Review: Kingfisher by D. K. Marley

The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.

Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the romantic days of Camelot. When the war hits close to home, Vala finds love with Taliesin Wren, a mysterious young Welsh Lieutenant, who shows her another world within the tangled roots of a Rowan tree, known to the Druids as ‘the portal’.

One night she falls through, and suddenly she is Vivyane, Lady of the Lake – the Kingfisher – in a divided Britain clamoring for a High King. What begins as an innocent pastime becomes the ultimate quest for peace in two worlds full of secrets, and Vala finds herself torn between the love of her life and the salvation of not only her family but of Britain, itself.

“It is, at the heart of it, a love story – the love between a man and a woman, between a woman and her country, and between the characters and their fates – but its appeal goes far beyond romance. It is a tale of fate, of power, and, ultimately, of sacrifice for a greater good.” – Riana Everly, author of Teaching Eliza and Death of a Clergyman

My Review

Kingfisher is a time travel story interwoven with reincarnation and the Arthurian legend. Not only do we have one time traveler but we have several, with different levels of perception, so to speak. We see Vala, our protagonist, come to full realization of who she was, while her mother, deemed to have pretty much lost her mind, seems to  have been an “old hat” at this game—and lost. Vala’s sisters are not exempt. The modern day is 1914 Wales just having gone to war, and Vala (and friends) seek to save the world by saving the past. It’s certainly a tall order!

As Vala explains to her sister, “Everything will be different upon our return to Avalon. Everything will be transformed here. We are grains of sand and the winds of time blow us to the past. The decisions we make will ripple to this time and, I pray, when we return from our storytelling, this God-forsaken war will have never happened. And more . . .”

If you are a lover of poetry and grand imagery, this book is definitely for you. We hover on the edge of Tennyson; Vala sees the world through poetic eyes. Avalon seems the most poignant setting for her, and we hope that her Taliesin—Merlyn in the other world—proves to be the forever love of her life. But her mother’s misery casts a pall over this world of back-and-forth and matters grow more complicated every day. Will Vala be able to hold things together and keep her own family from tearing itself apart?

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Meet D.K. Marley

D. K. Marley is a Historical Fiction author specializing in Shakespearean adaptations, Tudor era historicals, Colonial American historicals, alternate historicals, and historical time-travel. At a very early age she knew she wanted to be a writer. Inspired by her grandmother, an English Literature teacher, she dove into writing during her teenage years, winning short story awards for two years in local competitions. After setting aside her writing to raise a family and run her graphic design business, White Rabbit Arts, returning to writing became therapy to her after suffering immense tragedy, and she published her first novel “Blood and Ink” in 2018, which went on to win the Bronze Medal for Best Historical Fiction from The Coffee Pot Book Club, and the Silver Medal from the Golden Squirrel Book Awards. Within three years, she has published four more novels (two Shakespearean adaptations, one Colonial American historical, and a historical time travel).

When she is not writing, she is the founder and administrator of The Historical Fiction Club on Facebook, and the CEO of The Historical Fiction Company, a website dedicated to supporting the best in historical fiction for authors and readers. And for fun, she is an avid reader of the genre, loves to draw, is a conceptual photography hobbyist, and is passionate about spending time with her granddaughter. She lives in Middle Georgia U.S.A. with her husband of 35 years, an English Lab named Max, and an adorable Westie named Daisy.

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