Dark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2) by Mark Noce

Dark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2)

Mark Noce returns with his second book about the Braveheart-like Queen Branwen in this epic historical series set in Medieval Wales.Set in a time and era in which very little reliable written records or archeological remains have survived, Mark Noce bases his novel on primary sources such as St. Gildas (a Welsh cleric of the era), mythology from the Welsh Mabinogion, and Arthurian literature from Malory to T.H. White. Although the characters and ...

Details Dark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2)

TitleDark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2)
Release DateDec 5th, 2017
PublisherSt. Martin's Press
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Reviews Dark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2)

  • Carrie
    Dark Winds Rising by Mark Noce is the second book in the Queen Branwen series. In the first book Lady Branwen's father had promised her hand in marriage to the Hammer King to unite their divided kingdoms. However, after Lady Branwen met her new King and left her home with him she immediately found herself the target of multiple assassination attempts. Lady Branwen was not one to sit by and become the property of a man and with her life in danger ...
  • Laine Cunningham
    Finally, finally, the wait is over! You can–if you haven’t already–get a copy of Dark Winds Rising, the second in the epic historical series about a Welsh queen who stepped into her power in order to help her people.The first book in the series is Between Two Fires. That work shows Queen Branwen’s strength of intellect and the strength of her heart as she accepts that the man she married is not her true love.Now, in Dark Winds Rising, she...
  • Debbie
    DARK WINDS RISINGMarc NoceNoce’s Dark Winds Rising is a sequel to Between Two Fires and continues the story of Queen Branwen and King Artagan. It’s an epic love story and a tale of wars and peace featuring the beautiful unblemished Wales landscape and the brutality of the time period. The combination of Christian and pagan practices, the characters reverence of the Arthurian legend plus the factual Welsh places and history mixed with the myth...
  • Gaele
    When I read the first in this series, Between Two Fires, I was instantly hit with a ton of ‘never have I ever” – an historic written in first person, a tale based in medieval Wales, and the action packed events, laden with a magical almost mystic feel. Perfectly ready to join Branwen’s journey again, we pick up in 597, just seven years after the first. In this story, unlike the first, there is a solid romance thread in the background, as ...
  • Christina
    I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.This was a pretty good follow up to Between Two Fires. This time around Queen Branwen is pregnant and fighting. In short, the story is someone is threatening her baby boy and her lands so its time for her to step up and save the day. There is definitely a women empowerment feel to the entire story, with women basically solving problems/fighting/kicking butt and taking names while their ma...
  • Cherie
    All the kingdoms of Wales are threatened when the Picts arrive in Mark Noce's Dark Winds Rising. Set several years after Between Two Fires, this novel follows Queen Branwen as she seeks to keep peace within her kingdom and her surrounding neighbors. The cunning and passionate Branwen matures throughout this story as she faces Queen Sab's sinister plot, which kept me guessing until the end. Noce makes the late 600s Wales come to life. I do hope th...
  • Carol Kilgore
    I fell in love with Branwen in the first book of this series, and after reading Dark Winds Rising, I've added respect. She very much has grown into her role as Queen of the Free Cantrefs. There's something for every reader here--a solid love story, mystery, suspense, history, action and adventure. Team Branwen is a winner! I was given an ARC of this book by the author, but the opinions stated here are my own.
  • Wendy
    Set against the historical backdrop of Medieval Wales in 602 A.D., Mark Noce’s second novel in the Queen Branwen series “Dark Winds Rising” opens with a tournament at Aranrhod Castle to build friendships and alliances with other Welsh rulers to break the prevailing atmosphere of mistrust. But Queen Branwen and King Artagan’s best intentions are soon thwarted with an assault on their young son’s life; Dun Dyfed’s fall to the Picts; and...
  • Claire
    I received Dark Winds Rising as part of a Goodreads giveaway.The second installment in the life of Queen Branwen, a Welsh queen who rules the central kingdom of alongside her beloved husband with her husband Artigan in the early 7th century. The mother of a young toddler and expecting a second child, Branwen and Artigan exist the uneasy peace between the Welsh kingdoms is broken with the invasion of the fearsome Picts from the north. The gravity ...
  • John Szalasny
    I received an advanced uncorrected proof copy through Goodreads,The second installment of the Queen Branwen series finds her birthland of Dun Dyfed overrun by the bogeymen of her day, the Picts. The same Picts who could not be subjugated by the Romans. The same Picts who dyed their skins blue, giving them (and their tattoos) an unworldly appearance. Branwen convinces her husband, Artigan, to send armed aid when heralds arrive to announce the fall...
  • Christine Rains
    The peace never holds in Medieval Wales. Queen Branwen has recently helped drive away the Saxons, and now the Picts have set their sights on Wales. Fierce and deadly, the Picts strike fear in the hearts of many. When her childhood home is taken by the raiders, Branwen attempts to get the kingdoms in Wales to unite and fight against them, but there is still bad blood among the Welsh. Her young son is dogged by an assassin. She must not only protec...
  • Meredith
    4.5 Stars. Character focused historical story that is easy to relate too. This is the 2nd in the Queen Branwen series, and the first that I have read. I instantly fell in love with the characters, and had no problem picking up the story with out reading the first novel. I got so caught up in the story that I read every chance I could get. This was a well paced, very enjoyable book.The story takes place in Wales in 602 A.D. and has Queen Branwen s...
  • Elizabeth Seckman
    An amazing follow up to the first book. I may have liked this story more, but only by a hair. Queen Branwen is no longer a girl. She is a woman who has found her strength- mostly in the ties to the matriarchs of the old tribes whose blood flows hot in her veins. She is a queen and a mother, and she will do anything to save the child she has and the one she is carrying as well as her people. Peace is broken when the barbaric Picts arrive on Britai...
  • Linda Epach
    While Mark Noce’s “Dark Winds Rising” may have been the second book in the Queen Branwen series, it was written as a strong enough standalone novel that it can be read on its own, yet also leaves you wanting to read book one and hoping for a book three. It tells the story of a Welsh queen who rules the central kingdom with her husband Artigan in the early 7th century. The peace among the Welsh Kingdoms is tenuous when the Picts invade and B...
  • Anne
    I did like this book, however I hadn't read the first title "Between Two Fires". Therefore some of the past relationships of Queen Branwen were a bit difficult for me to follow. I enjoy this novel because of intensity of the plot. One of my favorite parts of the novel was the use of the assassin using a crossbow. The overall story was engaging and I hope to read the third installment. It was interesting how Noce used older diction words such as "...
  • Dee
    Thank you to netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this title ahead of time.Dark Winds rising is a continuation of Queen Branwen's story in Wales protecting her kingdom from the Saxons. Unfortunately she has to deal with the Picts invading her land as well and trying to survive both parties whilst pregnant. Queen Branwen is a great strong female protagonist who loves her country and consistently fights for her people's freedom. She ...
  • Debra Jeakins
    DARK WINDS RISING (QUEEN BRANWEN #2) BY MARK NOCE is the second in the series of historical fiction set in Wales. I found the book hard to put down until the very end as it is so moving, so fast paced and loaded with battles not only on the field but off, not only between friend and foe but husband and wife! Mr Noce took me straight back to a time where men fought the battles and women, especially queens, sat around doing nothing, but not in quee...
  • James
    While this book is the second in the series, it can easily be read as a stand alone.Set at the start of the 7th century in Wales, the story revolves around Queen Branwen. The Queen & her husband King Artagan face the constant threat of war with their fellow Welshmen of the surrounding kingdoms as well as from the Saxons to the East, but now a new threat has arrived from the North; the Picts, lead by the deceptive Queen Sab.Author Mark Noce was ab...
  • Susan Chow-Dukhan
    The continuing story of a medieval Welsh warrior queen, Branwen Mab Ceridwen. She faces adversity with strength of character displayed by the women in Antonia Fraser's Warrior Queens. Women who have both ruled and led in war. While the actions of male rulers may have been motivated by a desire to increase power through accumulation of land, the majority of women warrior queens appear to have been motivated by the welfare of their people, protecti...
  • Kathleen Gray
    How did I miss the first book?! Holy cow- this is for fans of carefully researched historical fiction. Medieval Wales! This wonderfully written book reminded me of the early fiction of Morgan Llywelyn (yes, her books are set in Ireland but go with it.). Queen Branwen is dealing with a lot of issues- war, treachery, a husband (King Artagan) and she's only 21. Wow. She's a heroine for our times as well. This blends history and myth in a seamless an...
  • Barbara Senteney
    Historical romance from the year 602 AD. Centering around the Welsh civil war.Queen Branwen is carrying a child, but has had many miscarriages. the doctors said another time would probably be the death of her. She has only brought one pregnancy to term, resulting in a son and heir to the throne. Pictish raiders are at her shores, assassins dog the heels of her only child, attempts are mad on his life. The Pictish Queen has all the Welsh people at...
  • Sherry Ellis
    In this second book of the Queen Branwen series, the Welsh queen once again finds herself defending her birth-land, Dun Dyfed. This time it's from the barbarian Picts. Queen Branwen must outsmart the cunning Pictish Queen Sab in order to save her kingdom and her young son.Dark Winds Rising is a historical novel that takes place in 602 AD. Author, Mark Noce, does an excellent job of bringing this turbulent period to life. His vivid descriptions, w...
  • Cathrina Constantine
    A truly amazing story!I hadn't had the pleasure of reading Mark Noce's first installment, Between Two Fires. However, Dark Winds Rising (Queen Branwen #2) can stand on its own. Mr. Noce had captured my full attention on page one of Dark Winds Rising. His picturesque and enthralling writing is outstanding. I can only imagine the hours and hours of research that went into this engrossing novel.Dark Winds Rising read like an excellent and intriguing...
  • Shannon Lawrence
    I received an advance uncorrected proof via a giveaway with no request for a review in return. (But I'm going to review it anyway!)A tense followup to the first Queen Branwen book, this one included more references to magic than I recall from the first book, and I enjoyed the addition. Branwen faces an unwielding and mysterious foe in the Pict queen, with mystical properties, a murderer stalking her child, kingdoms in rebellion, and mysteries all...
  • Benjamin Bookman
    This book wasn’t as good as the first in the series (or maybe it was just too similar to feel like it was a unique and worthwhile addition). I didn’t enjoy the forced “mysteries” at all - just tell us the plan - and the repetitiveness just got so old. I also was really irked by the timing aspect of the “plague” as it is completely implausible timing in multiple ways. I do enjoy the history in terms of setting, and there are likeable c...
  • Alicia
    Book 2 of Branwen's story is just as good as the first, if not better. I love the characters in these stories, especially Branwen. The story is fast paced and entertaining throughout, and even though nothing is even close to what life is like today you can still relate to the characters and their choices. I also really enjoy the time period that these books take place in, it is really fascinating and is not often visited in stories. I would defin...
  • Kokie
    This fast paced novel was hard to put down as it brought an ancient time to life. I found myself quickly enthralled with Branwen's mind and the constant action brought on by two invading forces on top of already tense relations between the factions within Whales. I won this book as part of a GoodReads giveaway, but I will be seeking out the first in the series. The characters, the relationships, and the sheer cunning that moves this book forward ...
  • Jackie Rogers
    This novel takes place in Medieval Wales. Is about Queen Branwen. Is full of adventure and battle. Is historical fiction. Really liked this story and its characters. Queen Branwen is married to Artagan. They rule together and the King does not reject any of his wife's advice. Found this novel funny in parts and sad in parts. Am anxious to read the first book in this series. If you like fantasy you will like this book. Thanks to Goodreads.
  • Tammy Theriault
    Mark definitely is a fantastic storyteller, with inflections on even the smallest of characters or settings. The story is rich, and reminded me so much of Bernard Cornell's writing. Branwen was a warrior invested in her family and kingdom, willing to risk so much to fight and protect them. Those who love to dig deep and see more than just a simple story will love this Welsh fiction.
  • nikkia neil
    Thanks St. Martin's Press and netgalley for this ARC.Fierce, bloody, and off the charts awesome! Mark Noce's gift for creating this mystic, pagan, and majestic series has made me a fan for life.