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The Traitors' Pit: (Wulfgar 2) Paperback – 21 Nov 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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  • The Traitors' Pit: (Wulfgar 2)
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  • The Bone Thief: (Wulfgar 1)
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  • Edwin: High King of Britain: 1 (The Northumbrian Thrones)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press (Fiction) (21 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091947200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091947200
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"Whitworth tells her story with some élan but its strength lies particularly in the characterization of the appealing Wulfgar, a civilised man forced to live in a society where violence rules the roost" (The Sunday Times) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

The second instalment of a major historical epic to rival C.J. Sansom and Rory Clements

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 Jun. 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book about Wulfgar, the young deacon who is the son of one of King Alfred’s thegns and serves as the secretary to Athelfled, the Lady of Mercia and Alfred’s daughter. The action takes place in AD 899, straight after the first volume and following the death of King Alfred. His son, known by historians as Edward the Elder (reigned AD 899-924) is still unsecure on his throne and has to face the rival claim of Athelwald Atheling, son of Alfred’s elder brother.

Wulgfar’s elder brother Wystan, and two other thegns of Wessex, has been arrested and are awaiting trial for treason and for attempting to murder Edward on behalf of his cousin Athelwald. The plot failed and the alleged culprits are to be condemned to die as traitors. The young deacon will do his utmost to defend his brother, save his life and clear his name while, in the north, trouble brews and an invading army gathers.

Once again, the author has come up with a rather superb story, with some interesting characterisation of historical figures, such as the ruthless and unscrupulous Athelwald (in sharp contrast with Bernard Cornwell’s version, for instance), the brave Lady of Mercia and the old, sympathetic but too trustful warlord Knut, King of York who is only known through the coins that he minted. We do not know how Knut met his end so that the version presented in this book is of course fiction. However, we do know that Athelwald replaced him and reigned for about three years so that the author’s violent and bloody version of “regime change” is at least plausible.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
From one page turner to the next. I feel even more invested in the main characters and I'm loving these books. Just bought Daughter of the Wolf. Can't wait! Cx
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Format: Hardcover
V M Whitworth has followed up her first Anglo-Saxon novel, The Bone Thief, with an even more original and exciting sequel. She knows a very great deal about England in the years following the death of Alfred, but never makes you feel that she is just showing off how much research she has done. (Even Lindsey Davies falls into this trap, especially when she takes Falco and Helena to distant parts of the Roman empire!) Her cities are extremely credible, especially Winchester, Leicester, and York; she makes you feel that Anglo-Saxon thought patterns and spirituality were probably as she describes them. Wulgar's dilemma is very real; is his first loyalty to his accused brother or to the Lady of Mercia? In carrying out both tasks he comes on scenes of shocking killings which are not just there to titillate, and has to navigate through a mesh of personal relationships which themselves add to the dilemma. The swift moving action culminates in a finely visualised enactment of one of the most puzzling aspects, to a modern mind, of Anglo-Saxon legal process. Enough loose ends are left for us to look forward to Wulfgar 3!
Charles Gordon Clark, Bromyard, Herefordshire
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Format: Paperback
The Traitors' Pit follows the further adventures of Wulfgar, the unlikely hero of The Bone Thief, in the often cruel world of tenth-century England. Wulfgar is faced with several different problems all at the same time, all equally demanding, and he is hard pressed to decide what to do, torn between his loyalties to his lady and his family.

Like the first novel of this series (to which I hope more volumes will be added) The Traitors' Pit is a tightly woven story, full of suspense, action, and political plotting. I particularly enjoy the great sense for the period and the locations the author manages to convey in this story. As I already stated in my review for The Bone Thief the author also achieves to present in the characters truly credible and rounded personalities that the reader can believe actually lived in these long ago times. Unlike in so many other historical novel here you won't find modern reactions to what were then simply (though from our perspective regrettable) facts of life. There were a few occasions when I got a little bit irritated with the novel's hero for being a little too naive and credulous for my taste. But heroes do come in all shapes and forms and it is quite refreshing to discover on who is not the usual type. Altogether, I did thoroughly enjoy this book.
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Format: Paperback
I loved THE BONE THIEF - the novel that introduced Wulfgar, the sub-deacon and found this second novel, just as involving. I'm fascinated by the small details of the time and period around 900 AD, and deeply impressed by V M Whitworth's knowledge, however, it is Wulfgar's struggle to do what is right, and even to see what is right, that grips me most - in a world where rulers and loyalties change at great speed and most people live on the brink of chaos. I was so glad to meet again some of the vivid secondary characters that I met in the first book, Ronan, the rugged, but most honest and decent warrior/priest - Cats-Eyes, the enigmatic, and alluring woman-trader, - young Kevin and even a hint of baby Electus and the attractive, but untrustworthy Atheling. The story builds to a horrifying climax and Wulfgar needs to be brave indeed, as the dramatic cover design suggests, though the courage needed may not be quite of the kind we expect. I always love the Author's historical note and very much appreciate the character list and the glossary at the end, for I have gone some way to learning a few words of Old Norse, Old English and Gaelic by reading this book. I do look forward to more of Wulfgar's adventures.
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