Set in the medieval-like world of Kimbria, "Bind Not the Heart" tells the story of Sister Ermentrude, the Godmother and cousin of Lady Keridwen mentioned briefly in the epic fantasy novel "Of Wisdom and Valor: The Art of War. The Path of Peace." (Part II of the Windflower Saga trilogy).
Ermentrude's family are mixed-race horsemen, descendants of the indigenous Kimbrii people. She and her twin brother Ermen grow up in the quiet setting of Hesket village, riding often to the high mountain meadows where their father keeps their herd, expecting to lead a simple village life. However, their paths will follow very different directions as each decides to do something to uplift the lives of others outside their sheltered and peaceful homeland.
In a heartwarming tale which weaves the early lives of several characters from "Of Wisdom and Valor" together and tells the story of the sweet romance of Lady Keridwen's parents. In this sense, it serves as a prequel t the novel. It also introduces new characters who influenced the lives of Ermen and Ermentrude and depicts the later years of Ermentrude, after she leaves Kimbria. In the end, we learn a great deal more about the capable and courageous Sister Ermentrude and the impact she had on so many lives, especially in her service as a teacher in remote rural schools far from her homeland and her family.
While "Bind Not the Heart" is based on characters in the novel "Of Wisdom and Valor," it can be read alone. It's also available in "The Wisdom and Valor Treasury, A Windflower Saga Collection," which received a Silver Medal in Fantasy Fiction in the 2017 FAPA (Florida Authors and Publishers Association) Book Contest.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)|
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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Bind Not the Heart by Aleksandra Layland is a Windflower Saga novella. Sister Ermentrude has been introduced previously in other Windflower Saga novels, but Bind Not the Heart is her story. As Sister Ermentrude grows up, readers meet her family, friends, and follow her life until her goddaughter Keridwen, Duchess of Ansgar, comes into her care. Layland includes Ermentrude's later years, as well as diving into characters that are seen in Of Wisdom and Valor. Though this is Ermentrude's origin story, it's bigger than just her story as Aleksandra Layland goes into many other characters and tells their stories. Every character and their story has a feel of going in a complete circle, with every thread somehow finding a way to connect back to Ermentrude. Everyone is connected as a few generations are followed throughout a series of years, giving a history of their lives. The characters form a larger family, even if they aren't always entirely aware of their connections. By meeting these other characters, those that influenced her, it shows how she became the person she is. When Ermentrude sees the poverty and conditions of a town she visits, she's so affected by what she sees that she chooses to devote her life to others. Layland doesn't shy away from tragedy and loss, but also finds the beauty and love in each thread of the plot. The place she's from has an idealistic feel that comes off much like a paradise, especially when Bogumil visits his aunt during the festival for the first time. Through his eyes, it's seen as a peaceful and joyful paradise where he meets the love of his life. Bind Not the Heart is full of love and life, as well as tragedy and hardships, in this lovely tale of history, family, and what connects us together.