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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Rollicking adventure yarn set in an invented world with a distinct resemblance to sixteenth-century France and England. Catherine, heiress to the throne of Lyonesse, has been brought up in exile at the court of Aquitaine, traditional enemy of Lyonesse. In Aquitaine, Catherine is surrounded by Court factions who wish to make use of her - or eliminate her if she cannot be used. In Lyonesse, unscrupulous noblemen plot to usurp her rightful throne. Can Catherine survive, let alone reclaim her kingdom and home?
Lindsey was an early medieval kingdom south of the Humber estuary, in roughly the area of north Lincolnshire. The names of its kings are recorded in a genealogy. What can we say about them?
Stylish historical mystery with well-defined characters and a clear sense of time and place, set in Northumberland in the early nineteenth century.
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?
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?
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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.

What's New on my blog

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.