The Engeln have now settled on the isle of Britannia and are intent on staying, and will fight to maintain and expand their territory and culture. The people of Powys are not too happy with this and are intent on driving the invaders out as they expand their own reach. A clash is inevitable and the author is on top of his game in this tale of that confrontation. Great characters, wonderful verbal byplay, thrilling action and an insightful look into Dark Age Britain make this book hard to put down. A good tale needs to be able to surprise the reader on occasion and The Scathing certainly fulfills that requirement. In fact, it is the surprise element that has me looking forward to the continuation of this series. 4.7 stars and The Hoover Book Review’s prestigious “You Just Blew Me Away” award. 🙂
It is fascinating to me that I keep finding books that deal with times and places that I have not visited. This time it is the early Middle Ages or the Dark Ages to some and the place is southern Scandinavia. Leofric is a sickly son of an Angle hero and the nephew of the Thegn, a devious man who convinces Leofric and their one handed servant to pose as mailed warriors in an upcoming muster; a scheme that has unforeseen consequences and which sets the tone and drama for the rest of the story as Leofric comes face to face with his fears in order to fulfill his wyrd or fate. The author has given us a glimpse into the lives of the various groups that inhabit that portion of Europe; most of these groups play a future role in the formation of Britain; first as raiders and later as conquerors and settlers. I hesitate to say too much so as to not rouse the Spoiler Police, but there is plenty of drama, twists in the plot, wonderful characters and scenic description to make this a most enjoyable read. Plus, the end of the book is not the end of the story, there will be more of Leofric to come and that my historical fiction friends is good news indeed. A solid 4 stars and a hearty Hooverbkreview recommendation.