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Saxon's Bane [Kindle Edition]

Geoffrey Gudgion
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £5.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description


Fergus’s world changes forever the day his car crashes near the village of Allingley. Traumatised by his near-death experience, he stays to work at the local stables as he recovers. He will discover a gentler pace of life, fall in love – and be targeted for human sacrifice.

Clare Harvey’s life will never be the same either. The archaeologist’s dream find – the peat-preserved body of a Saxon warrior – is giving her nightmares. She can tell that the warrior was ritually murdered, and that the partial skeleton lying nearby is that of a young woman; their tragic story is unfolding in her head every time she goes to sleep.

Fergus discovers that his crash is linked to the excavation, and that the countryside harbours some dark secrets. As Clare’s investigation reveals the full horror of a Dark Age war crime, Fergus and Clare seem destined to share the Saxon couple’s bloody fate.

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Product Description


'Once there was a great classical tradition of rural British horror from MR James to The Wicker Man. Now Geoffrey Gudgion has revived the style and modernised it to great effect, proving there's still nothing as creepy as the countryside.' --Christopher Fowler

About the Author

Geoffrey Gudgion was the scholarship boy who never realised he'd have been happier as a writer than a businessman. Until, that is, he had a spectacular row with his boss and stepped off the corporate ladder. Prior to that epiphany, he made his first attempts at writing fiction during long deployments in the Royal Navy, and consistently failed to reconcile writing with being CEO of a technology company.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 698 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Solaris (25 Aug. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #280,907 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Geoffrey Gudgion was the scholarship boy who was never bright enough to realise he'd have been happier as a writer than a businessman. Until, that is, he had a spectacular row with his boss and stepped off the corporate ladder. Long before that epiphany, he left school at 17 to join the Royal Navy, and was later sponsored by the RN to read Geography at Cambridge University. He made his first attempts at writing fiction during long deployments in warships. In a subsequent, business career, he consistently failed to reconcile writing with being CEO of a technology company.

Gudgion writes contemporary fiction that is grounded in the past. His debut novel, Saxon's Bane, is a thriller with a supernatural twist, and blends a present-day archaeological dig with an Anglo-Saxon legend.

Gudgion lives in the Chiltern Hills between London and Oxford, and his love for the rural English landscape gives his stories a powerful sense of place. When not writing he is an enthusiastic, amateur equestrian and a very bad pianist. Both passions have been known to creep into his writing.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Ancient Mariner TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This book starts out with hints, suggestions, asides and unnerving sensations, adds modern rural hysteria and creepiness, and draws connections to an ancient story of horror and pain. As the tale develops and as the modern players, (and there are a number of them), are drawn into a widening circle of ancient and modern madness, the experienced and cautious reader begins fervently to hope - please let this end with some reasonable degree of clarity. I am increasingly tired of ghost stories that leave one wondering - was there a ghost, what was the ghost, why did the whatever it was do whatever it did? And my favorite from almost every English tale - so, what was the deal with the white stag?

Well, allow me to put your mind at rest dear reader. This book actually resolves mostly all of the plot lines, clues, conflicts, hints and suggestions in a reasonably satisfactory manner. You should feel free to enjoy all of the odd and unnerving moments as they appear, because your diligence will be rewarded and you will not be left scratching your head and wondering if there is a missing final chapter that didn't get downloaded to your reader.

So, dive in and enjoy this harrowing and well told tale.

Please note that I received a free ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The Archers", it's not! 16 Oct. 2013
"Saxon's Bane" is a very English tale, which evokes the 'terrible beauty' of the English countryside wonderfully. It's a complex mystery story which weaves together two modern-day events - a car crash involving two high-flying IT sales execs plus the discovery by a young archaeologist of a Saxon bog body - with dark events of the past and the warring between the Saxons and the Wealas. The main character, Fergus, who survives the crash, is haunted by a vivd near-death experience and becomes drawn to the village of Allingley and its various inhabitants.

The finely-woven story covers some important themes - faith in its different forms, history and truth and the role of nature. In fact, the seasons and the natural world become like another character in the book, with their characteristic and beautifully evoked sights, sounds and smells, as a reminder of how out of touch modern man (as represented by Fergus) has become with the natural rhythm.

The characters were generally well-drawn and credible, although I would have liked to have seen a little more complexity in the main villain - and Fergus' smutty wisecracks did grate at times, although I understand that the author used this as a device to show the character's discomfort with some of his more spiritual experiences.

Overall, it's a real page-turner and thoroughly recommended. The clever construction of the threads of the story, the other-wordly quality of the dream-sequences , the descriptions of countryside and village (e.g. "the land was female, fecund, as English as nut-brown ale, and rich with birdsong") and the growing feeling of unease make this a book to enjoy and savour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking debut 20 Sept. 2013
The trauma that Fergus experiences are utterly horrific and his life is changed fundamentally by surviving the ordeal he goes through. His journey through rehabilitation and onwards to full recovery is covered in depth and these introspective moments are fascinating. The evolution of his character is suitably profound, from a seemingly satisfied tech salesman to an individual suddenly seeking something far more fulfilling. After the car crash, his old life seems like a bit of a bad joke, the trappings of capitalism no longer have quite the lustre that they had before.

The crash and the archaeological dig seem linked, and it's up to Fergus and archaeologist Clare, to discover the truth. Just what is going on with the residents of Allingley and how do events in the present day connect with what has happened centuries past?

I've always liked the idea that places can retain echoes of past events. Call it whatever you want, a ghost, a presence, a shadow, it doesn't matter. The suggestion that something gets left behind is an intriguing one. Couple this with the notion that certain individuals, particularly those who have survived a traumatic event/been close to death, are more in-tune with these places and you have the building blocks of an absorbing mystery.

The fantastical elements in this novel are actually quite subtle and are handled with a very delicate touch. Some of the characters are utterly dismissive of the weird things that are going on while others embrace them entirely. I rather like this approach, as I'm sure different readers will almost certainly take different interpretations from the events that unfold. It's always interesting to read a novel that has that kind of ambiguous quality.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This story is intriguing and captivating from the word go. From the outset, it has a hint of the supernatural buried in the plot. But the "real" world and the "ghostly" world are so entwined that you are never quite sure about where the characters stand; just as in real life, where the spiritual forces in our lives remain intangible. The mingling of past and present is beautifully created. The story constantly evokes the spirit of our long distant past. The plot is intricate and skilfully handled throughout. The author's use of the English language is precise and evocative.
I have read other reviews of this book. As a story in its own right, I think this novel stands alone; I would not want to compare it to any other novel - or author.The climax is gripping - and full of black humour. A truly delightful and intriguing read from start to finish. Richard Walmsley - author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Excellent book. The author pitched it just right although personally I would have preferred him to take it to a darker level
Published 2 months ago by Benny J
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very spooky debut summoning up the ghost of ...
Excellent and very spooky debut summoning up the ghost of a dark and ancient England; echos of Wicker Man and other homegrown rural horrors. Keeps you guessing till the end. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dave Weaver
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Cracking yarn - wonderfully written... and kept me enthralled to the last sentence of the last page.
Published 9 months ago by n a brennan
4.0 out of 5 stars Saxon's Bane has a brilliant opening and you are sucked straight into...
Saxon's Bane has a brilliant opening and you are sucked straight into the story. It is well written and the characters are likeable (some of them) and believable. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Joan Fallon
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK easy read, not having to think too much about ...
An OK easy read, not having to think too much about the storyline to be honest. From the outset you tend to know the baddies from the goodies but a decent read if you just want a... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Hectordog
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Thriller
Fergus is a passenger in a car with a work colleague and is involved in a serious accident when trying to avoid a stag in the middle of the road. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Half Man, Half Book
5.0 out of 5 stars Read because of Book Club
Read through my book club.
I would not picked this book up because of the cover but as It was for my book club I went for it and I have not been disappointed. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Angie
4.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling read
A superb debut and an enthralling thriller which blends the past and the present together. This is an author who is clearly attuned to the ancient history of the landscape that... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kate
5.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Debut Novel by a Master Storyteller.
It's always so exciting to stumble across new talent and know you've found an author whose novels you will always rush to buy on publication day. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Sarah C P
4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner
A page turner, action packed and excellent holiday read. For me i most enjoyed the character of Eadlin who was beautifully drawn.
Published 20 months ago by Reader
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