Troubador Children of the Mists

Released: 28/06/2016

ISBN: 9781785891922

eISBN: 9781785897184

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Children of the Mists


A striking historic rendition of life on the island of Sardinia... 

Children of the Mists is a story of enduring love. Set in the 1800s, life on Sardinia had barely changed since the time of the Caesars. Two families, the Sannas and the Canus, are united by friendship and honour; love and laughter; joy and promises; omens and superstitions; youth and experience transcend generations. 

However, for Raffaella and Antonio, their passionate love becomes entangled with revenge. Death changes devotion. Promises are forgotten. Vendettas cannot be ignored. Ambition clouds judgments. Antonio and Raffaella were promised to each other, nothing would keep them apart, not even family. Committed to each other, they fight for their love against all odds...

Children of the Mists is a gripping journey back in time that will make the perfect addition to any romance lover’s collection.


Christina Sia 5 stars
Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga by Lexa Dudley is a brilliantly plotted story that follows a grandmother’s adventure and the story of her granddaughter. It begins with Ellie Montford’s early years. Her parents are diplomats who are scarcely home, and when her school shuts down, she is sent to live with Polly’s family, a family who accepts her as their own child. When she turns twenty, Ellie is asked by her parents, who are looking forward to retiring from active service, to join them on a vacation in Sardinia. It is here she falls in love with Gino, a professor, but the experience is short-lived. Sara is Ellie’s granddaughter and she has a strong bond with her. When Sara travels to Sardinia, she uncovers a disturbing story about her grandmother, and this might stand in the way of her own happiness.
Lexa Dudley is a great storyteller who uses an evocative style of writing to grab the attention of the reader. The prose itself has a beauty and a music of its own. The childhood of the characters is beautifully painted, and the images will fill some readers with nostalgia for the children they once were. Character development is wonderful and readers can easily feel these characters, especially in moments of their sadness and human frailty. They are as human as they are realistic, and this makes the story feel real to readers. Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga has a well-crafted setting, with places that are skillfully described and a timeline that lets readers know when the actions took place. It is gripping and delightful.

Deborah Lloyd 5 stars
Ellie Montford’s parents, Ian and Isabel, spent most of their time traveling, as Ian worked in the diplomatic corps. Ellie’s best friend, Polly Smythe, and she attended the same boarding school. Ellie was always welcomed in the Smythe home, and she also became a close friend to Polly’s brother, Simon. In 1962, when Ellie was twenty years old, she joined her parents at their last assignment before her father’s retirement; Sardinia. Ellie became enchanted with the unique beauty of the island and its fascinating people. She also fell in love with Gino, a professor at the local university. Several decades later, when Ellie’s granddaughter Sara travels to Sardinia for her job, she learns some family secrets. In Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga, written by Lexa Dudley, a story of family and friendship connections between England and Sardinia unfold.
This novel is intriguing in many ways – the after-effects of World War II in Europe; the archaeological treasures in Sardinia; societal norms of the 1960s compared to the present time. Also explored are family relationships. Ellie created a close-knit family although she had been raised by a mother who was distant and more concerned with the status she and her husband could achieve. There is much joy and pain in the story. The author’s storytelling flows well, and she describes the landscape and the eras with clarity. Although many characters are introduced and developed, the reader can easily grasp the personality of each one. Author Lexa Dudley has written a lovely novel in Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga. An enjoyable read!

K C Finn 4 stars
Love In Another Time: A Sardinian Saga is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama genre and was penned by author Lexa Dudley. Written for adults due to the presence of some moderate sex scenes, this novel spans the romance, family saga and drama genres to give an overview of the life story of central character Ellie Montford. Attending school in the 1940s, Ellie’s life changes when she is sent to reside with the family of a close friend, Polly. From here, Ellie blossoms into a confident woman who finds love in a foreign land, but it is cut short all too soon. What results is the tale of a grandmother looking back on her life and a granddaughter who uncovers secrets that she may come to regret.
Author Lexa Dudley puts great commitment into her character development for this novel, delivering authentic emotional prose with true depth and motivation behind every word and gesture. The work is relatively short and desires more detail in certain areas of the fast-moving plot, but the twists and turns are well planned out to deliver many intriguing and different experiences along the way. One of the most striking features is the presence of Sardinia in the tale, which is beautifully described and brought to life through excellent immersive language and cultural detail. Each character and relationship blossoms and develops on a strong arc throughout, and, overall, I think readers who enjoy a light but emotive family saga will highly rate Love In Another Time.

Josephine Strano d’Urso 5 stars
Lexa Dudley’s Love in Another Time is a moving tale of loss and redemption, weaved into a picturesque and captivating setting. It’s the early sixties and Ellie, fresh out of school, moves to Sardinia with her parents, where her father has been assigned by the British Foreign Office. Ellie’s free spirit and generosity are hampered by her parents’ extreme ambition and rigid ways. That doesn’t stop her from satisfying her curiosity about her new surroundings and her desire to explore and mix with the locals, making new friends along the way. Her wish to improve her Italian leads her to meet the man of her dreams. But fate isn’t kind to Ellie, dealing her a terrible blow. Many years later her granddaughter Sara’s career brings her to retrace Ellie’s footsteps in Sardinia and, in finding her own true love, Sara unlocks a secret that shatters her world.
If with this novel Lexa Dudley’s intent was to entice readers into falling in love with Sardinia, she has succeeded! Love in Another Time is an engaging story, the sort that grabs readers and draws them in from the first pages, eager to know more. Ms. Dudley portrays places, people and local folklore with such precision and clarity it’s easy to be drawn into the intricate tapestry she weaves. The abundance of historical and cultural anecdotes and true-to-life characters bring the landscape to life. Just when I thought the ending was a foregone conclusion, a clever twist took me completely by surprise. Love in Another Time is an excellent read and I’ll most certainly recommend it to my friends.

Lesley Jones 5 Stars
In Love in Another Time by Lexa Dudley, the year is 1947 and Ellie di Montford returns to the country after the war. She is reunited with her best friend Polly and stays with them while her parents are away. Ellie enjoys being part of a loving family, something she has rarely experienced. Polly's elder brother Simon promises Ellie that when they are older, he will marry her. As Ellie reaches young adulthood in the 1960's she travels to Sardina to spend the holidays with her parents before her father's retirement as a diplomat in the Foreign Office. Ellie meets a young professor, Gino, and it is not long before they fall in love and are planning their future together. Ellie is not prepared for the events that follow which change the entire direction of her life. Years later, Ellie's granddaughter, Sara, travels to Sardina on a business trip and discovers an old newspaper clipping of her beloved grandmother Ellie. Sara makes a shocking discovery about her grandmother's past that could not only shatter their loving relationship but her entire family.
Love in Another Time by Lexa Dudley is a good, old-fashioned historical saga set across four generations. The plot is amazing, so detailed, engaging and interesting. Ellie's character jumps off the page, she is so likable and is someone you would want to meet. Even when her ghastly social-climbing mother was abusive to her, Ellie dealt with it with such grace and forgiveness. I truly wanted her to find happiness with the charming Gino. I loved learning about Sardina, a place I have never been but the descriptive narrative brings the beautiful country to life. There are interesting references to the different cultures and customs of the country which are cleverly weaved into the story. Simon was a wonderful character too, such a rock to Ellie and a man with amazing morals. The revelation at the end was a huge shock and so tragic. If you love novels that completely sweep you into the world of the characters, then I highly recommend you read Love In Another Time.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford 5 stars
Ellie and Polly are best friends – they go to school together and they share holidays together at Polly’s farm in the English countryside. It’s 1947, Ellie’s parents travel a lot and she feels shunted aside. It doesn’t change much when, in 1961, Ellie joins her diplomat parents in Sardina for the holiday. Her mother now has grandiose ideas for Ellie’s future, but Ellie is a free spirit. When she falls in love with her tutor, Ellie shatters her mother’s plans, not just because the man Ellie falls for is beneath her standards, but also because, just before Ellie marries, her lover is tragically killed, leaving her as an unwed mother-to-be. It’s never easy being single, unattached and expecting a baby; even less so in the 1960s. There are more difficult decisions ahead for Ellie. After returning to England, her mother tries to clean up her daughter’s problem, brushing it under the carpet like so many other things in Ellie’s life. And, when Ellie does return to Sardina as an old woman, a grandmother, there are other unsettling discoveries that await her.
Lexa Dudley’s novel, Love in Another Time: A Sardinian Saga, is a different kind of love story. Set in two different worlds, England and Sardina, the saga unfolds in multiple eras, clearly depicting the evolutionary development of society, beginning with post World War II, the 1960s and the early years of the twenty-first century. The plot evolves from the main character Ellie’s childhood, through first love, to mature love of convenience before settling on the love of old age, where family outranks passion. It’s interesting following the author’s presentation of the social status of women in these three eras. It certainly makes the reader aware of how far we have come along, but we still have a long way to go. The characters, setting, and dialogue are well developed and believable. In many ways, this is a passionate and somewhat tragic love story but at the same time, it’s a character study of society in different timelines and in different worlds. A thought-provoking and sentimental read.

Books Monthly

That's Books and Entertainment

Great Historicals

Sardinian Places

Reviewed By Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite

Lexa Dudley writes a striking historic rendition of life on the island of Sardinia. Children of the Mists is a story of enduring love. Set in the 1800s, life on Sardinia had barely changed since the time of the Caesars. Two families, the Sannas and the Canus, are united by friendship and adversity. Love and laughter, joy and promises, omens and superstitions, youth and experience transcend generations. However, for Raefella and Antonio, their passionate love becomes entangled with revenge. Death changes devotion. Promises are forgotten. Vendettas cannot be ignored. Ambition clouds judgments. Antonio and Raefella were promised to each other, nothing would keep them apart, not even family. Committed to each other, they fight for their love against all odds.
Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley captures your heart and takes you back in time. A time lost in tradition and love. A time long past, but not easily forgotten. Dudley is an endearing storyteller. Her writing technique is full of illustrious scenes, depicting the beautiful sights, aromatic scents and the echoing sounds of Sardinia. Every word portrays her devotion to the ancient culture of the untamed island. The Sardinian traditions and language are skillfully woven throughout the narrative’s plot. The characters are strong, wild, and at times, illicitly ambitious. Yet, also tender, traditional and passionate, conveying a well-rounded cast. The plot develops graciously, steadily reaching the climax. Then it tumbles down with a few unexpected turns of events, causing the reader to be engulfed in this story of unbridled love and retribution.

by Cheryl E Rodriguez

Reviewed By Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley is a story of honor, love, revenge and honesty of emotions. When Salvatore Sanna saved the life of his neighbor Gestinu Canu, Canu promised Sanna that he would marry off his son Orlando to Sanna's daughter Victoria. The two neighbors are living in harmony and happiness, with a cordial friendship, and Orlando and Victoria truly love one another.
However, Victoria’s brother Antonello loves Orlando’s sister Rafaella. The two lovers want to be together, but the Canu family has big plans for Rafaella and they will not let her settle for someone who is not meant for her and her worth. What are these two lovers going to do? Will Orlando and Victoria’s love survive this conflict? Will Rafaella and Antonello be able to enjoy a life together filled with love? Will Canu and Sanna's friendship survive after this drawback? Will honor allow love to prevail or make it perish?
Lexa Dudley has done a brilliant job with Children of the Mists. The story was the perfect combination of love, revenge, and, of course, honor. The historically correct aspects of the story will take you back in time and allow you to appreciate the characters so much more. You will be transported back to 1855 and you will fall in love with Sardinia, the amazing country of the Canu and Sanna family. It was indeed a great story, one I would like to read again. The novel was great and I enjoyed it immensely. The story had just the right amount of thrills and love to make it perfect. This novel is not to be missed.

by Rabia Tanveer

Review Rating:5 stars! Download your free 5 Star Seal.

Reviewed By Katelyn Hensel for Readers’ Favorite

Two families, bound by a debt of gratitude, work peacefully as neighbors. The Sanna and Canu families have lived and thrived alongside one another through the years. Salvatore Sanna and Gestinu Canu even paired their children to be married, so all would appear to be perfect in paradise. Only, the eldest Sanna son is in love with Rafaella Canu and must go against her father and older brother's wishes if he wants to be with his love. In a series of moves reminiscent of a medieval political drama, the two families are shaken apart by vendettas and petty grudges and then pieced back together again by the bond of love.
In Children of the Mists, Lexa Dudley paints a beautiful picture of love, family, and the struggle to do what is right. As exotic landscapes and settings go, you really don't often get to see off the beaten path places like Sardinia. I'm glad that Lexa Dudley resurrected it from the annals of time, because the countryside of the late 1800s can be a beautiful and romantic place - as Dudley's expert writing describes for us. I admit I got swept away with the romance of the settings and two pairings. The names alone were deliciously foreign and cast a hearty glow over the story, really transplanting me into the heart of the novel and holding me there so that I wanted to keep reading long after my eyelids were drooping closed at night. Children of the Mists is a must-read for those who love family dramas, historical fiction, or simply romance.

by Katelyn Hensel

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan

Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley is a love story set in Sardinia in 1855. While Salvatore Sanna worked hard all his life to gain his land, his neighbor Gestinu Canu got it pretty easy through marriage. Both of them are going to be related soon as Victoria, Salvatore's daughter, is getting married to Orlando Canu. It is a match fixed as a bond of honor to return Salvatore's gesture of saving Gestinu's life earlier. They also love each other. Salvatore's son, Antonello Sanna, loves Rafaella, Gestinu Canu's daughter. Rafaella's father and brother have other plans for her. It's an engrossing story of love, revenge, desire and honor.
The story is engaging with its romance, revenge, twists and turns that keep readers guessing about what is going to follow. The characters are well portrayed and the book also gives a peek into the Sard society that existed in 1855, and the wildness of the place before the unification of the Italian States took place. The narration is descriptive and detailed, and captures the beauty of the land, making the scenes and story very visual. There is a raw passion and sensuality in the romantic scenes which make it very tangible to readers. Readers will soak up the beauty of Sardinia as the story captures the essence of the place. The author's love for Sardinia is evident as the story progresses. On the whole, it is a love story that will win the hearts of readers with its many dimensions. An entertaining love story that will captivate the readers with its romance, passion, revenge and honor.

by Mamta Madhavan

Reviewed By Valerie Rouse

Children of the Mists, set in the 1800s in Sardinia, is a delightful story about the enduring love that Raffaella Sanna and Antonio have for each other. They live in the countryside with their immediate families. As childhood sweethearts, they matured into adults still caring for each other the same way. Unfortunately, Raffaella’s greedy brother Orlando wants her to get married to Luigi, a doctor from Sassari. Orlando believed that he would obtain a huge fortune if Raffaella became Luigi’s wife. He felt that he would have access to Raffaella’s land and sell the trees on the land and become rich. This plan was interrupted as Luigi’s jealousy intervened and he tried to dispose of Antonio. Antonio survived the ordeal. Will Antonio and Raffaella's love survive?
Children of the Mists is an intriguing tale with a historical slant. Author Lexa Dudley did an excellent job in presenting her enchanting plot. The language used is colloquial and is quite easy to understand. I love the way in which the author intertwined the elements of ethnicity, clan rivalry and romance in her story. The author also thoroughly explored the pervasive theme of good versus evil in a dramatic yet effective manner. I enjoyed the camaraderie between the family members. This denotes a sense of loyalty which is lacking in our society today. It is akin to a breath of fresh air in a balmy summer. Nowadays, many societies have embraced a selfish mentality and the author’s emphasis on close knit communities is quite refreshing. The pace of the story is a bit slow at first, however, it picks up as the plot unfolds. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Children of the Mists. I recommend it to all lovers of historical romance, and romance in general.

by Valerie Rouse

Rating: 5/5

Sometimes love breeds vengeance, vengeance breeds tragedy, and tragedy, in turn, breeds love again. Set in Sardinia between the years 1855 and 1860 and divided into two parts, everything comes full circle in Children of the Mists by Lexa Dudley. More than anything else, Dudley shows us exactly what transpires before one generation of Sards makes way for the next, and how it is that, no matter how terra incognita we might figure some culture to be, it is just as powerful, wonderful, and pulsating as every other.

Raffaella Canu had been sent to Itteri for a decent education. Gestinu, her father, had high hopes for her future. Whatever they were, Raffaella only wished for one thing: to be with Antonio, the shepherd boy she had loved since childhood. Orlando, her brother, however, doesn’t want Antonio in his sister’s future. To Orlando, his sister is still just as soft-witted as she was before she went to Itteri. She could have a wonderful life if she would just see reason and agree to marry Luigi, a prominent doctor who also happens to be his best friend. It might take more than a promise for Raffaella to finally be with the man of her dreams.

Change is a thing that dwells just between the realms of good and bad, unbiased and final. For some, change can mean a new, more wonderful life. For others, it can only mean more misery. For the Sardinians in this novel, change means abiding to laws that are not their own, but the laws of some king who is out to unite every single Italian state so that everyone “can prosper as one country”. The Sards have land, but there are those who would take it away from them within the blink of an eye. One misstep and a language known as legalese renders them fugitives, after which they are hunted by the Carabineri or doomed to the nullified life of a bandit.

The first part, starting at 1855, introduces us to the lifestyle and customs of the Sards. We are introduced to the Sannas and the Canus, and can easily see how the lives of these two families are connected. “Vitoria and Orlando were promised to each other in marriage; in a contract made between Gestinu and Salvatore, as Salvatore had saved his friend’s life when he first came to live in the mountains.” In the second part, three years after cholera made its way into their lives, the stage is set for a beautiful tale of love, vengeance, and redemption.

It doesn’t take much to imagine Sardinia and all of its beauty. “Although she couldn’t see the river, Raffaella could hear it in the valley below as it grumbled and chattered its way over a bed of shiny, cold, grey stones; as it bubbled in the ravine with the fullness of extra water from the melted snows of the distant, haze-green mountains.” We are taken to ravines, caves, small churches, and bedrooms in which the very light of dawn that enters it is graced by the author. Refined human life is faraway, neither important to the reader nor more desirable than Dudley’s craftily recreated setting.

There is more than one love story, the one towering over every other in the book of course being that of Raffaella and Antonio. They have loved each other since childhood, and a doctor with “clammy” hands can be seen as the hand that aims to snatch cupid’s arrow out of the air just before it strikes its target. Another love story is that of Marina, who is Antonio’s little sister, and a bandit named Gavinu. Dudley also throws in an unexpected romance that I found to be quite a surprise. Because of the alternating third person narrative, we get to follow each of them without much of a fuss.

Raffaella might be the main protagonist, but it is the characters around her, what with her just wanting to be with Antonio and all, that keeps things interesting. Even Sergio, an old shepherd, can make one burst out laughing when he works on the nerves of Orlando with his superstitious babbling. Small characters get to play pivotal roles to move the story along to its dreaded, and I mean this in a positive way, conclusion. Gabriella, Antonio’s mother, is the character through which we can get a lot of information about the Sard culture. She is important to the community, a healer who gets called upon many Sards when they fall ill.

Orlando is the personification of ambition, making decisions based purely on logic rather than love. While not the main antagonist, he is perhaps the main reason for all the conflict and heartache in this novel. He is not an evil human being, but for some reason, his destiny doesn’t seem to be one that is filled with happiness. “’You’re cursed, you’re cursed,’ repeated the shepherd, whimpering.” His decisions tend not to end up well. When one looks at his development in the book, it’s easy to see how the author took great care with him.

The theme of change and the different outcomes it has for different people was well explored. Raffaella was proud of her homeland and to her change didn’t involve a life away from her home and married to a doctor. Orlando was exactly the opposite. Change was his way of forgetting the past. Other themes like vengeance and redemption also played a big part. The Sards seems to have a particular notion when it comes to revenge. “As a fellow Sard, you must know the importance of revenge.” Orlando himself seemed to encompass almost every theme book, which, considering that he is not the main protagonist, only leads me to wonder why.

I got a lot from this book. I got laughs and I got tears. I got to experience Sardinia from 1855 to 1860 and all its greatness. I could see greenery, mountains, and people in love. I felt that I was reading a wonderful romance novel set in a magical place.

I reviewed this book for Readers’ Favorite and extended the review for my blog.

by Readers’ Favorite

I truly loved reading this book set in 19th century Sardinia. Having listened to many stories from sardinian friends and relatives about generations past the book really brings to life the soul of this beautiful land during harsh times. I know it's a cliche but I could not put the book down as the story and intrigue developed having become attached to the wonderful protagonists. Not only will you be captivated by the tender love story of Vittoria and Antonio but get caught up in their love for their stunning land and its traditions which is all the more refreshing given today's high-tech society. A must read!

by Deborah Michele

Having read The Whispering Wind previously I was recommended Children of the Mists.
What is overwhelming clear in both books is the author's deep love and fascination with Sardinia: its landscape, people and culture.
Children of the Mists has a useful set of family trees at the start as there are many characters involved and it is easy to refer back to.
To me the story showed what a fine line there is between love and hate, and the strength of family unity.

by Carolyn

Lexa Dudley

Lexa is married with four sons, eight grandchildren and hopes to be a great grandmother this year.

Now in her eighties, she lives with her husband and two dogs and seven geese.

She fell in love with Sardinia in 1972, when on holiday there with her family, and has returned to the island every year since.

She has written two other books set in Sardina. The Whispering Wind and Children of the Mists. Both have won prizes with The Book Excellence Awards.

at the races

down in Sardinia
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