Book Review “Ascent” by Cathie Dunn



House of Normandy Book 1

length : 293

Publisher : Ocelot Press



A brutal Viking raid heralds the dawn of a new, powerful dynasty – the House of Normandy

Neustria, Kingdom of the West Franks
AD 890

Fourteen-year-old Poppa’s life changes when Northmen land near Bayeux. Count Bérengar, her father, submits to them, and she is handfasted to Hrólfr, the Northmen’s heathen leader, as part of their agreement.

To her relief, Hrólfr leaves immediately in search of further conquest, only returning to claim her years later. In the face of retaliating Franks, they flee to East Anglia, where she gives birth to their son and daughter.

When Hrólfr and Poppa return to reclaim Bayeux, his new campaign strikes at the heart of Frankish power, and King Charles of the West Franks offers him a pact he cannot refuse. In exchange for vast tracts of land in Neustria, Hrólfr must convert to Christianity and accept marriage to Gisela, the king’s illegitimate daughter.

Poppa’s world shatters. She remains in Bayeux, with her daughter, Adela. When Gisela arrives one day, demanding she hand over Adela, to be raised in Rouen, Poppa’s patience is at an end. But Gisela makes for a dangerous enemy, and only one woman will survive their confrontation high up on the cliffs.

Will Poppa live to witness the dawn of a new era?

ASCENT is the first in a new series about the early women of the House of Normandy – women whose stories have been forgotten through time.

Until now!

Readers of Viking and medieval fiction will enjoy ASCENT, a fictional account of the life of Poppa of Bayeux, handfasted wife of Rollo the Viking.

Trigger warning: Loss of a child. Some battle and fighting scenes.


I really love a great journey through an Historical Novel. My mind conjures up all sorts of imagery and drama and Ascent is one of those books that brings the history to life brilliantly.

This is a gripping tale of a young girl who finds herself bound to her fathers enemy and she hates it. However as time moves on she has two children and is fiercely protective of them. Her worst nightmare is about to begin when her husband becomes wed to another and Gisela wants Poppa’s daughter as her own. For Poppa the fight begins against her worst enemy. There is tension abounds throughout Ascent and the descriptive writing just draws you right in. The characters are superbly crafted and bring the Normandy era to life in such a way that you can almost hear them marauding through your living room.

An enchanting and enjoyable read that absolutely heralds a new era for Normandy and Poppa. You feel sucked right in to the adventure and I can not wait for the next instalment.

Author Bio –

Author Bio –

Cathie Dunn is an award-winning author of historical fiction, mystery, and romance. The focus of her historical fiction novels is on strong women through time.

Cathie has been writing for over twenty years. She studied Creative Writing online, with a focus on novel writing, which she also taught in the south of France. She loves researching for her novels, delving into history books, and visiting castles and historic sites. A voracious reader, primarily of historical fiction / romance, she often reviews books on her blog, Ruins & Reading.

Cathie is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Richard III Society, and the Alliance of Independent Authors.

After many years in Scotland, Cathie now lives in south of France with her husband, and rescued Charlie Cat and Ellie Dog. Discover more about Cathie at!

Social Media Links –

Amazon Author Page:
Ruins & Reading FB group:

With Thanks for the Advance copy to…………………….

Rachel Gilbey

Cathie Dunn

Ocelot Press



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