A Gripping Finale to an Outstanding Historical Fiction Series

 King of the Anglo Saxons by Millie Thom

Premise (from book promo): Following Guthrum’s crushing defeat at Edington, Alfred’s kingdom is enjoying a rare period of peace. Alfred is ageing. Bouts of his old illness are increasingly frequent, and he prays that his final years will be free of Viking raids, allowing him to concentrate on expanding his kingdom’s boundaries and improving its standard of learning. Scholars are summoned from near and far, amongst them a certain Welsh abbot named Asser.

Ongoing peace is no certainty, however, and Alfred continues to improve his defences. An attack on Rochester proves that Wessex is still far from safe… whilst also confirming the effectiveness of Alfred’s newly fortified towns and mobile armies. The arrival of a huge Norse army puts those defences to the test. Its devious leader does not easily give up and the conflict becomes a trial of will and wits between him and Alfred’s staunch ealdormen, one of whom is Eadwulf’s son, Aethelred.

While Aethelred pursues his role as Lord of the Mercians, Eadwulf settles back in Aros. Old friendships are rekindled, new ones are formed, and a situation in al-Andalus takes Eadwulf, Bjorn and their comrades on another dangerous quest across the sea.

But will this new life be enough to stop Eadwulf missing his children and friends back in Mercia?

My Review:

Millie Thom’s “King of the Anglo Saxons” immerses readers in the captivating world of King Alfred the Great and his struggles against Viking raids. As the fourth and final book in the Sons of Kings series, it delivers a fulfilling conclusion to a remarkable historical saga.

Already a fan of the author’s first three wonderful historical novels in the series (all three of which I’ve previously reviewed on this blog), I must say this one might be my very favorite.

As in the first three volumes, Thom skillfully balances various elements, seamlessly blending the challenges and violence of the time with adventure, romance, and action. Every character, no matter how small their role, contributes to the vibrancy of the story. The author’s meticulous research shines through, taking readers from Mercia and Denmark to the vivid and exotic al-Andalus, allowing them to envision long-forgotten times and people.

One of the book’s many strengths lies in the deep connection between King Alfred and the fictional character Eadwulf of Mercia. Thom expertly weaves historical figures with her fictional creations, creating a seamless blend of fact and fiction that enhances the authenticity of the narrative.

The author’s attention to detail is evident throughout the book, and the inclusion of maps provides a wonderful sense of place and historical evolution. She convincingly conveys the passions and motivations of King Alfred, and readers gain insight into Alfred’s dedication to defending his kingdom, fostering education, and leaving a lasting impact on his people.

“King of the Anglo Saxons” captures the complexity of staying in power and the challenge of maintaining peace in the kingdom amid Viking threats. It explores the evolving dynamics between characters, the interplay between loyalty and conflicting interests, and the personal journeys that unfold throughout the series. Readers are left with an appreciation for the historical significance of King Alfred the Great and his enduring legacy.

No doubt Millie Thom has crafted a wonderful four-book series in Sons of Kings, (four book series) with “King of the Anglo Saxons” providing a befitting and satisfying conclusion. It is a testament to Thom’s storytelling prowess, historical knowledge, and ability to create compelling characters that resonated with this reader. This series is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those seeking an immersive and enlightening journey through a tumultuous period in English history.

Millie Thom, author

To learn more about Millie Thom, please visit her site at Bringing History To Life.

 

   

Book Review: Wyvern Of Wessex

Wyvern Of Wessex

Eadwulf is back in the Sea Eagle with Bjorn and his crew in a quest to discover if Eadwulf’s father, King Beorhtwulf of Mercia, is still alive after twenty years as a slave. Bjorn’s great dragonship carries them down to the searing June temperatures and strict laws in the Moorish lands of al-Andalus. But searching for Beorhtwulf proves more difficult than they’d expected, causing them more trouble than they bargained for…

In Wessex, King Aethelred is now dead, leaving his twenty-one-year-old-brother, Alfred, to succeed to the throne. Though his succession was agreed by the witan, Alfred must now prove himself worthy of the kingship or lose it. But Wessex is in turmoil, besieged by Viking Danes intent on subjugating the kingdom – and knowing that the new king is young and inexperienced. Alfred must use all his wiles if he is to outthink and outmaneuver Guthrum, the Dane who nearly becomes his nemesis.

Alfred’s victories and defeats take him on a journey of learning, during which he gains experience and strength. We share his highs and his lows and how he rises from the depths of despair to save his beloved kingdom from total conquest.

And at his side at his greatest time of need, is his new ally and friend, Eadwulf of Mercia.

“Wyvern Of Wessex”, the third book in author Millie Thom’s epic “Sons of Kings” trilogy, is a well-researched historical novel set in the 9th Century. It continues the adventures of the fictional Eadwulf of Mercia intertwined with the historical Christian King Alfred and his epic struggles to unite and solidify a kingdom and battle against the ever-present invasions of the pagan Danes. Though much has been previously written about Alfred and his Danish antagonists, Millie Thom takes a fresh, detailed, and interesting look into the personal lives of the King, his family and friends, and of those who battle against him. This is a historical novel clearly written by an accomplished author who knows and enjoys her subject. I highly recommend.

Links to Millie Thom books and author information:

Amazon US http://amzn.to/2udCDJH

Amazon UK https://amzn.to/2MfSLAy

Amazon Au https://amzn.to/2Kg7WME

WordPress: https://milliethom.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MillieThom