The Saxon Wolves
Britain 455AD. The Roman Empire has fallen. As the daughter of a king and a priestess of the sacred grove, Anya’s life in Germania is one of wealth and privilege – until she dares to speak out against the high priest’s barbaric human sacrifices. Her punishment is exile. Forced to leave her homeland, she sails to Britannia, to an island that is sliding into chaos and war, as rival kingdoms vie for power. Alone and far from home, Anya must learn to survive amidst the bloodshed, treachery and intrigue of fifth century Britain. Can she find a place to belong – a home, a hearth, a welcome?
This really pulled me in from the opening, and didn’t let go. The author’s descriptions of people, places and events really evoke a sense of time and place, where religion and belief was a central and indisputable part of life (and death). This isn’t an era I’ve read a lot about, fact or fiction, but the world-building was spot on, leading us straight into the story, and Anya’s struggles both at home, and in Britannia once she is forced into exile. Anya’s relationships with her family, and those who she meets on her journey are well-developed, giving a real sense of what it must have been like to be a woman in a time where for the majority, the role was reduced to child-bearing and home-keeping. Anya is different, with her skills as a healer, and a hint of the sight to her, which makes her an interesting outsider in many ways, both as a foreigner, and a woman to be reckoned with.
The descriptions of violence and death were on occasion brutal, but didn’t glory in this, and certainly did not distract me (I have a very low threshold!), and I would definitely recommend this to those who loved the likes of The Last Kingdom, and enjoy reading about a time which we’re still really getting to know, and will likely never know the full truth about.
Penny’s father, a journalist, instilled her with a love of history from an early age. Family holidays invariably included an invigorating walk up an Iron Age hill-fort whilst listening to his stirring stories of the Roman attack and the valiant defence by the Britons. Consequently, Penny has a degree in Classics and a passion for history and archaeology. She has enjoyed a varied career, including BBC production assistant, theatre PR and journalism, but her ambition was always to write historical fiction. Her first novel, The King’s Daughter, was awarded Editor’s Choice by the Historical Novel Society. Penny has worked on many archaeological excavations, and these ‘digs’ and their evocative finds often provide the inspiration for her books. Penny’s research also takes her to the many spectacular historical sites featured in this novel, including Hadrian’s Wall and Tintagel.”
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