At a book fair today I stumbled across Devoted by Alice Borchardt who is Anne RIce's older sister.
Here is the write up of the novel
As a first work, Devoted may presage the author's potential. It reads as though she were shaking the tree of her imagination to see what will drop. One story can hardly contain all the fruitful ideas that fall. Set in the year 900, the story centers on a medieval stronghold beset by invading Vikings, corrupt feudal landlords, and a traitor within. Owen, Bishop of Chantalon, is a Christian; Elin, beaten, raped, and forced into slavery by the Vikings, is of the Forest People, pagans with magical skills. Through their union, Borchardt explores the conflict between paganism and early Christianity and the flagrant inequalities between men and women, the nobility and the lesser born, and people with different beliefs. These large themes make the story overlong, sometimes threatening to take it over. But the monumental, blood-soaked clashes between the Saxons and the Vikings; the descriptions of household artifacts, weaponry, and fashion in the Middle Ages; and, of course, the heart of the tale: the love that is hammered into being like a coat of woven mail between Owen and Elin, make this first novel a worthwhile read.