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?
The fifth century was a time of migration and political unrest in Eurasia, and that is all very apparent in this story. Anya migrates, unwilling, to Britain, and much of the rest of the book reflects the petty and more major political upheavals going on. It’s a period often neglected in historical fiction, but it certainly makes for exciting and interesting reading.
It’s fascinating to see Britain in that era – what settlements were like, what people wore, what they ate, how they treated each other, what sort of names they had. These all emerge in the novel and leave us informed as well as entertained. The author has obviously done a lot of research and she really throws some late on what’s often considered to be the mysterious Dark Ages. Since it’s fiction then the author has used her creativity and imagination too, and fact and fiction fuse well.
Anya is a very robust young lady. She goes through some pretty awful ordeals but she finds the courage to continue and overcome. She bumps into rather a lot of unpleasant people, most of whom are vying for some kind of power. Life was brutal then, and that certainly comes through.
This work of historical fiction is refreshing in that it chooses a period that’s often passed over and presents it to us with an intriguing story line and a very likeable heroine. Very enjoyable.
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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