The Year We Lived by Virginia Crow
Book Review - Blog Tour

Publication Date: 10th April 2021
Publisher: Crowvus
Page Length: approx. 118,000 words – approx. 350 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


It is 1074, 8 years after the fateful Battle of Hastings. Lord Henry De Bois is determined to find the secret community of Robert, an Anglo-Saxon thane. Despite his fervour, all his attempts are met with failure.

When he captures Robert’s young sister, Edith, events are set in motion, affecting everyone involved. Edith is forced into a terrible world of cruelty and deceit, but finds friendship there too.

Will Robert ever learn why Henry hates him so much? Will Edith’s new-found friendships be enough to save her from De Bois? And who is the mysterious stranger in the reedbed who can disappear at will?

A gripping historical fiction with an astonishing twist!

My Thoughts

Robert of the Hall, an Anglo-Saxon thane, has kept his community safely hidden from the Norman Lord Henry de Bois. He knows that de Bois hates him and will use any means available to destroy him and his people.

Edith, Robert's younger sister, is warned of the dangers of leaving the village unescorted, but she hates to be confined indoors and promises to be careful. When the Yuletide log is in danger of burning out before time, to avert bad luck Edith goes to harvest damp reeds to slow down the burning. At the reedbed she meets a strange young man, who has the unsettling ability to appear and disappear at will. Robert allows the friendship to continue, but when Edith fails to return from a visit, he believes the young man is responsible. Later he discovers that what he feared the most has happened: Edith has been kidnapped by Henry de Bois.

Edith suffers terribly at the hands of de Bois, who regards all Saxons as savages. Abused, ridiculed and confined, with every move watched, Edith's life at the garrison is very different from the freedom she enjoyed at the Hall. Visits from a robin keep her connected to the world beyond the garrison's walls, but does not allay her fears of what the future will bring. While she waits to be rescued by Robert and his men, Edith must survive the best way she can. Time spent in de Bois' garrison reveals more about the man and the uneasy relationship he has with his older brother, Philip, a bishop, and the nameless fool, who possesses an uncanny ability to expose Edith's innermost thoughts and secrets.

The Year We Lived blends medieval folklore and superstition with an unforgettable tale of love, loyalty, sacrifice, acceptance and betrayal that can only be described as a page turner.

The twist at the end was indeed astonishing. I admit to missing all the hints, but applaud how cleverly they were disguised, which made that final revelation totally unexpected.

Another great read from Virginia Crow. One I recommend. Much.

Where to Purchase

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Meet the Author

Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her newly-published book "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!

When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music, and obtained her MLitt in "History of the Highlands and Islands" last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John O'Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.

She now lives in the far flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches. She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.

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  1. Wow! Thank you so much for this fantastic review! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the book - and the twist - so much!

    1. A great story. And that twist - brilliantly done!

  2. Thank you for hosting today's blog tour stop!