Books by Rebecca Barnhouse

PEACEWEAVER by Rebecca Barnhouse
Released: March 27, 2012

"Although it depends not a whit on the previous book, it may well drive new readers to it, so they can spend more time in this fascinating, distant place. (Historical fantasy. 12-16)"
The author of the Beowulf-inspired The Coming of the Dragon (2010) returns to sixth-century Scandinavia to tell the story of one of its minor characters. Read full book review >
THE COMING OF THE DRAGON by Rebecca Barnhouse
Released: Oct. 26, 2010

Shaping her novel around the last part of Beowulf, Barnhouse ponders the question of good leadership in a violent age. When the infant Rune washes up on the shores of Geatland, many see him as cursed, but the aging King Beowulf spares him and places him in the care of Amma, a wisewoman, who raises him with the ancient lays. When the dragon of the poem lays waste to the countryside and kills many, including Amma and much of the guard that are not off defending against the ever-threatening Shylfings, the now-teenage Rune seeks to prove himself and avenge Amma. In a gutsy move, the author locates the climactic battle with the dragon in the center of the novel, forcing Rune and the Geats to cope with life in a post-Beowulf world and imagine new paths to prosperity. Much of this part of the narrative and the characterization seem more informed by 21st-century sensibilities than ancient Scandinavian ones, but within the framework of the likable Rune's coming of age it works, providing readers with much food for thought—and some hope. (author's note, pronunciation guide) (Fiction. 10-14)Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 27, 2009

In the author's note that follows Barnhouse's absorbing novel, readers learn that it was based on the first autobiography ever written in English, a woman's account of a pilgrimage from England to Rome in the 15th century. The author became fascinated by the woman's maidservant, who was inexplicably maligned by her mistress, and decided to retell the story from the domestic's perspective. Readers of this lively first-person tale, packed with fascinating historical detail, will be glad that she did. Maidservant Johanna is an engaging lass, hardworking and ingenious, who serves a mistress so pious yet uncharitable that she seems unhinged to modern eyes. In the course of Johanna's adventure, she comes to terms with the emotionally difficult familial circumstance that surround her indenture. But the heart of the story is the pilgrimage, a dangerous journey filled with privation and hardship, one that opens Johanna's eyes to a wider world and challenges her to grow in competence and stature. (Historical fiction. 10-13)Read full book review >