Pagan King

(Of Gods and Kings #2)

by M.J. Porter

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The year is 641 and the great Oswald of Northumbria, bretwalda (wide-ruler) over England, must battle against an alliance of the old Britons and the Saxons led by Penda of the Hwicce, the victor of Hæ∂feld nine years before, the only Saxon leader seemingly immune to his beguiling talk of the new Christianity spreading through England from both the north and the south.
Alliances will be made and broken, and the victory will go to the man most skilled in war craft and statecraft.
The ebb and flow of battle will once more redraw the lines of the petty kingdoms stretching across the British Isles.
There will be another victor and another bloody loser. 

REVIEW

When I read Pagan Warrior, the first book in the series, I was convinced that I would certainly read the rest. What I’m most disappointed in is that it took me so long to read Pagan King. Regardless of the reasons for the delay, it took only a page for me to rekindle my liking of that irascible, ambition driven, Woden in the flesh, Penda. As befits the tenor of that age, this is a complex story and is told in first person chapters which highlights all that emotion, all of those ambitions, all of that religious fervor… Indeed it allows the reader to walk alongside of Penda, Eowa, and Oswald as they turn things over in their minds. It is a complex story, a lot of treachery, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of pragmatic decisions. The buildup to the climatic battle is page turning at its finest, there be some excellent storytelling in these pages.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

THE BLUE BOOK OF VIROCONIUM: PENDRAGONS: BOOK 2

by Kevin Bayton-Wood

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ALL THE AUTHOR’S ROYALTIES FROM THIS BOOK SERIES WILL BE DONATED TO PARKINSON’S DISEASE RESEARCH. The Blue Book of Viroconium is the second novel in the Pendragons book series. Following on from the Pendragon’s victory over the Saxons at Badon, Prince Owain again finds himself fighting a major battle with the Saxons, though this time he must also fight a two-pronged attack from within his own lands. Gwen, with her family threatened by an unseen assassin, sets off alone into the Middleland Forest to find the killer she knows she is unlikely to defeat, and yet she has no choice but to search out and confront the most wicked of creatures. Gal, now a Red Cloak, is set to marry Seren but, lurking in the forest stalks the most dangerous of men, who will stop at nothing to make Seren his own. A less martial novel than The Black Book of Badon, The Blue Book of Viroconium introduces the reader to the most shocking of sorrows, tragedy follows almost all of the major characters but there is hope for the Pendragon and his friends: the arrival in Viroconium of a golden child will change the lives of all who meet her; a cousin of Owain returns to take his rightful place in the heart of Celtic Briton; on the Isle of Mona a man takes the mushroom drink and makes a realization only the Merlin can understand. This book might well be the most turbulent of the five novels in this series, but it is the most compelling, more so because one of the main characters meets the saddest and most horrific of deaths. A love story, a tale of murder and magic and mystery, a tragedy intertwined with triumph, this book plays with the emotions of those willing to read it.

REVIEW

As with the first volume in the Pendragons series, The Blue Book continues the imaginative telling of the Arthurian legend. Overcoming overwhelming odds, and a multitude of problems, this episode is one of perseverance and faith. It is also, as becomes the violent nature of the age, a tale replete with the sadness and grief associated with that violence. Yes my fellow peeps and travelers along this journey, there is much sadness. I will say no more about that other than to highlight one of the many interesting characters in this tale, Rohanna. A more vile, wicked creature, and yet still a somewhat enticing one, is hard to imagine. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Christian priest/warrior Illtud, an immediately likeable sort, a more pure rendition of a Christ follower than many of the ‘my way or it’s hell for you’ priests. The Pendragon has a lot on his plate, most of it not too appetizing. It will take all his courage, fortitude, and a trust in his abilities to survive everything coming at him. And of course, his Red Cloaks.

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Reliquary – Review & Interview

Book One Of The Peregrinus Trilogy

by Prue Batten

Reliquary: Book One of The Peregrinus Series by [Prue Batten]

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1196AD

Lyon

Relics can move mountains, so history relays. They cure the sick, promise success, enable whole kingdoms to win wars.

A fragment of byssus lies in a small chest and its very existence underlines the life of Christ and the meaning behind the Holy Church. Its power can only be wondered at.

It is the kind of relic which inspires heroic deeds and . . . murder.

An elderly nun and a returned crusader are all that stands between the world’s most sanctified relic and a Templar knight who craves it for his own purpose.

From Constantinople to Caen, from Venice to Viviers, from Rome to Rouen, relics are traded like pepper and frankincense, silk and silver, lapis and alum. Sold to the highest bidder.

Who then should pay the highest price of all for a fragment of aged cloth?

Is the highest price surely . . . and inevitably . . . death?

If you enjoyed The Kingmaker Series or The Knights’ Templar MysteriesReliquary will enthral you.

Reliquary is Book One of The Peregrinus Series

REVIEW

One indication that you’re having a good day is when a favorite author personally requests a review of their new book. An even better indication is that despite the fact that I have a decades long dislike of the historical abuse of power fomented by ‘Holy Mother Church’, Reliquary is a certified page turning tale. The emotional trauma of a nun completely out of her comfort zone – a cloistered existence in a small convent in the middle of nowhere – is deftly and beautifully written. Not that she is the only character suffering pangs of doubt, hatred, unfulfilled love and the like. It is a dangerous mission for all involved in this latest foray into the author’s Gisborne legacy. Another chapter in an amazing series of books, one that had me riveted, and that has me anticipating the next one. There are questions still to be answered, hearts that still need mending. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The author takes the time to answer some questions:

Interview with Prue Batten

What is it that prompted you to start writing?

I love creating stories in the same way that others create art, poetry or music. I’ve been writing prose since I was first able to write words when I would apparently tell myself little stories. That feeling of ‘writing’ is indescribable, and I can’t find the words without sounding precious.

But that’s the other thing, you see; I love words!

Why this particular genre?

I read my first hist.fict in Grade 6. A Rosemary Sutcliff, The Eagle of the Ninth. And from that moment, hist.fict and indeed history, became my genre of choice. But I will qualify that just a little by saying that myth and legend dominated my early childhood reading and so fantasy is a very close second.

But in terms of his.fict, I also had the most wonderful lecturer in medieval history at university. He was a Roman Catholic priest and a history-maker in his own right. He came to the faith after his marriage and was one of the only modern Roman Catholic priests I have heard of who did in fact have a legitimate wife and children. He had a way of kindling sparks of interest in we students. He talked of folk like Peter Abelard, Heloise of Argenteuil, Hildegarde von Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, the Venerable Bede and so many more, bringing them to life before my eyes. The names were like beacons. Before long, I had a deeply rooted love of the medieval era. He spent very little time talking of kings and dynastic wars and hours talking about the development of philosophies and I think that’s why I write fiction that is so far removed from bloody battles and so rooted in the common man’s traditions.

Were there any influences that helped you create the Gisborne legacy?

Now that is a huge question.

Firstly, Dorothy Dunnett who established the House of Niccolo, set in the European Renaissance. She is an iconic hist.fict writer – the doyen of all good hist.fict. in my opinion.

Because I have a lifelong fascination with the medieval era, I idly began to read on trade in the 12th century, reasoning that someone didn’t just begin to trade as the Renaissance took off. And of course, I was right. The medieval era was filled with extraordinary beauty and that beauty came from rare and exotic goods that were the result of travel and trade from beyond the flat edge of the world. Such trading encouraged the best and complete worst of humankind and thus I had my Gisborne trading house.

The man Gisborne is quite another thing and in many ways, quite trite. Originally the first Gisborne book began life as a blog fan-fiction – what Guy of Gisborne’s life would have been if he had turned away from the Sheriff of Nottingham and chosen an untrodden pathway. It had an enormous following because Guy was based on Richard Armitage’s interpretation in the TV series Robin Hood, and any woman who was a fan of Robin Hood knows of the thousands-strong Armitage Army.

But ¾’s of the way through the telling of that first story, I could feel myself moving into more serious historical fiction. My research on the era went deeper and the narrative began to change dramatically. In time, I had a publishable book. The story continued for two more books to make a trilogy and in that time, I met characters I grew to love and who had their own story to tell. Thus, I ended up with another series and am now on my way to a third series. The members of the household are many and varied…

What books, genres, authors does Prue read when she’s not writing?

I read most genres except sci fi and romance, and I’m not a great fan of time-travel. My favourite genres are hist.fict and fantasy but I also enjoy good contemporary fiction. My favourite time frames are Roman, Dark Age, medieval and Renaissance, but I’m very flexible if it’s a good story The names Simon Turney, Anna Belfrage, Gordon Doherty, Matthew Harffy, Theodore Brun, Robert Low, Bernard Cornwell, Paul Collard and Paul Bennett, all spring to mind. But there are many others. Actually, looking at that list above, I realise Anna is the only woman. She must work extra hard to keep her name amongst the collective Illuminati! I shall have to try harder to join her!

My favourite fantasy stories are those based on myth and folklore. I have a Number One favourite – internationally renowned Juliet Marillier who was, in fact, the person who challenged me to write a contemporary fiction about a woman of a certain age. In addition, and although nothing has come from this writer’s pen for many years, I do love Cecilia Dart Thornton’s work.

I also enjoy biographies on people I admire or who create an interest by the way they have lived their lives: certain members of the Royal Family, some American presidents, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Joanna Lumley, David McAllister and so forth.

Who do you turn to for advice or encouragement when the Muse is a bit reticent in supplying inspiration?

Would you believe I don’t turn to anyone? I either write through it or take a complete break and do something else. I love the outdoors, I walk a lot with my dog, I’m a gardener and embroiderer, I love ballet, ocean swimming, kayaking – boating of any sort. I suppose if anything stirs the Muse, it’s Nature. I’m also a believer that things happen when they’re meant to.

Circling back a little to Passage, one of the more poignant stories I’ve read, was it difficult to take on a tale outside of your normal comfort zone?

Thank you for the compliment and yes, it was. When dealing with the contemporary world, one knows one’s readers will be very familiar with so much more than one’s 12th century. In addition, one knows one’s readers will automatically assume that one is writing one’s own life into the narrative. Thus it was important to establish that the work was fictional, BUT that it was based on an actual event in my own life.

That was the other difficulty. The accident my husband suffered on the farm caused some PTSD. Mostly for him, but a little for me as well, and writing Passage allowed me to process that dreadful day and be glad that our outcome was so different to Annie’s.

A further difficulty was that I have reached the time in life when some of my friends are passing away or losing their lifelong partners. By necessity, Passage became a lesson in grief – one of the hardest lessons we all have to learn.

It seems bizarre to say I enjoyed writing Passage, but I actually did. To be able to set the story on my own coastline, the one I love so much, was beyond special and I’ve always believed that a setting can be a character in its own right. Maria Island dominates Annie’s landscape and in fact was transformative for her. Every day I look at that island now, I see it in a different light.

What is next for Prue Batten?

Reliquary is Book One of a 3 book series – The Peregrinus Series. I’m a quarter of the way through the second book, tentatively titled Oak Gall and Gold. Each book is a standalone but they all involve members of the Gisborne ben Simon trading house with whom, it might be said, I’m in a long-lasting relationship.

Thank you, so much Paul, for these insightful questions. I’ve commented elsewhere that such questioning keeps one’s feet on the ground and makes one realise why one is indeed a writer. That’s very important! Cheers.

The Fall of Kings (Legend of the Cid Book 3)

by Stuart Rudge

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Castile. 1071AD

Three kings. One crown.

After Sancho II of Castile dispatches his champion Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar to capture his brother, King Garcia of Galicia, he hopes it is a defining moment in his quest to reunite the lands of his father under one banner. But Alfonso VI of Leon is one step ahead, and has already added the lands of Galicia to his domain. When the only alternative is war, Sancho turns to Rodrigo to lead the armies of Castile, and he must use all his tactical acumen to defeat the Leonese in the field. Only one son of Fernando can claim victory and become the Emperor of Hispania.

Rodrigo and Antonio, now a knight of the realm, find difficulty adjusting to the new regime. Dissent and unrest run rife throughout the kingdom, and the fear of a knife in the dark from enemies old and new hangs heavy upon the pair. But if it is allowed to fester, it threatens to undo all that has been achieved. Can Rodrigo and Antonio root out the enemies of the king, and prevent chaos reigning throughout the land?

The Fall of Kings in the breath taking third instalment of the Legend of the Cid.

REVIEW

One of the results of my reading this captivating series is that I find myself researching what to me is an unfamiliar piece of history, and what is abundantly clear is that the author has created an amazing tale from the historical record. I had enjoyed the first two volumes, this one I love. The author has captured the mindset of the medieval knight, the loyalty and devotion to one’s Lord and King, and the unending enmity between rivals for the throne. Brutal is a good word to describe any civil war, and this one between Leon and Castile is no exception. But wait, there’s more – throw in the increasing tension between Christian and Moor…a good old fashioned, fueled by religious fervor, war is in the offing. And lest we forget, there’s still a little matter of vengeance to complete. 😎 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

For Lord and Land (The Bernicia Chronicles Book 8)

by Matthew Harffy

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Greed and ambition threaten to tear the north apart
War rages between the two kingdoms of Northumbria. Kin is pitted against kin and friend becomes foe as
ambitious kings vie for supremacy.
When Beobrand travels south into East Angeln to rescue a friend, he unwittingly tilts the balance of power
in the north, setting in motion events that will lead to a climactic confrontation between Oswiu of
Bernicia and Oswine of Deira.
While the lord of Ubbanford is entangled in the clash of kings, his most trusted warrior, Cynan, finds
himself on his own quest, called to the aid of someone he thought never to see again. Riding into the
mountainous region of Rheged, Cynan faces implacable enemies who would do anything to further their
own ends.
Forced to confront their pasts, and with death and betrayal at every turn, both Beobrand and Cynan have
their loyalties tested to breaking point.
Who will survive the battle for a united Northumbria, and who will pay the ultimate price for lord and
land?

REVIEW

Life is certainly not getting any easier for Beobrand. In fact, irony, bad luck, and jumbled emotions have made our hero’s life a bit of a mess. There’s a line from singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn’s tune The Whole Night Sky – ‘hanging from this high wire by the tatters of my faith.’ Substitute ‘oath’ for ‘faith’ and that sort of encapsulates the mindset of Beobrand in the 8th installment of this most excellent series. Everything he does, even if it’s for the right reasons, comes back to add to his mounting confusion, and frustration. There were times, if I was Beobrand, where my control over my rage would not have been contained. Yes, my fellow followers of this warrior/leader of Bernicia, the author has done another remarkable job in keeping the lid on Beobrand’s fiery temper while providing us with another action-packed, emotionally charged tale of the chaotic Northumbrian battles for supremacy. And even better, the series isn’t finished yet. 😎 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author:
Matthew Harffy grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky
coastline had a huge impact on him. He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their
two daughters. @MatthewHarffy http://www.matthewharffy.com

Retail links

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3e45G97

Follow Matthew

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

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Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

THE BLACK BOOK OF BADON: PENDRAGONS

by KEVIN BAYTON-WOOD

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King Arthur is a man smothered in myth and legend, and rightly so because we need diversion, stimulation and an extension to our imaginations and, it is because of the myths and legends that his name has survived and become a part of the collective British consciousness. But hidden within the mists of legend a real man once looked across the meadows, hills and valleys of Britain and, determined not to cede once piece of Celtic Britain to the Angles, Saxons, Frisians and Jutes, he was prepared to put his life on the line to protect those who could not protect themselves. Many novels have been written about the man who became known as King Arthur, and I’ve read most of them. So why did I choose to write a book series, and what makes my book different? The truth is that I wrote the first book in the series because I didn’t have any choice; I had been challenged to try and write by a friend, and once I began I could not stop, I loved creating the narrative and now that I have completed all 5 books in the series, I am so glad that I accepted my friend’s challenge. My book is different because after researching the subject for decades, I believe I know who King Arthur really was, where he lived and how his life might have played out. But this book is not about just one man, in my opinion the true hero of this book is Arthur’s lover, Gwen; she is the heart of the story, as well as being its soul, which at times is ethereal and ghostly, and also glorious because she is as much a warrior as any of the male characters are, and the balance to the story that she provides is essential to the massive climax of this first novel. This book is set at the cusp of the fifth and sixth centuries, when the ambitions of King Aelle of the South Saxons led him and his massive army to Badon, where he would fight the Pendragon for control of Britain. Many of the usual characters in the Arthurian Pantheon take their rightful places alongside the Pendragon, because some of the people in the myths and legends were real people so I felt I could not leave them out. I also created two or three new characters, purely for the fun of taking the story in different directions to make the read even more enjoyable. I hope that you enjoy these new characters, and also the novel way in which I have illuminated the so-called Dark Ages. What I can promise you if you read this book, is a fast paced thriller, a love story with a hint of Otherworldly magic, as well as the expected triumphs and tragedies you’d find in a novel about King Arthur and his lover, Gwenwyfar. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. Kevin Bayton-Wood.

REVIEW

Whatever your thoughts are about the mythic Arthur, one thing you can admit, and admire, is the sheer number of versions of his story brought forth by creative minds. This book, and if it is any indication of the others, this series, is most certainly that – a creative version of the iconic Bear of Britain. It is also a compelling tale, drawing the reader in with superbly crafted characters; a virtual pantheon of the Arthur saga, friends and foes alike. It is also a tale of a love that evokes the gamut of human emotion; a point of contention within Owain’s mind; does he choose to fill his life with peace and tranquility with Gwen, or will the weight of his responsibility to his people threaten to keep them apart? I really enjoyed the ebb and flow of Owain’s predicament; the reluctant hero versus the joys of life with Gwenwyfar. Now it may seem a bit strange, but I kind of felt bad for the Saxon leader, Aelle. Here he is all convinced that he will soon be waist deep in Celtic blood, the Pendragon’s head on a spike, and be wearing a crown as King of all Briton. That is another box ticked off in the list of things I look for in a book; the action that takes place is exciting, visceral without being overly gory, and full of surprises. Yes my fellow readers, Aelle is in for a lot of disappointment. The question is, what will Owain do next? Responsibility or Gwenwyfar? Fortunately, the rest of the series is already written…won’t have to wait too long to find out how the author continues this very creative version of Arthur. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Canterbury Murders

(Stanton & Barling #3)

by E.M. Powell

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#TheCanterburyMurders #EMPowell #HFVBTBlogTours
Twitter tags: @empowellauthor @hfvbt  
Facebook tags: @empowellauthor @hfvbt 

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A fire-ravaged cathedral. An ungodly murder.

Easter, 1177. Canterbury Cathedral, home to the tomb of martyr Saint Thomas Becket, bears the wounds of a terrible fire. Benedict, prior of the great church, leads its rebuilding. But horror interrupts the work. One of the stonemasons is found viciously murdered, the dead man’s face disfigured by a shocking wound.

When King’s clerk Aelred Barling and his assistant, Hugo Stanton, arrive on pilgrimage to the tomb, the prior orders them to investigate the unholy crime.

But the killer soon claims another victim–and another. As turmoil embroils the congregation, the pair of sleuths face urgent pressure to find a connection between the killings.

With panic on the rise, can Barling and Stanton catch the culprit before evil prevails again—and stop it before it comes for them?

THE CANTERBURY MURDERS is the third book in E.M. Powell’s Stanton and Barling medieval murder mystery series. Combining intricate plots, shocking twists and a winning–if unlikely–pair of investigators, this series is perfect for fans of Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael or C. J. Sansom’s Shardlake.

REVIEW

Part of the charm of reading murder mysteries is the exhilaration the reader feels when they know who the culprit is…and then to have that feeling replaced by another bout of exhilaration when they realize they were wrong, but now they know for sure who the culprit is. Repeat this cycle until the very end and then exclaim, ‘I knew it‘. A thoroughly enjoyable tale as Barling and Stanton tackle a series of brutal murders – a formidable task in and of itself. Let’s add a few impediments to the investigation…an incompetent Prior, the rebuilding of the Canterbury Cathedral, an ambitious recorder of the miracles at the tomb of St. Thomas Becket, and just a tad of pressure with the imminent arrival of King Henry. Oh, let’s add some more drama – a serious rift in the relationship between Aelred and Hugo. Yes my fellow readers, the author has created a masterful whodunit; a page turning race to resolve another seemingly impossible set of crimes. Suspects – many…mistakes made – many…tormented souls – many…a shocking discovery – one. Stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the Author

E.M. Powell’s historical thriller and medieval mystery Fifth Knight and Stanton & Barling novels have been #1 Amazon and Bild bestsellers.

The third Stanton & Barling mystery, THE CANTERBURY MURDERS, will be released in November 2020.

Born and raised in the Republic of Ireland into the family of Michael Collins (the legendary revolutionary and founder of the Irish Free State), she lives in northwest England with her husband, daughter and a Facebook-friendly dog.

E.M. Powell is represented by Josh Getzler at HG Literary.

Giveaway

Enter to win a paperback copy of The Canterbury Murders by E.M. Powell! Two copies are up for grabs!

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends on February 5th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

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The Mules of Monte Cassino

by Jim DeFilippi

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The ground level truth of the most massive and brutal battle of World War II. It begins with: “Sacrifice. Slaughter Stupidity.”

REVIEW

I’ve been a student of history all of my life. From the kitchen table talks with my Dad about WW2 & Korea to majoring in ancient history in college, I’ve always been keen on reading books that buck the trend of the whitewashed, text book, winners write the history ilk. The Mules of Monte Cassino certainly qualifies as trend bucking as the author presents a sardonic look at an unfathomable set of military decisions in southern Italy. Decisions based on ego and distrust of one’s allies resulting in thousands of needless deaths and the destruction of the famous Benedictine monastery. Powerfully descriptive, the author leaves nothing to the imagination as he follows the ‘mules’ across impassable rivers, boot sucking mud, precision artillery & sniper fire from the defenders; not once, but four times. While I don’t enjoy reading about the repeated stupidity of the human race throughout history, it is after all rather hard to avoid, I do enjoy reading creative narratives. Mules certainly has that. Written in a Vonnegut-like fashion, the tongue in cheek attitudes of the narrator and two participants in the battles are an absolutely delightful breath of fresh air. It’s books like this that should be taught; a little irreverent, but certainly more honest than typical text books or the recently released (and subsequently shutdown by a new administration) 1776 Commission Report. So, my fellow seekers of historical truth, The Mules of Monte Cassino is the non-fiction version of Slaughterhouse Five and Catch-22, and is well worth your reading time. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A Time for Swords

by Matthew Harffy

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Lindisfarne, AD793. The life of a novice monk will be changed forever when the Vikings attack in a new historical adventure from Matthew Harffy.

There had been portents – famine, whirlwinds, lightning from clear skies, serpents seen flying through the air. But when the raiders came, no one was prepared.

They came from the North, their dragon-prowed longships gliding out of the dawn mist as they descended on the kingdom’s most sacred site.

It is 8th June AD793, and with the pillage of the monastery on Lindisfarne, the Viking Age has begun.

While his fellow monks flee before the Norse onslaught, one young novice stands his ground. He has been taught to turn the other cheek, but faced with the slaughter of his brothers and the pagan desecration of his church, forgiveness is impossible.

Hunlaf soon learns that there is a time for faith and prayer… and there is a time for swords.

REVIEW

A riveting tale of coming to grips with life altering changes. A life of contemplation and learning suddenly rendered moot with the thrust of a seax. In yet another startling story of the brutal 8th century, the author has given this new cast of characters the same diligent attention to detail and development. An amalgamation of unlikely allies bonding together; an emotionally charged internal battle as Hunlaf moves farther from his life as a monk and closer to becoming a warrior, a storyline that leaves the reader guessing as to what’s going to happen next. And extra points for getting in a mention of Beobrand. 😊 And even more extra points because this tale is just a beginning. 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

About the author

Matthew Harffy grew up in Northumberland where the rugged terrain, ruined castles and rocky coastline had a huge impact on him. He now lives in Wiltshire, England, with his wife and their two daughters.

Pre-order links

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/39T3MqJ

Follow Matthew

Twitter: @MatthewHarffy

Website: www.matthewharffy.com

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Twitter: @AriesFiction

Facebook: Aries Fiction

Website: http://www.headofzeus.com

The Du Lac Curse

(The Du Lac Chronicles #5)

by Mary Anne Yarde

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God against Gods. King against King. Brother against Brother.

Mordred Pendragon had once said that the sons of Lancelot would eventually destroy each other, it seemed he was right all along.

Garren du Lac knew what the burning pyres meant in his brother’s kingdom — invasion. But who would dare to challenge King Alden of Cerniw for his throne? Only one man was daring enough, arrogant enough, to attempt such a feat — Budic du Lac, their eldest half-brother.

While Merton du Lac struggles to come to terms with the magnitude of Budic’s crime, there is another threat, one that is as ancient as it is powerful. But with the death toll rising and his men deserting who will take up the banner and fight in his name?

Please note: The Du Lac Curse contains Adult Content and scenes that some readers may find very upsetting.
The Du Lac Curse is not a standalone novel.

REVIEW

In the last 7 years I have written close to 500 book reviews, so it is difficult at times to keep from repeating myself. In this case because of the sheer magnitude of the sorrows experienced in the 5th book of the Du Lac story, I have no choice but to repeat something I wrote in the review of a previous Du Lac episode, “the build up is a nerve wracking stroll down a path strewn with surprises…the sort of plot that keeps the reader guessing, and turning the pages.” I kept waiting (am still waiting) for a reprieve for the scions of Lancelot…a little peace, perhaps one that lasts for a bit. But as the following snippet shows, the Du Lacs are just not destined for a peaceful existence, “Why?” he asked again, not expecting an answer, for God never answered the du Lacs.

This is probably the darkest book in the series, (well so far, anyway) 😊 a bit more sorrow than there is any joy…and what joy there is, is short lived. Yes my fellow peeps and followers of the Du Lacs, the author has once again written a tale that kept this reader in awe, and in some anxiety over the ordeals faced, knowing that there are more to come. 5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐