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Cnut: Emperor of the North
Cnut: Emperor of the North
by M.J. Trow
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.92

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatly enjoyed and learnt a lot - recommended reading, 21 July 2014
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I enjoyed reading this book as much as I did reading The Real Middle Earth by Brian Bates. It was really easy going, full of interestesting anecdotes, covered the family history, early years, and later years of Canute/Cnut/Knutr's rise to the English thrown, including the key figures of Alfgifu his mistress from Northampton and his official wife Emma of Normandy, also renamed as Alfigifu and to make matters even more confusing it turns out that Emma's previous husband, Athelread also had a previous relationship with another Alfigifu who produced his bastard son Edmund Ironside. And in fact it is via a treaty agreed between Canute/Cnut/Knutr and Edmund that utlimately won him the throne of England along side his titles in Norway, Denmark and parts of Sweden. Each chapter has a really good indepth focus and I particularly loved the one looking into the ranks of heirarchy during Canute/Cnut/Knutr's reign which was very insightful, especially when it looked at the role of Huscarl's and mercenary warriors which made up the bulk of this King's muscle power. And yes the author does also investigate the myth of King Canute/Cnut/Knutr trying to stop the waves but ultimately it's a bit of a folk story probably along the same grounds of when King Alfred the Great apparently burnt the breads when he was hiding in the guise of a porper etc. I was very impressed with how many records and diaries and letters etc the author used to create such a nice vivid albeit complex at times picture of the world this King grew up in and lived through as King of England especially when you consider he has the least evidence about him as other previous kings. This book has taught me so much and some of the descriptions in particular of a Joms Viking feast hall in an early chapter were incredibily evocative of that long time forgotten era. There are many quotes I adored regarding the King and his era that I might just shout about them on my blog. This really is a fantastic book perfect for those interested in the 10th century and viking history as his reign is often forgotten or gains little mention when he really does deserve so much more for what he achieved. A viking King of England that not only maintained peace not through an awful lot of brute strength but also had a people that loved him for it.


The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7)
The Pagan Lord (The Warrior Chronicles, Book 7)
by Bernard Cornwell
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 7.00

5.0 out of 5 stars So much could be said that wouldn't do this book justice - MUST READ, 21 July 2014
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Amazing. Left me completely out of breath and gasping for more. Thankfully there is a promise of more. Much more to come. Long may he live Uhtred of Babbenburgh.


Grail Knight (Outlaw Chronicles)
Grail Knight (Outlaw Chronicles)
by Angus Donald
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Adventure that packs a lot of surprise punches, 21 July 2014
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Adventure is one word that sums up this latest tale of a certain infamous thiefs life. It is certainly the most heart wrenching of them all which was a nice surprise considering all the other experiences we have shared as a reader of these tales. This particular set of adventures does follow neatly on from Warlord in Robin's hungry pursuit of the Holy Grail which later proves to be exactly what Alan A Dale needs to save his beloved wife from Nur's curse. Team that up with an ideal of revenge against a certain mad mastermind and you have a classic band of warriors facing always uneven odds that makes it a truly gripping adventure. Each chapter left me hooked and gasping like a freshly caught trout. The end of Part 1 was particularly shocking - a true OMG moment I have never experienced and Angus just kept the shocks coming. Even right till the final few chapters where his true writing genius is shown. Again his has surpassed himself and yet another impressive sequel that will demand another highly impressive sequel. If you havent started this series I recommend it. If you have finished Warlord then seek out Grail Knight as if its the Grail itself. You will not ever be disappointed. Cant wait for the Iron Castle to arrive and see what has become of dear Alan and the fearless Robin.


Hereward: End of Days (Hereward 3)
Hereward: End of Days (Hereward 3)
Price: 3.32

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding as always - gripped from first to last page, 21 July 2014
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This third and final book in the epic Hereward trilogy is truly, honestly, cross my heart MIND GRIPPING and EDGE OF YOUR SEAT reading - guaranteed 100%!
Not least due to the reader being plunged into the camp at Ely to learn that not only is order disintergrating and brutal random murders are being committed but HEREWARD IS MISSING! Is all lost?
From there it goes onto the best, most well plotted, jaw dropping roller coaster of a ride as the reader followers the several key point events that allow certain characters to rise and others to fall as each fights hard for what they most want - be it revenge, power, riches, honour, to complete a fateful oath or even just simple survival.
Soooooo much happens in this one book that I can not possibly mention any of it for fear of spoilers.
But I will say this - if you have read the first book and liked it, if you have read the second book and loved it, you MUST READ THIS out of PURE HONOUR to not only the character of Hereward and his epic life but the masterful telling by James Wilde.


Birthright
Birthright
Price: 2.87

5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable new talent reviving a forgotten Welsh Hero, 21 July 2014
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This review is from: Birthright (Kindle Edition)
This book has all the great features of a good and enjoyable historical adventure. A young hero eager to prove himself to right a wrong against his exiled family, his loyal friend and strong commander, cunning and decieptful enemies and of course plenty of gripping battles that earn him honour as well as challenging his leadership skills.

It introduces the fascinating and forgotten Welsh hero of Gruffod, who is raised ultimately in Ireland by his Irish Viking Uncle after his father and mother loose their royal lands and are exiled by ruthless enemies.

There is action and drama from the start as Gruffod tries to earn the respect of the Irish King in order to gain the strength of his armies to use in Wales in order to claim - you guessed it - his birthright. Plenty of plot twists and unexpected surprises. Kept me gripped from start to finish and I am so very pleased that this new talented writers is making this into a trilogy if not a series as I'm sure the sequel will shine even more light and saga fame onto this Welsh hero who fights not just the rebellious irish, viking mercenaries and even his own people in order to restore honour to his family and bring justice in his father's name.

Loved it from start to finish. New talent and highly recommended.


Runes: Book One (Runes Series 1)
Runes: Book One (Runes Series 1)
Price: 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars A very bold & new twist on Valkyries in 21st Century, 21 July 2014
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Create and collect all you know about Valkyries into your mind, got it? Now chuck it all out of the window. Ednah Walters has truly developed and indeed adapted their role and powers to fit into a rather engaging teenage romance with a good dash of runic magic, mystery and a bit of mayhem drama thrown in.

I don't usually read YA supernatural romances and I quite honestly didn't see the HUGE punch coming in at the end as the blurb and indeed the title don't indicate how much norse mythology you are going to get out of this story. And I am pleased to say I wasn't disappointed.

If you are fans of A.K Morgen's Ragnarok Prophesies featuring Dace/Ari/Freki/Geri or Amailia Dillin's Fate series featuring Thor/Eve then you will enjoy the Runes trilogy - yes there is more and I immediately downloaded not just Book 2 but also Book 3.


The Strange Maid: Book 2 of United States of Asgard
The Strange Maid: Book 2 of United States of Asgard
by Tessa Gratton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A MAZE ZING! A sequel that totally revives and refreshes Valkyries and Norse Mythology, 21 July 2014
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OMG OMG OMG OMG IT REALLY IS THAT GOOD NOT JUST GOOD BUT AMAZINGLY BREATHTAKINGLY JAW-DROPPINGLY GOOD!
Yes my use of caps is ABSOLUTELY 100% justified.

The Lost Son (USofA Bk1) blew me away, like Neil Gaiman's American Gods blew me away with its sheer depth, quality, detail and genius imagination - in The Strange Maid, where Tessa focuses on my favouritist Norse mythical character of all time VALKYRIES - I am officially in space with pure awe and respect for how one person can create such a realistic alternative world with all its politics, culture, beliefs and services/systems in place. And still after all this EPIC world building she has the energy and drive to create a tale nay an adventure of heart-stopping moments, shivers of fear and always leaving the reader gasping for more like they have just been deprived of oxygen YET there is never a heavy handed description or line - each word is clearly carefully crafted and some of the imagery used in descriptions of EVERYTHING effectively are utter visual poetry and even sound delicious when spoken outloud (yes I tried I loved it that much).

The plot is as intricate and so full of twists, turns, dives, and yes high points that it's like Tessa has turned a Jelling style twisted beast carving into a literary form.

Anyone who reads this will not be disappointed and will equally excited and impressed for Tessa raising the bar so high following the first book, Lost Sun.

I strongly urge anyone who enjoyed Joanne Harris's Runemarks, Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Kate O'Hearns Valkyrie, Ingride Paulson's Valkyrie Rising and any other norse myth/fantasy author you can think of! READ TESSA GRETTON!

Enough said.


Valkyrie: 2: The Runaway
Valkyrie: 2: The Runaway
by Kate O'Hearn
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.24

5.0 out of 5 stars Kate O'Hearn has joined the ranks of my fav Valkyrie authors!, 21 July 2014
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Oh My Word. Kate O'Hearn has OFFICIALLY joined the ranks of my favourite and super exciting and refreshing Valkyrie authors with this first class sequel to Valkyrie. The characters we loved in the first book are back to face even more danger, experience even more adventure, discover even more secrets and teach us as readers even more powerful lessons so simple and beautiful that connect to us all as humans.
Whereas Valkyrie 1 explored the issues of bullying and social family collapse with Archie's alcoholic mother - Valkyrie The Runaway expands into the wider and deeper value of family whether blood or not. I won't say any more as it is a key part of the excellent gripping plot that had me dedicate many hugely enjoyable hours doing nothing but reading chapter after chapter. And that is the real magic of Kate's writing is that although I am an adult I am enchanted and hooked on the story as much as any young child or teenager would be. Her Valkyrie books each have so much for everyone of all ages and gender.
This sequel is truly fantastic and raises the bar even higher for these fab characters and the world they live in. And as Book 2 has raised the bar higher than first expected I can guarantee that Book 3 will literally be a world changer for readers and characters alike.
If you or a young sibling or relative have any interest in Norse Mythology then I insist you read Valkyrie & Valkyrie: The Runaway asap.


God of Vengeance
God of Vengeance
by Giles Kristian
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 10.49

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like Vikings at all you MUST READ this now!, 29 April 2014
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This review is from: God of Vengeance (Hardcover)
Two words: MUST READ. Also BLOODY BRILLIANT and VIKING GOLD even BUY NOW.

Simply Viking fiction in PEAK PRIME condition.

It is dark, it is dirty and yes there is blood. But oh the GLORY and the PASSION and the GUT-GRIPPING storytelling talent will make you enjoy every chapter, paragraph, sentence and individual words. There are some BEAUTIFUL phrases, kennings and images throughout this book.

The vikings were expert sword-smiths and wrote sagas in silver and blood.
Giles Kristian is a word-smith that has the skaldic powers of all his norwegian ancestors.

The Old Gods notice Sigurd in his bold and dazzling quest for revenge and justice. Their laughter cut short as Sigurd conquers each new challenge set before him.
The Old Gods will have been awakened by the joy from readers discovering the sword-Norse through such modern sagas. I fear Giles may make Bragi, the god of stories old and new jealous but I am sure Odin, god of battle frenzy will smile for the first time in centuries to see the old flame and ferocity of battle kindle in hearts and the renewal of honour and loyalty made clear in a world where "every man is an island".

And I dare say that even Freya, Valkyrie Queen and Goddess of love will bless Giles and his family for honouring her in the form of Valgerd - a viking woman without equal.

Thank Mjolnir there will be another 2 tales to fan Sigurd's and Giles's fame beyond shore and sea.


Viking: The Norse Warrior's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals)
Viking: The Norse Warrior's (Unofficial) Manual (Unofficial Manuals)
by John Haywood
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 9.06

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting & entertaining - perfect for young and old wanna-be vikings, 19 Mar 2014
Exceedingly interesting, enlightening and even entertaining. Fabulous content and detail. Great images and historical examples from sagas and international history. If you have an interest in vikings and even if you think you know your stuff this is highly recommended. It covers so many aspects of the Viking world from social position, national politics, rulers and leaders, types of ships, armour and weapons, joining an army or going o a Strandhogg and even what to do with the loot you earn and those that die. A thoroughly enjoyable book for all ages.


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