Daughter Of The Sunset Isles
- Author: Dinah Dean
- Publisher: Barrie and Jenkins
- Year: 1991
- Setting: England/Denmark/Russia 1060-76
Dust jacket inside front cover:
Gytha is the daughter of ill-fated Harold Godwinsson, elected King of England only to suffer defeat and death at the hands of William the Conqueror. Her youngest brother Ulf is taken to France; her mother Edith becomes ill and mute with grief. Gytha herself is ordered to a nunnery a chilling prospect for a young girl who longs to know the love she has witnessed in her parents. Now she is consumed by a new desire to have sons who will one day redeem the honour of their noble grandfather.
Escaping to Denmark she finds refuge at the court of Svein, the Danish king, whose marriage to Elisev of Norway has sealed the peace between those warring countries. But Gytha learns that the beautiful new queen was once married to Harold Hardrada, who was killed in battle by Gytha's father... Uncertain of Elisev's friendship and without an acceptable suitor, Gytha becomes a pawn in the game of diplomacy and is despatched to the alien lands of Kievan Russia as the intended bride of the Grand Prince Vladimir. Far from everything she holds dear, she must use all her wits to survive in a country where any man or woman may be her enemy, and where the ruling families are in a constant state of rivalry.
Vladimir, her new husband, seems cool and aloof, and Gytha is uncertain whether she will find with him the passionate fulfilment she has always wanted.
Together they are beset by treachery, and Gytha brought up to be independent by her loving father must learn to find a place and purpose for herself in a very different society from the one she has known.
Dust jacket back:
I could stay here, she thought, and marry a prosperous farmer, forget all my high-flown ideas and be safe, or I can take the chance that Elisev is not lying and go to Rusland. Which? I must choose for myself, not let her or my brother push or persuade me into doing as they wish...
She hesitated, making sure that her decision would be the one she really wanted, and closed her eyes for a few seconds, praying for guidance. The insistent voice of memory answered her: Eastwards, beyond the sunrise. Take the hard path.