Ages. When source documents depict pagans as brutes, treat war captives like war booty, and rarely mention peasants a
...more
Kim Rendfeld
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Of course, an author would say her work is worth five stars. But here is why I think you will enjoy this book.

In "The Ashes of Heaven’s Pillar," Leova must grapple with why her gods let a holy monument burn and how to protect her children when she’s lost everything — her husband, her home, her faith, even her freedom.

This novel gives readers a little told side of the early Middle Ages. When source documents depict pagans as brutes, treat war captives like war booty, and rarely mention peasants a
...more
Jane
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was ok
Very poorly written. Its strong point was about its unusual setting--8th century Saxony and France, with a peasant woman and her children as the main characters, although there were a number of nobility. Characters were not well developed, although the story was a good one. The happy ending seemed a bit contrived, but rounded off the story nicely. I liked the devotion to each other by the family, overcoming obstacles to remain together after they had been sold into slavery.
Emma
VERDICT: Tired of hearing too often of the Tudors? Why not look at historical fiction set in France in the 8th century? Rendfeld’s novel is the perfect book to introduce you to a key period in the formation of Europe. Following Leova’s family, get to know the Franks and the Saxons, and what it was like to live in the shadow of Charlemagne.

see my full review here:
http://wordsandpeace.com/2014/09/01/b...
Helena Schrader
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-ages
Kim Rendfeld offers a truly unusual piece of historical fiction with this unique book. Instead of the 1,001st book about Anne Boleyn or the 505th book about Richard III and Anne Neville, she has tackled a far less familiar period, the late 8th Century AD, and the (for most readers) unknown wars of Charlemagne against the Saxons. Even more exceptional than the choice of period and setting, Rendfeld has chosen to tell her tale from the perspective of a free but peasant land-holder, and — most effe ...more
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Kim Rendfeld has a lifelong fascination with fairy tales and legends, which set her on her quest to write The Cross and the Dragon and The Ashes of Heaven's Pillar.

She grew up in New Jersey and attended Indiana University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English, with a minor in French. If it weren't for feminism, she would be one of those junior high English teachers scarin
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