- N. N. Light
Book Review | Pit of Vipers (Sons of Kings Book 2) by @MillieThom #hisfic #bookreview #historicalfic
Title: Pit of Vipers (Sons of Kings Book 2)
Author: Millie Thom
Genre: Historical Fiction
In Pit of Vipers, the second book in the Sons of Kings trilogy, the lives of Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia continue to unfold against the ever increasing threat of Danish raids. Now back in his homeland, Eadwulf sets out on his determined quest for revenge, whilst Alfred’s leadership skills develop at the courts of his successive brothers. Before long, those skills will be put to the test . . . The Danish invasion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in 865 is merciless and relentless. Every year more Norse ships come to join their comrades in a quest to plunder for wealth and gain domination over the people. The Wessex king is now Aethelred, Alfred’s last surviving brother, and Alfred becomes his trusted second-in-command. Whilst the Danes take kingdom after kingdom, the brothers wait with baited breath for them to set their sights on Wessex. By 869 their worst fear is realised. In the meantime, Eadwulf pursues the objects of his revenge.
Eadwulf of Mercia has returned home and his heart is consumed with revenge. Alfred of Wessex, meanwhile, is learning the ins and outs of being king. All that he observes at the courts of his two brothers becomes invaluable to Alfred as his leadership rises. The threats of Danish raids escalate until 865 when the invasion is real. As each Anglo-Saxon kingdom falls, Alfred and Eadwulf fear Wessex will be next. Eadwulf seeks out revenge on those who killed his parents while also on the Danes who mistreated him while he was in servitude. Which side will Eadwulf choose when he is forced to choose?
If it’s possible, I loved Pit of Vipers even more than Shadow of the Raven. In this installment, we see much more action and battle scenes than we did in the previous book. There’s also more intrigue, revenge and violence in this book, which is fine by me. The Vikings (Danes) permeate every corner of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, leaving behind death, blood and destruction. The growth of Alfred and Eadwulf is immense and added to my enjoyment of the story. While Alfred is clearly a leader and soon to be king, he has a soft side not seen much during the Dark Ages. He’s a strong contrast to Eadwulf who is consumed by hatred, revenge and anger. Two young men destined for greatness but both fighting tooth and nail for survival.
Why is this a five-star read? Millie Thom describes in intricate detail what it was like living in the Dark Ages. The historical details blended with gripping storytelling makes this a must read. I read late into the night on several occasions because I couldn’t put it down. The characters and their motivations are what makes this a must-read. Treachery and deceit are all around yet Alfred and Eadwulf find a way to survive. The ending leads us right into the next book and I can’t wait to read it!
If you like spellbinding historical fiction with plenty of grueling action, you’ve got to read Pit of Vipers. Fans of the Dark Ages and The Vikings will love this book. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Pit-Vipers-Sons-Kings-Book-ebook/dp/B00RDB7H0A
Amazon CA https://www.amazon.ca/Pit-Vipers-Sons-Kings-Book-ebook/dp/B00RDB7H0A
Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Pit-Vipers-Sons-Kings-Book-ebook/dp/B00RDB7H0A
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