Top positive review
A great Dark Ages read.
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2020
Having read and loved Matthew Harffy's excellent Bernicia Chronicles series, I looked forward to this new book with breathless anticipation. In all honesty, the first half of the book was not as compelling as the Bernicia books. There was a wealth of information about life in a medieval monastery, all well and good but not heart racing. The main character, Hunlaf, a monk, finds his inner warrior when the Norse invade his monastery. Once he has tasted taking a life in combat, he begins to question his calling and chooses to leave his vows behind. It is this second part of the book, the last half, that really sets the theme of the book, in my opinion. Hunlaf joins forces with a rag-tag group of warriors to defend his former monastery from the return of the Norse invaders. The training and eventual confrontation with the Vikings is good stuff - fit for any fan of Dark Ages fiction.
The story is told from the viewpoint of Hunlaf at the end of his life and hints at further adventures to come. I look forward to these.