Editor's Choice, Historical Novels Review, August 2009

Paths of Exile is a wonderful story, one that conjures up this long-gone age in extraordinary detail and reveals a profound understanding of its politics, cultures, and religions based on extensive research. It may be true, as Nayland admits, that “solid facts are rare indeed in 7th-century Britain”, but these characters—some real, others pure fiction—are so solid and credible that they will stay with you long after you turn the last page....

Full review on the Historical Novel Society website

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When a severe flood ruins the harvest and her father cannot pay the grain tribute demanded by his overlord, the fearsome Athelfrid of Bernicia, young Princess Acha is sent north as a tribute instead. Athelfrid already has a queen, the beautiful and commanding Bebba, but they have no living child, so Athelfrid accepts Acha as a secondary wife. But Athelfrid is as cunning as he is ruthless. Does he want more from Acha than an heir? And how will the queen, Bebba, react to this potential rival?
Eoten is one of several Old English words for monstrous creatures, and is frequently used for Grendel in the Old English poem Beowulf. What sort of creatures were eotens thought to be?
In twelfth-century Cairo, the young Caliph is beset by invading armies and scheming viziers, all of who would like to rule Cairo over his dead body. But help is at hand from an unlikely quarter, in the shape of a legendary Assassin who owns a mysterious sword of malevolent power. This violent, action-packed adventure fantasy follows in the heroic tradition of RE Howard.
Iago son of Beli was a king of Gwynedd, in what is now north-west Wales, in the early seventh and/or late sixth century. His death is recorded in the same year as the Battle of Chester. Did he die in the battle?
Roman Army surgeon Gaius Petrius Ruso is wondering why he ever thought it was a good idea to accompany a detachment of the Twentieth Legion to the turbulent northern border of the Roman province of Britannia. Within a day of arriving he is saddled with a politically sensitive murder investigation, a colleague who appears to have gone totally insane and a mysterious native troublemaker with antlers on his head. And to make matters worse, his lovely girlfriend Tilla has just been reunited with a childhood friend and former lover...
The limited evidence suggests that early medieval armies were typically fairly small, a few dozen or a perhaps few hundred. Small-scale armies might be expected to engage in small-scale warfare, such as internal quarrels or border raids and skirmishes not too far from home. What do we know about the campaigning range of early medieval armies?

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Welcome

Welcome to Carla Nayland's website.

Here you can read about my novels Ingeld's Daughter and Paths of Exile, find out about the background to the novels, and contact me with your questions and comments.

Paths of Exile is available from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.ca and Amazon.com, and bookshops should also be able to order copies. It is also available from the Book Depository (free worldwide shipping), and as an e-book from Amazon Kindle UK, Amazon Kindle US, and in several e-book formats including Kindle, Epub (Nook, Sony Reader) and Palm from Smashwords. Signed copies (limited stock) available direct from the author, contact me for details.

BBC Radio Suffolk interview about Paths of Exile.

You can also read my non-fiction articles on various aspects of history, lifestyle and culture.

There is also a page of books I like, and a list of my book reviews.

I shall be adding and updating content from time to time, so check back regularly. The most recent additions to the website appear in the What's New panel on this page, and you can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

I also keep a blog, with regular postings about reading, writing and researching historical fiction, plus anything else that interests me.

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About the author

Carla Nayland writes historical fiction set in Britain in the period between the Roman occupation and the Norman Conquest (5th to 11th centuries AD), and fiction set in an invented world loosely based on medieval and Renaissance Britain. Carla Nayland has a lifelong interest in history and archaeology and considered doing a degree in the subject in her spare time, until deciding it would be much more fun to explore it in historical fiction instead. Historical fiction is more absorbing to write than a research paper, because it requires imagining a past society in all its detail, and requires the author to make choices and follow up the consequences. The result is also rather more enjoyable to read than a thesis.

She has degrees in Natural Sciences and Pharmacology from Cambridge, UK, and has worked for many years in corporate strategy, cost-benefit analysis, health economics and scientific writing. Carla Nayland is also a keen hillwalker, which is a bit of a problem as she lives in the flatlands of East Anglia. She knows the M6 rather well. Carla Nayland is a pen name, to keep her fiction separate from her scientific writing.