Sons of the Wolf by Paula Lofting

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It is 1055, a decade or so before William makes his move for the English crown.  King Edward is without an heir…Harold Godwinson wants to be that heir but before that can happen, there are other enemies to deal with.  Wulfhere is the thegn of a small village and has newly returned from the battlefield, one that is a source of nightmares and those are only part of the woes the protagonist faces at home.  Wulfhere is a complicated and conflicted character and is but one example of the well written characters the author has created, both fictional and historical.  The author has also given the reader a wonderful view of what life was like, the lives of the villagers, the thegns and nobles are vividly portrayed.  So too, are the scenes of battle, whether a full blown engagement or a feud induced brawl, the bestial savagery of man is on full display.  I really enjoyed this tale.  It is a page turning nail biter and what’s even better is that it’ll continue in a sequel. 4.3 stars

 

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The Wolf’s Gold by Anthony Riches

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Entry number 5 in the Empire series finds the Tungrians and their colleagues up against some devious foes as they’re ordered to protect a lucrative gold mining operation.  Entry number 5 also finds the author on top of his game as he spins a yarn that is full of drama, camaraderie, plot twists and surprises.  It is certainly fair to say that Anthony Riches knows how to pen a battle scene from the grisly outcome to the imaginative tactics employed.  The author also gives us a glimpse of the future through Centurion Corvus and his dreams along with some news from Rome concerning his family and who ordered them killed.  All in all, The Wolf’s Gold is a thrilling romp through some formidable terrain both in terms of the countryside and in the Imperial political scene (in other words, if the Emperor ain’t happy, ain’t no one safe.)    🙂  4.4 stars