AMAZON UK £8.99
AMAZON US $3.08 $15.25
AMAZON CA $n/a
Sons of Kings #1
Viking / Saxon
England / Denmark
As an avid follower of Vikings on TV, I approached this novel with some trepidation as it dealt with the same Danish family and their counterparts in Wessex and Mercia. I have studied this era to degree level, but my memory would certainly allow for writer's licence, if it were a good read....
In fact, this story of Eadwulf and his abduction from Mercia and subsequent sale to the family of Ragnar Lothbrok and the fate of his own family doesn't rely on history but it was a really good story led entirely by its protagonists who never feel pushed around by the author to fit her idea of what is going on. At times they threaten to run off on their own.
We watch Eadwulf grow up around Ragnar's sons, feel his pain and suffer along with him as he finds that he is entirely powerless and has sunk from the highest in his community to the lowest in another.
We also leave Eadwulf in Denmark to enter the palaces of Wessex and meet a cast of characters who are all called Aethel-something and that they never get too confusing is all down to Ms Thom's careful writing. In parallel to Eadwulf, we follow the young life of Alfred, similarly a prince born to an Anglo Saxon king whose gentle, privileged upbringing is in stark contrast to the trials of Eadwulf.
This is the first in a trilogy that promises much. The reader must bear this in mind as a great deal is unresolved at the end, but be assured that there is enough to want you to pick up the next volume and find out what happens next. Even if you know this era well, this novel brings it to life.
A really good, if long, read.
© Nicky Galliers
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