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Tingle, Rebecca.
New York : G.P. Putman's Sons, 2001.
ISBN 0399235809

(2 Booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Imagine:  You are only fifteen years old and you have been promised to marry a man much older than you that you have never before seen. Nervous yet?  On top of this promise, which you are told will not take place for a year, you are informed that you will be guarded day and night by a guardian until you are properly and safely married.  What would you do?

                    This was the predicament that Æthelflæd, a ninth century English-Saxon princess finds herself in.  She has always known the safety of her country and the freedom to come and go without permission, but everything has changed.  Her countryís kingdom is threatened and her father King Alfred the Great has promised her hand to his ally Ethelred of Mercia as a way to insure the strength of both kingdoms.  For the enemies to gain access to Æthelflæd would mean the downfall of the kingdom.  Yet she does not see it as the kings and her guardian does.  She feels like her life is being intruded upon.

                   Æthelflæd is not your regular princess.  She has been trained to read and write, actions that were very rare in the ninth century.  She is also very devious and plans several attempts to free herself, at least temporarily from her guardian.  However, this trickery stops after the first kidnapping attempt on her life leaves one of the kidnappers dead at the hands of her guardian.  Only then does she realize the seriousness of her situation.

                    Due to travel a great distance through dangerous territory, Æthelflædís guardian takes it upon himself to train her in the ways of the sword.  Little does she know how handy her book learning and training in the art of defense will help her as she finds herself in unknown country with only a few men to defend her.  What will happen as Æthelflæd travels to Mercia for her wedding?  Who will save her when everyone around her is dead?  Will a sixteen-year old princess be brave enough to survive or will she die at the hands of her captor?  Read The Edge of the Sword by Rebecca Tingle to learn the fate of Æthelflæd the Saxon princess.  (Sandra M. Brundage,, USC MLIS Student)

Booktalk #2

In the late 800ís in old England, there lived a girl name Ethelfled who grew up to be the greatest heroine in ancient English military history. What kinds of experiences would have shaped a girl into a sword-wielding warrior? The Edge on the Sword tells us an action-packed story of a girl who learns to ride a horse without being seen, who plans military strategy and who learns the art of swordsmanship from her tutor, Red.

The warrior queen, Ethelfled, was a leader to her people. The Edge on the Sword is an imagined and exciting story of what she may have been like as a fifteen-year old.  (Melissa Bowman,, Armstrong Middle School,  Lone Star Book Award nominee, 2003-2004)

SUBJECTS:     Ethelfled, d. 918 -- Fiction.
                        Kings, queens, rulers, etc. -- Fiction.
                        Anglo-Saxons -- Fiction.
                        Vikings -- Fiction.
                        Great Britain -- History -- Alfred, 871-899 -- Fiction.
                        Mercia (Kingdom) -- Fiction.


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