Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Saxon Wolves by Penny Ingham. It is historical fiction, however it also has the vibe of a Highland infatuation, but without the romp, the Highlands, and only a smidgen of romance.
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.”
About the book
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?
From the lands of Germania to the chaotic shores of fifth century Britain, the young noblewoman Anya is torn from her privileged life and thrust into the world of war and treachery. Her status as the daughter of a king and as a newly anointed priestess, becomes null and void when she dares to question the barbaric rituals of her fellow countrymen. Her father has no choice but to exile her.
Her half-brother seems quite intent of ridding himself of his half-siblings one by one. His father is unaware of his duplicitous personality, and doesn’t comprehend how far his son is willing to go to get rid of them.
This includes using his sister as little more than a bargaining chip or foreign currency to ensure he is supported on his overseas quests. More or less selling her to someone in exchange for manpower and support in future battles. Not exactly the kind of betrayal Anya was expecting.
Anya is a healer and she has the power of foresight. The visions aren’t always clear, but they do help her to guide herself and others in the right direction. The problem with these talents is that they could be construed as witchcraft or sorcery, especially whilst she is residing in a foreign country. The accusation of witchcraft can be thrown out there in a moments notice without any thought given to the consequences of such a suspicion, then again perhaps some people would do it on purpose.
The historical aspect of this story is woven into the fictional story subtly and in a way that doesn’t overpower the characters. In a way Anya actually has a much easier fate than other women in similar situations. The author conveys the brutality and impulsive nature of the people and their different cultures without being overly graphic.
It is historical fiction, however it also has the vibe of a Highland infatuation, but without the romp and only a smidgen of romance. It is filled with politics, betrayal, treason and plenty of conflict. Ingham manages to give it a comfortable feel, whilst infusing it with history, and the sense of violence and chaos of the times.