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Review for Crimson Dawn


Crimson Dawn

Barbara Korsness

Publish America, Frederick, Maryland

ISBN: 1-4137-1636-9

Pages 195


Crimson Dawn catches the readers attention from the beginning. It is a spellbinding account of a tale during Biblical times in ancient Rome. Peter and Paul from the Bible come to life as the author brings them into the novel with ease as real and convincing characters.

            The bloody accounts of battles and tortures accurately depict the inhumane treatment of Christians during the time following the crucifixion of Jesus. Ms. Korsness has taken a very difficult time in history and woven a wonderful tale of romance, deceptions and loyal friendships. The story, while very entertaining, is filled with historical facts that I found interesting to read. 

            Crimson Dawn is well written and I would recommend it to anyone as an interesting look into the times of early Christians. I enjoyed the hints of romance, although I found the book entertaining because of the history and realistic characters more than the from the romance side.

            I highly recommend Crimson Dawn to all genre lovers. Christians will especially enjoy the references, but this is clearly not a book written just for the Christian. Crimson Dawn is filled with history, romance, intrigue, battles and action. This is not a book just for women. I believe men and women alike will enjoy the trip back in time and the action of this fast paced novel.


Crimson Dawn

By Barbara Korsness


PO Box 151

Frederick, Maryland 21705-0151



ISBN: 1-4137-1636-9


195 pages @



Crimson Dawn is a captivating tale about Celtics, Druids, Romans, Christians and dogma destroying crusades.  The author successfully and skillfully builds an entertaining vehicle with three-dimensional characters.


 Taryn, filled to the brim with a rough and ready attitude, ventures off with her twin brother who is returning to school.  Taryn’s purpose for traveling with him is to relocate her wolf.  The wolf, killing a hare, was the final straw.  The dead hare was interpreted as a bad omen for her people, the Celts.


Taryn is smitten with a virile Roman, Marcus, but soon a battle takes place putting them on opposing sides.  Taryn’s twin brother, Connor, is killed and her other brother, Brian, ends up being saved by slavery.  Brian becomes a slave to Marcus’s family only until they can free him.


Taryn, possessing a hard as nails mental and physical strength, is kidnapped and forced into gladiator fighting.  Against all odds, she earns her freedom with her vividly fierce and intelligent display of warfare.  Yet, her freedom isn’t for long.  The brutal Nero recaptures her when he hears she receives messages from her deceased twin brother, Connor. Connor tempts her with knowledge from the other side including telling her about the God of the Christians.  Nero, wallowing in his own mental mud, challenges Taryn to bring forth his mother’s spirit or to die.  With Marcus’s help, she finds an escape route in Nero’s room and flees.


She locates her brother, Brian, who is happily in love and becoming a Christian.  As curious as she is about this new faith, she is distracted with the chance she will lose Marcus once and for all to a scheming devious woman.


The story is highlighted with enthralling gladiator fights, chariot races, young love and religion producing a high-velocity story.


Sherry Russell


MidWest Book Review


Reviews Bull Dancer


Saturday, August 17, 2002

Author Barbara Korsness has just released a new novel called Bull Dancer. This is her second novel, her first was Ancient Fire. It is time for me to get back into some fiction and so I am going to avail myself of a copy of each book. I suggest you do the same . . . support Catholic fiction!

It sounds like Barbara's books are well researched and they just sound well done, so I am really looking forward to reading anything but German articles on J.H.Newman.


In 1938 BC Crete, Kira, a bull dancer, is injured in the ring & must return home.

To keep a promise she made to her dying father
, she teams up with her brother Niko, to expand their family's merchant business. She & Niko venture to many ancient seaports as well as Egypt & Mesopotamia.

On one adventure Kira must find a man near the Dead Sea to deliver a mysterious book meant for him. Traveling on to Babylon, Kira and Niko buy a boat & sail to Ubar, a city in southern Arabia that produces the purest incense in the known world. It is worth more than gold. If they can establish a trade route from Ubar to the kingdoms of the north they will become rich.

Guest Reviewer Jeanmarie Morelli writes:

Bull Dancer's impulsive, big-hearted heroine leads an action-packed life, & will win the hearts of many young readers as well as be a source of inspiration for her courage, generosity & innovation.

We are introduced to 21 year-old Kira on the day when she throws herself in front of a raging bull to protect the life of another bull dancer. In the process Kira receives a gash from the bull's horns. Being injured & loosing blood is taboo for Bull Dancers. Her courageous act is not appreciated by the King, who banishes her from the Palace.

This young dancer has trained for her profession from the age of 15. She knows of nothing else. Along the way she has become a skilled horse woman, & a strong swimmer, strengths that will save her life in future adventures.

Not content to stay at home, she joins her brother who is the captain of a trading vessel. A few days out at sea, pirates block their passage, & Kira develops an innovative plan. The seasoned sailor follows his sister's advice & they out smart the pirates.

Again & again Kira plans important strategies & leads others through perilous adventures. all the time accompanied by her falcon who often comes to her aid.

In her native land of Crete, women have many rights including owning property. They experience freedoms unknown in other lands of the time. When her brother insists that she cover her body & veil her face before going out in public in one port, she responds by rolling her eyes toward heaven. “Another culture where the men think they are superior.” Page 144

The people of Crete worship a goddess. As she travels to exotic cultures Kira often asks people about the gods they worship. At one point she finds Abraham & learns of his one God. Later when asked about her own beliefs she says “I'm confused. Everywhere I go there are different gods demanding different honors. Some encourage feasting and that men take pleasures in life that hurt others, some demand human sacrifice. One god commands his worshipers to throw their infants into fire...Where I come from. we had no wars, no human sacrifice. We worship our mother goddess and involve bulls in our worship. I was a bull dancer, part of a religious ritual, but the reason I did it was for the fun and excitement.” Page 142. She claims to have no feelings toward her gods & continues, ‘El Shaddai (Abraham's god) holds my interest more than any of the gods of my land.' On her journey Kira seeks out followers of the one god.

Everywhere she goes, Kira is a champion for the underdog. In the process she upsets the balance of power. One of the characters in the story sums it up well:

“...Turning to her, eyes sparkling with humor, he continued. “ And, Kira, I hear you have made an impression on royalty again.” He then explains to his grandmother, “Kira has the talent to disrupt the royal families of each countries she visits.” He goes on to recount her adventures, including: how she is blamed for leading a princess astray, in another country she impersonated the princess of the land, & in a third she stole the King's slave. Page 173

Kira is invited to ride the Arabian horses that are bred in one region & gallops out into the desert. There she comes across “a large, strange, wounded animal.” Page 156

When she returns alone at night to help the creature she saves its life by killing an attacking wolf. She befriends the camel & adopts it. Although distant nomads are known to ride these “creatures of the devil”; the locals shun them, preferring to ride donkeys & horses. Kira comes up with ingenious plan to harness camels & let them carry her cargo, thus expanding the family trade route.

Everywhere she turns, this former bull dancer finds adventures that keep the reader turning pages. This compelling character will find her way into the hearts of young readers & those who are young at heart.

Bull Dancer is an enjoyable read. A map showing the ancient trade routes of the Mediterranean from Crete to Damascus to Egypt would have helped the reader follow Kira & her brother on their adventures.

More from Barbara Korsness: Ancient Fire