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- File Size: 9761 KB
- Print Length: 384 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HFXRRMY
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- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 29 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Monsters (Sword of Woden Book 3) Kindle Edition
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This book shares the same qualities and features at the two previous ones with, in addition, and as the author also mentioned in his note, a tendency to include more fantasy and more intervention from the Gods, and from Wodin in particular who will use his protégé for his own ends and to settle his accounts. A nice touch – if you like these fantasy features – is the way Beowulf’s trauma is presented and cured. Even if you are not a fan of having such features mixed up in a “historical novel”, the ways in which these are introduced are interesting and make them more plausible because Beowulf’s contemporaries are likely to have seen them in such a light.
You will also get your fill of hard fought battles, with these being rather front-loaded since this book picks up the story exactly where the previous volume left it. One particular piece of interest is the fur-clad axeman champion of the Angles (who happens not to be an Angle himself) who earns himself a very glorious death on the battlefield. There is also quite a bit of drama involved, with Beowulf’s loosing friends and family on the battlefield while he is absent and having his head trauma fixed.
Another feature which readers of CR May’s book will be starting to get used to is the introduction of historical sites in the narrative. This is for instance the case for both Domburg (modern Walcheren) and Dommoc (modern Walton Castle, although the Roman fort and castle has been destroyed by the sea). In both cases, this is the occasion for the author to describe Roman fortifications and a city at a time where these were still occupied or at least more or less preserved.
Beowulf’s expedition to the coast of what was becoming “New Anglia” in order to fulfil a vow and exact vengeance for a dead little girl was however much less plausible and a bit of a distraction. The cruel Briton warlord cum pirate was not very plausible either and the facility with which he was vanquished did not make things better. I could not help wondering how he and his handful of followers had been able to hold out for so long since he seems to have been cut off from the town of Walton.
The expedition to the Land of the Danes in order to rid the King from Grendel, a monster that kills and gobbles up whoever happens to spend the night in the King’s hall only makes roughly one-third of the book. I had wondered how the monster had managed to systematically triumph over all warriors, even when numerous, for a decade. The explanation provided by the author is a rather ingenious one, and one that provided a rather interesting twist. Also interesting is the explaining of what Grendel is exactly and why he cannot be killed by iron. The tracking down of the monster to his lair and that of his “mother” and the final fight against her is where Wodin comes up and gives a helping hand, and even quite a bit more than a hand, but I will let you discover all of this and much else yourselves and stop here to avoid any spoilers.
Finally, there are also a few little glitches, although none are really glaring and none spoil the story. For instance, I somewhat doubt there ever was such a thing as the “English barritus”. The author probably meant the Angles since there simply were no “English” at the time, but only Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Frisians and a few others. Another little glitch is that I am not quite sure that the Geats would have been using the kind of cavalry tactics and flank charges shown by the author. Five stars for a superb and exciting read.
Mr. Mays style of writing is precise but he manages to balance his writing of historical detail with a well paced storyline so that I never got bogged down.
True, the names can take a bit of mental somersaulting but you find yourself extremely well rewarded for the effort!
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I recommend this series to any historical fiction readers
Can't wait for more from this author