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The Bone Thief: (Wulfgar 1) [Paperback]

V.M. Whitworth
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
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Book Description

16 Aug 2012 Wulfgar (Book 1)

Alfred the Great has been dead for a decade. His legacy: an uneasy alliance between the neighbouring kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia.

Wulfgar, a young priest in training, more at home with his books than with a sword, has been tasked with an impossible mission. He must travel secretly to the badlands of the North and find the bones of a long lost saint.

But the Northern territories are under the rule of Viking invaders. And if Wulfgar is discovered, they will have his head...

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The Bone Thief: (Wulfgar 1) + The Traitors' Pit: (Wulfgar 2)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (16 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091947235
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091947231
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.6 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 233,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"VM Whitworth's gripping tale combines convincing historical details with a well constructed plot, but its greatest asset is undoubtedly its central character. In Wulfgar, she has created an immensely appealing hero whose further adventures readers will anticipate with relish." (BBC History Magazine)

"Excellent - definitely for Sansom/Parris readers." (Bookseller)

"Once you're in, you will be hooked." (Weight Watchers Magazine)

" excellent debut whodunit with a Viking theme which is to be followed next year by The Traitors' Pit, to which I am already looking forward." (Mike Russell The Sunday Herald)

Book Description

A major new historical epic set in Anglo Saxon England. in the tradition of C.J. Sansom and Rory Clements

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in ages 18 Feb 2012
This book is amazing. I absolutely loved it from start to finish, and ended up sitting up to finish it in my pyjamas because I just had to know what happened. The characters are believable and quite engrossing - I didn't expect to find myself rooting for a tenth century monk-in-training but that's exactly what happened. Wulfgar is both human and heroic at the same time and V.M. Whitworth really explores the character's flaws and strengths - I thoroughly enjoyed watching Wulfgar change and develop during his adventures. Other stand out characters for me (although it's hard to choose to be honest) include Gunnvor Cat's Eyes and Eirik the Spider - Gunnvor as a strong female character normally so absent in historical adventures and Eirik as one of the most chilling villains I've encountered in a long while. It was particularly refreshing to read a novel set in the Anglo Saxon period that went beyond lords, thanes and battles. Whitworth goes beyond the easy stereotypes to bring the period vividly to life, both the everyday life of normal folk and the deep political intrigues of a kingdom in flux and I found it nearly impossible to tear myself away.

I would highly highly recommend this book to everyone - fans of historical fiction by writers such as Phillipa Gregory and C.J. Sansom will love the detail and historical accuracy (in fact, Whitworth easily surpasses other writers in maintaining a reliable historical atmosphere, no annoying modern idiomatic phrases here thank goodness) and those looking for adventure, depth and great writing will not be disappointed.

And now the hard bit - waiting for the next installment of Wulfgar's adventures. I for one hope there will be many many more to come.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Anglo-Saxon Quest 13 Mar 2012
This is a great age for historical fiction, and it's good to welcome another writer of the genre, and a really promising one. V M Whitworth has chosen a fascinating period, when the old certainties of Anglo-Saxon England - Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex - had been thrown into confusion by the Danes, but (in the period immediately after the death of Alfred) when the Danes too were changing, some still in the old ways, some feeling their way towards a future settled state in England, even perhaps as Christians, or as prosaic traders and farmers. The quest on which the sub-deacon Wulfgar embarks takes him from Worcester, still Mercian, to Leicester, now a border town, and on into the wild East, to Lincoln and beyond. The settings are very skillfully drawn, suggesting a precise period. The touchy relationship between intact Wessex (where Wulfgar comes from originally, and his heroine the Lady of the Mercians), and the rump of Mercia, is at the core of the book and fascinating to this reader who's recently come to live just west of Worcester. The book invites comparison with Ellis Peters's first Cadfael novel, also about a quest to remove relics to a new shrine, and I have to say that Whitworth feels more authentic and less sentimental. No soppy romances either between pin-up noble lads and emerald eyed maidens! The characters, from bishops and rulers to the most humble folk of town and country, feel genuine. Wulfgar sets out with one companion on his quest, and acquires two more - and he grows up on the journey as heroes often fail to. I shall certainly hope to hear more of him during the years when the lady and her brother King Edward of Wessex brought all England south of the Humber under Anglo-Saxon control again. Charles Gordon Clark, Bromyard.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking adventure ... 29 Feb 2012
Here's a cracking story that rips along faster than Odin's eight-legged horse.
It's a great adventure story: once I started reading I could hardly put it down!
I'd recommend 'The Bone Thief' to everyone: it's cunningly wrought, meticulously researched and great fun.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling 28 Feb 2012
By FaFa
Everything you could want from a great historical novel, well written, informative, gripping . A fabulously erudite insight in to the Anglo-Saxon period. "We want historical novels to plunge us into a world different from our own while enabling us to understand that world and the people who inhabit it", V.M. Whitworth does so effortlessly. I read it almost in one sitting, which for me is a sign of a captivating novel. Bring on the next instalment!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Adventure 30 Mar 2012
By Wendi
I met the author at an archaeological seminar on Viking age sculpture when she mentioned that she was about to publish her first novel. I'm a great fan of historical novels, especially anything that touches on post-Roman Britain (Dark Ages? pfah!) so to find out that an academic specializing in the period was having a bash at fiction piqued my curiosity.
I had a very enjoyable afternoon in York for the book launch where we were treated to a couple of readings by the author (you really should do the audiobook) and a talk on the difficulties of researching the period. When I finally got chance to sit down and read the book I was not disappointed.
Very well researched, the period is brought to life incredibly clearly. The attention to detail is fantastic, and each character stands out from the page, even the minor ones.
The Bone Thief comes highly recommended, and I can't wait for the next installment in Wulgar's adventures.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This novel was recommended to me at a conference, mainly because it was set in Mercia during the reign of Ęthelflęd, daughter of Alfred the Great and ‘Lady of the Mercians’. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Medieval Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars A really good read.
I was engrossed by this from the beginning. Thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the book. I often start a book and get bored with it after a short time but didn't want to put this... Read more
Published 6 months ago by MRS D C MARTIN
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read
A well paced Dark Ages adventure with likeable heroes pitted against convincingly evil villains. Characters are deftly drawn and their motivations ring true, as does the depiction... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Elkhead
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoying this!
I'm still reading this book and think it's great. The characters are well-drawn and the historical setting really comes alive. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Hils C
3.0 out of 5 stars The minus points are just quibbles really
I rather enjoyed this book and look forward very much to the next instalment.

The plus points for me are as follows-

it deals with a time in... Read more
Published 8 months ago by FRS
5.0 out of 5 stars The bone thief
A fantastic story set in a time all too forgotten, this anglo-saxon mixed with a bit of viking loved it!!!
Published 8 months ago by ĘŽelwulf rodrickson
5.0 out of 5 stars The female equivalent of Bernard Cornwell - the stort is that good
This book is a very charming and delightful piece of historical fiction that takes a fresh new stance in the genre by having the main character not a young earl/lord wronged by... Read more
Published 9 months ago by valkyrie1008
3.0 out of 5 stars A hero who could dither for England!
I was all prepared to love this book. I've read a lot about Anglo-Saxon England, and it's one of my favourite periods of history. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Pamela Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable
Definitely a page turner. It was a little slow to start off with, but once the plot really got going I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 13 months ago by R H L Evers
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping page-turner; the perfect historical adventure.
I read an awful lot of historical novels, but not very many set as far back as the tenth century,so this was a new experience - and I was certainly not disappointed. Read more
Published 14 months ago by A. H. Daniell
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