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Pre-order Launch and Editorial Review for Historium Press author Katerina Dunne - "Return to the Eyrie"

Return to the Eyrie cover

Book Blurb:

Honour, revenge, and the quest for justice.

Belgrade, Kingdom of Hungary, 1470

Raised in exile, adolescent noblewoman Margit Szilágyi dreams of returning to her homeland of Transylvania to avenge her father's murder and reclaim her stolen legacy. To achieve this, she must break the constraints of her gender and social status and secretly train in combat. When the king offers her a chance at justice, she seizes it - even if it means disguising herself as a man to infiltrate the vultures' nest that now occupies her ancestral 'eyrie'. Plagued by childhood trauma and torn between two passionate loves, Margit faces brutal battles, her murderous kin's traps and inner demons on her quest for vengeance. Only by confronting the past can she reclaim her honour - if she can survive long enough to see it through. Return to the Eyrie is an epic coming-of-age tale of a young woman's unwavering pursuit of justice and destiny in 15th century Hungary.

"Vivid descriptions, captivating characters, and a complex plot. Not just a tale of revenge, but also a journey of self-discovery and resilience, this book provides a compelling narrative from start to finish." - The Historical Fiction Company Review

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Author Bio:

Katerina Dunne is the pen-name of Katerina Vavoulidou. Originally from Athens, Greece, Katerina has been living in Ireland since 1999. She has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Athens, an MA in Film Studies from University College Dublin and an MPhil in Medieval History from Trinity College Dublin. While she used to write short stories for family and friends in her teenage years, she only took up writing seriously in 2016-17, when she started work on her first novel.

Katerina’s day job is in financial services, but in her free time she enjoys reading historical fiction and watching historically-themed movies and TV series. She is passionate about history, especially medieval history, and her main area of interest is 13th to 15th century Hungary. Although the main characters of her stories are fictional, Katerina uses real events and personalities as part of her narrative in order to bring to life the fascinating history of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, a location and time period not so well-known to English-speaking readers.

Editorial Review:

"Return to the Eyrie," written by Katerina Dunne, is a immersive historical novel set between 1470-1480, offering readers an exhilarating narrative full of action, intrigue, and a determined

protagonist named Margit. The story is meticulously presented, from Margit's current challenges to the events that shaped her destiny nine years ago.The novel begins with Margit's dramatic escape from captivity, her thirst for revenge palpable. The author skillfully paints a vivid picture of chaotic scenes as Margit navigates through turmoil, arming herself for the imminent confrontation. Dunne masterfully builds tension, leaving readers on the edge of their seats as Margit faces the cunning betrayal of her cousin, Márton.

The glaring sunshine jarred Margit and brought a sting to her eyes and nose. As her vision cleared, scenes of chaos unfolded before her: castle guards rushed about, shouting and scrambling to take their posts. Her regained freedom and thirst for retribution propelled Margit forward. Through groups of soldiers, she jostled and elbowed her way to the smithy. Adnan jumped up from his stool, relief flooding his face. “Margit! You’re free. God is great!”

The narrative seamlessly transitions into the past, providing a glimpse into Margit's childhood

in Belgrade. The author skillfully depicts Margit's determination and resilience in the

face of challenges, including gender discrimination and harassment. Dunne adeptly outlines

the contrast between Margit's early struggles and the fierce warrior woman she becomes in

the present.

The characters are well-defined, each possessing distinct personalities and motives. The

complex relationship between Margit and her cousin Márton adds depth to the story, while

the dynamic between Margit and Adnan brings a sense of camaraderie to the narrative. The

author adeptly describes Margit's internal conflicts, particularly her struggle with societal

expectations and the impending perspectives of marriage.

Apart from the anxiety she felt about her spindly body, she still resented being forced to marry. She would lose her freedom, caged into a certain behaviour appropriate to a married lady. The notion that her husband would dictate what she could or could not do in her life made her blood turn hot and cold.”

Tension builds as Margit makes a bold escape, revealing her determination to carve her own

path and seek justice. The historical background is meticulously explored, immersing readers

in the vibrant setting of 15th-century Hungary. Dunne's attention to detail is evident in the

descriptions of clothing, weapons, and social norms of the time, adding authenticity to the

narrative. The detailed descriptions of attire and atmosphere suggest a world rich in traditions

and social rigors. Margit, the central character, is in a tense situation, and the symbolism of

the hunting trophy scene foreshadows the future struggles and pressures.

The relationship between Margit and Erzsi, her godmother, adds a touch of warmth and

emotional support to the story. As Margit prepares for marriage, she grapples with her own

ambivalence and societal pressure regarding her role as a woman.

The meeting between Margit and Endre adds complexity to the story, highlighting the

struggle between tradition and the main character's desires. Their discussion about Margit's

freedom and her relationship with Adnan introduces an element of mystery and tension to the


The passage describing Margit's dark vision in the chapel adds a supernatural element to the

story, adding a layer of mystery and anticipation. This vision may foreshadow key events in

the book's future. Their dialogue, where Margit expresses her desire for independence and

Endre tries to understand her, adds a note of conflict and development to the story.

The relationship between Margit and Adnan adds an element of love and loyalty to the story,

and the characters' questions and uncertainties bring tension and suspense. Passages where

Margit reflects on the pains and sacrifices of her family provide readers with an in-depth look

into the emotional depth of the main character.

Margit becomes a resilient and determined character, facing not only physical obstacles but

also the political manipulations of her cousin, Márton Szilágyi. Tension rises as she tries to

uncover a secret tunnel, increasing the suspense of the narrative. The author skillfully builds

Margit's emotional journey, allowing readers to connect with her as she battles fear,

frustration, and moments of unexpected strength.

Secondary characters, including Endre and Adnan, contribute to the depth of the story, adding

layers to Margit's relationships and highlighting themes such as loyalty and camaraderie. The

narrative takes unexpected turns, keeping readers engaged and invested in the fate of the

characters. The book transitions seamlessly between various settings, from snow-covered

hills to the opulent palace complex, each described with a vigilant eye for detail. The author's

ability to evoke a sense of time and place adds authenticity to the historical setting, enhancing

the overall reading experience.

As the story unfolds, the author introduces elements of political intrigue, justice, and the

consequences of family betrayal. Including historical figures such as King Mátyás solidifies

the narrative in its historical context.

The part from July 1479 brings a sense of urgency and a climactic confrontation. Margit's

determination to reclaim her destiny propels the narrative, and the author navigates skillfully

through the complexities of family, justice, and personal agency.

With an intense dose of action and drama that highlights Margit's courage and determination to assist her husband in a critical moment, the story's conclusion brings a satisfying resolution to Margit's journey, offering moments of triumph, reconciliation, and unexpected reunion. The blend of historical elements, well-defined characters, and a captivating plot makes "Return to the Eyrie" an engaging read that wll resonate with fans of historical fiction and adventure.The final excerpt of the book presents a moment of peace and understanding in the lives of the main characters, Margit and Endre. The scene illustrates not only their triumph over dangers and challenges but also the foundation of family and personal bonds.

Smiling, she smoothed out her green silk gown over her round belly. Only a couple of

months left until this little one came into the world. A gentle, warm wave of happiness enveloped her heart. The shadows had grown longer in the twilight when the clopping of horses’ hooves approached. Margit leaned over the parapet wall to catch a glimpse of her husband and Adnan arriving in the courtyard. It was not too long before Endre stepped out onto the terrace. He stood behind her and put his arms around her shoulders. His stubble scratched her cheek, raising a much-missed tingle on her skin. So good to feel his body again and take in his comforting presence.”

The final scene with the golden eagle adds a symbolic conclusion, suggesting a sense of

coming home and a connection with the past. This image is profoundly moving and brings a

note of understanding and acceptance of the cycles of life:

With a high-pitched cry, a majestic male golden eagle swooped down from the mountains, swift as an arrow. And as he perched on the parapet wall, his unwavering, penetrating gaze met Margit’s. An otherworldly but loving feeling warmed her soul as if a familiar spirit had come home to rest. The eagle had returned to his nest—his Eyrie. Tears flooded Margit’s eyes. She placed her hand on her chest. Father! You are home again. You still live in my heart. After he surveyed his beautiful and beloved land for a few moments, the eagle spread his wings and, like another mythical Turul bird, soared into the fiery sky.”

"Return to the Eyrie" by Katerina Dunne is a captivating historical novel that brings

adventure, suspense, and personal development to the forefront against the backdrop of

15th-century Hungary. The book impresses with vivid descriptions, captivating

characters, and a complex plot. Not just a tale of revenge, but also a journey of self-discovery

and resilience, this book provides a compelling narrative from start to finish. With rich

historical details, well-defined characters, and a plot full of twists, this book is recommended

for fans of historical fiction and epic adventures. The narrative seems to rely on elements of

adventure, love, and courage, offering readers an engaging experience in the medieval world

full of changes and challenges. This book offers a memorable journey through

15th-century Hungary, blending adventure, love, and courage in a captivating manner.

Well-crafted characters, authentic historical atmosphere, and thrilling intrigues make "Return

to the Eyrie" a satisfying read for historical fiction enthusiasts and is a fulfilling sequel to Ms Dunne's first book “Lord of the Eyrie”.


“Return to the Eyrie” by Katerina Dunne receives 4.5 stars from The Historical Fiction Company


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