The Kingfisher Series Book 1

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Pub Date 28 Jun 2021 | Archive Date 27 Jun 2021

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The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.

Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the romantic days of Camelot. When the war hits close to home, Vala finds love with Taliesin Wren, a mysterious young Welsh Lieutenant, who shows her another world within the tangled roots of a Rowan tree, known to the Druids as ‘the portal’.

One night she falls through, and suddenly she is Vivyane, Lady of the Lake – the Kingfisher – in a divided Britain clamoring for a High King. What begins as an innocent pastime becomes the ultimate quest for peace in two worlds full of secrets, and Vala finds herself torn between the love of her life and the salvation of not only her family but of Britain, itself.

From award-winning historical novelist, D. K. Marley - a story for OUTLANDER and MISTS OF AVALON fans - comes a time-traveling historical spanning centuries.

The past, future, and Excalibur lie in her hands.

Wales, 1914. Vala Penrys and her four sisters find solace in their spinster life by story-telling, escaping the chaos of war by dreaming of the...

Advance Praise

"Review #1 - ""

I have to start with a disclaimer. I have, over the last few years, become something of a lover of all things Welsh, to the extent that I’m trying to learn the language. I have also been fascinated by Arthurian legends and literature since my teens, and cannot get enough historical fiction. 

And so, when author DK Marley sent me an advance copy of her new book, Kingfisher, I was predisposed in all sorts of ways to adore it. But this is a double-edged sword, because with such high expectations, it would be easy for the book to fall short.

I needn’t have worried. Kingfisher did not fall short, but rather, exceeded my hopes. 

The story begins – or does it? – in Wales near Abergavenny on the eve of World War One. Vala is the oldest of five daughters, struggling to keep her home and family together as her father goes off to war and her mother slowly goes mad. She finds refuge, as she has always done, in the legends of King Arthur that she has heard from childhood. But when she meets enigmatic solider Taliesin Wren, the line between reality and myth starts to blur, and she discovers that the beautiful Rowan under which she has spent so much time might be more than just a tree and that the bonds of family might be more fragile than ever she imagined.

I won’t give away more of the story, although its beauty is as much in the telling of it as in the plot. But I will say this: DK Marley deftly weaves together such disparate elements as WWI hospitals, Camelot, art collecting, HG Wells’ political activities, and a horrible glimpse into a possible future, into a fascinating fabric that transcends time and becomes a cohesive, compelling whole. It is, at the heart of it, a love story – the love between a man and a woman, between a woman and her country, and between the characters and their fates – but its appeal goes far beyond romance. It is a tale of the fate, of power, and ultimately of sacrifice for a greater good.

My only quibble is that so much of the story still waits to be told. I am eagerly anticipating the next book in the series, and eventually, the answers to all the tantalizing questions DK Marley has provoked."" - Riana Everly, author of ""Teaching Eliza"" and ""Death of a Clergyman""

Review #2 -

""I had the great pleasure of being a beta reader for D.K. Marley’s anticipated new novel, The Kingfisher, and I found this first novel of the series to be simply enchanting. Set at the beginning of the Great War, in Wales, we encounter a family of five spinster sisters and secrets… and travel with eldest sister Vala Penrys as she uncovers the secret of her family’s past and possibly Great Britain’s future. Can she bring to fruition the ultimate quest for peace?

Exquisitely and skillfully tying together disparate elements such as Camelot and Tennyson with the imaginative theories of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells and the fundamental tragedy of World War I, The Kingfisher is full of literary references, historical characters, and big ideas. Ultimately, I felt The Kingfisher invited me to join in on a satisfying journey of self-discovery, love, and betrayal, and left me wanting more. I know I am excited to continue the journey and learn more about the Penrys family’s secrets and how they are possibly the hope for the past and the future!"" - Sara Giacalone, ARC reviewer

Review #3 -

""Five-star book!"" - Genevieve Montcombroux, author of ""All the Silences"" (Series)


"Review #1 - ""

I have to start with a disclaimer. I have, over the last few years, become something of a lover of all things Welsh, to the extent that I’m trying to learn the language. I have also...

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Featured Reviews

Though the story is written in first-person, the narration is sweeping and inclusive. The dialogue is period appropriate. There are casual references to throw-away historical details that a depth to the narration. Overall, the narrative is enveloping and takes readers along on a enjoyable journey,.

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This takes place way back in 1914 right before the war,four sisters with secrets! D.K.Marley did a fantastic job on not only having the characters come alive for you but places you right into the story as it you are right there. Adventures,secrets and love what more do you need in a story? Follow these sisters and see what happens to them where they are going and will they get there or will their lives change forever ? I really enjoyed this story and wonder if there will be more?

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Wow. I was totally engrossed in this novel's plot and characters. Five spinster sisters all with secrets of their own, at the start of the Great War in Wales, travel in convoy with the oldest sister Vala as she strives for peace in their land, while solving her family's mysteries and uncovering their secrets.
The narrative was exquisite and rich in details of the period, including historical characters that the author imagined into her story.
I am left waiting for the other sisters' stories, as I am sure this novel is the first in a much-anticipated series.

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Kingfisher By D. K. Marley {The Kingfisher Series, Book One}

This tale begins with an assignation. Vola and her identical twin sister Isla
twenty-eighth birthday celebration was the same day that the Archduke Ferdinand, and his wife Sophia were assassinated. That fated day June 28th, 1914, set about a series of events that led to The Great War.
Vala father thin

Vola enjoys escaping into books and fanciful play acting. She has a vivid imagination, along with vibrant recurring dreams since childhood. These dreams seems more like memories and she feels that there are more to her mother’s childhood lavish tales of King Arthur.

Abergavenny Wales, Vala Penrys and her four sister try to adjust to the changing time. As the world as they know it is turned inside out. As countries take sides, their father Ian leaves to fulfill his duty to the Crown. Vala being oldest, is left in charge of the running of the household and the care of her ailing, slightly unhinged mother, Isobe. The oldest of the Penrys girls boarder on spinsterhood, after a few seasons in London without acquiring suitable husbands. Isla and Vola along with the rest of the Penrys, and servants make up a close knit family that depend on each other for comfort and friendship as War rages on. Their mother’s condition worsens, along with Isobe’s cryptic secrets at Tyalwyn. What could they mean?

After Vala meets a captivating young Welsh Lieutenant, Taliesin Wren. She seems drawn to. The oldest girls decide to do what they can to help the war effort by making their home available to those soldiers in need. New acquaintances help to piece together family secrets, that have been buried. As reality and myth become blended.

D. K. Marley has written a stunning historical fiction, mixed with magical realism.
Set to the backdrop of the beginning of the First World War, and Avalon. The author blends mystery, family dynamics and time travel.

I enjoyed the overall premise of the book. The quick pace kept me engaged from the very beginning and all the way through. There is slight tension that slowly builds as you the flip through the pages and storyline unfolds. The characters are well developed and completely fleshed out. Richly detailed, the writers voice is fluid and captivating, making for an excellent reading experience.

Historical fiction with magical realism is one of my all time favorite genre.
D. K. Marley exceptional writing is spellbinding I found myself completely immersed within these pages.

Excited for the next installment in this highly addictive book series ,


I gripped her hand and return. “Now is the perfect time. How else can we braved the day ahead of us then to fall down rabbit holes?”

“I see the conflict in your eyes Vala, but do not worry. We are of this time, but another, as well. I am a gentleman. All things will take place in time.”

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this was a really unique take on a historical fiction and Arthur legend. I thought this was a great start to the series and look forward to more in this universe.

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