Three Brothers of Ansgar

A Windflower Saga Novella

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
108 Pages
Reviewed on 11/10/2017
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Author Biography

Aleksandra Layland is a retired civil engineer and federal civil servant who worked primarily for the United States Air Force as a senior installation engineering manager responsible for buildings, airfields, infrastructure, fire protection, and emergency preparedness. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Western Caroline Islands where she helped build school classrooms and cafeterias, low income housing, and simple village water distribution systems.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite

Creator of worlds and weaver of tales, Aleksandra Layland has done it again in yet another wonderful tale, Three Brothers of Ansgar,  A Windflower Saga Novella, Book 26. Two years have passed since the death of King Ansgar. Kapa'a, Borgumik, and Koritane (Kori), are his three youngest sons, still in the grip of youth when their father was taken from them in a tragic accident. Enjoy three stories within one gripping novel as you follow the uniquely different path each brother chooses.

I first came across the three brothers - Kapa'a, Borgumik, and Koritane - when I read Ansgar: Struggle of a People, Triumph of the Heart. This is now the third title I have read by Aleksandra Layland and I still find myself amazed at the sheer depths of the world, people, and culture. The author breathes life into a magnificent setting enhanced by vivid characters and captivating plots. Stories within stories unravel as you follow each of the three brothers as they move toward their unique destiny. Whilst each journey is short, they each change the world in their own way, and the ripple effect of such choices will surely be seen by all to some degree. 

Aleksandra Layland has a clear flair for this style of work, succeeding in whisking the reader away to page after page of character driven adventure. You don't read Three Brothers of Ansgar, you live it, and having read the book prior to this, as well as one that occurs some time later, I can in all honesty say this author continues to hone their craft.

Mamta Madhavan

Three Brothers of Ansgar: A Windflower Saga Novella by Aleksandra Layland completes the story of the three brothers, Kapa’a, Bogumil, and Koritane, the three sons of King Ansgar of Kimbria and Queen Anwen Keholani, the High Chief of the Kimbrii people. They lose their father in a tragic accident when they are just fourteen, twelve, and nine, and they move out of Kimbria to settle elsewhere. The story traces their lives, their struggles, and the harsh realities faced by the Ansgar family while growing up. Each brother’s story is told in their own chapter, giving readers insights into their background, their upbringing, and the relationship shared between the siblings. It is a story of love and hate, war and peace, and good and evil.

The storyline has been handled well and the chapter with the stories of each brother ties in nicely with the next one to move to a good conclusion. Each one’s character is well portrayed and they are strong and their individuality is palpable as the story progresses. The narration is detailed and the descriptions take readers right into the story, making the scenes vivid and the characters come alive. The fictional Ansgar family is interesting and the family history and the relationship between the family members make it an engaging novel. The introduction chapter sets the tone perfectly for the story to come and readers who have not read the previous part of the trilogy get an idea of the characters, the Ansgar family, and their history so they have a better understanding of the story when they read this book.

K.C. Finn

Three Brothers of Ansgar is a companion novella to the epic fantasy Windflower Saga by author Aleksandra Layland. The story fills us in on essential background information from volume one, Ansgar: The Struggle of a People. The Triumph of the Heart, explaining the history of royal brothers Kapa’a, Bogumil and Koritane who left Kimbria in the main novel. Now we discover how these men, when they were much younger, came to leave their homeland and the struggles they had along the way, raised into manhood without their father. Three Brothers of Ansgar is the first in a collection of novellas which explore their family life prior to the events of the main book, and a little of the geographical world around them.

Aleksandra Layland expands on her already epic world with more novellas for the Windflower Saga, and this one is definitely much more of a companion piece than a standalone read. That said, anyone with an interest in the brothers themselves, or simply the expanded cultural knowledge of the Kimbrii people will certainly enjoy delving back into history with this piece. Three Brothers of Ansgar is very well written, painting some beautiful scenes for readers to imagine as another tragic family history unfolds. The novella keeps a similar attitude of realistic medieval fantasy life, whilst also playing on the undercurrents of kingdom politics and the imminence of war to tell its tale. Highly recommended for fans of the Windflower Saga. If you pick this volume up and like it, you’re certain to enjoy all the rest.