Book Review | Shadow of the Raven (Sons of Kings Book 1) by @MillieThom #historicalfiction #hisfic #
Title: Shadow of the Raven (Sons of Kings Book 1)
Author: Millie Thom
Genre: Historical Fiction
'Historical fiction at its best.' By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other. The kings of these lands must put past enmity- aside and take the first steps towards unity; steps they see as vital in the face of this newfound threat to their lands . . . Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things – and shape the characters of the men they will become. Their roads to manhood follow vastly different routes, but both learn crucial lessons along the way: lessons that will serve them well in future years. Discovering that the enemy is not always a stranger is a harsh lesson indeed; the realisation that a trusted kinsman can turn traitor is the harshest lesson of all. The story takes us from the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex to the Norse lands stretching north from Denmark to the Arctic Circle and east to the Baltic Sea. We glimpse the Court of Charles the Bald of West Francia and journey to the holy city of Rome. And through it all, the two boys move ever closer to their destinies.
War drums echo, alerting both Mercia and Wessex. The Danes are coming and no one is safe from their onslaught. Brother pitted against brother, betrayal seething from the lips of one. Two boys, destined for greatness, are forever changed by events out of their control. Eadwulf and Alfred are tested time and again, yet both are sons of kings. The lessons they learn form their characters and the men they will become. Will they wallow in self-pity or will they rise to greatness?
Shadow of the Raven is book one in the Sons of Kings series and hands down, is one of the best historical fiction I’ve read in a long time. I don’t know much about this time period, but Millie Thom creates such a riveting historically accurate tale, it didn’t matter. Everything from the characters’ names to the clothing to the setting to the events she describes is told with vivid clarity. It was like watching a full season of The Vikings, only better because I got to start and stop whenever I wanted. The emotional angst Eadwulf experiences was so real, I found myself weeping while reading.
Usually I don’t care for a large cast of characters but in this case, I rather enjoyed it. Millie Thom takes great care in making sure the reader is never lost or doesn’t understand what’s going on. Because of her writing style, I whipped through the story as fast as I could. I missed a couple hours sleep because I had to finish a scene or see what was going to happen next.
Fans of The Vikings and Game of Thrones, this is your next binge-read series. I can’t wait to read the next installment. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Free to read on Kindle Unlimited!
mybook.to/ShadowOfTheRaven (Universal link to Shadow of the Raven)
Millie Thom is the author of the first three books in the Sons of Kings series: Shadow of the Raven, Pit of Vipers and Wyvern of Wessex, and is currently writing Book 4 – which has a working title of King of the Anglo Saxons. The books are historical fiction, set in the mid-ninth century, primarily in the Anglo Saxon and Danish lands. They follow the stories of King Alfred of Wessex (later known as Alfred the Great) and Eadwulf of Mercia, the latter being the fictional son of real-life King Beorhtwulf.
Millie has also published a book of 85 very short stories and flash fiction pieces of mixed genres, titled A Dash of Flash.
Millie is a retired history and geography teacher with a degree in geology and an enduring passion for history. She and her husband have six grown up children and now live in a small village in Nottinghamshire where Millie writes her books and blog posts about historic sites they’ve visited. She is a passionate traveller, walker, collector of fossils and baker of cakes!
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N