I do love a bit of well-written historical fiction, so it is an absolute delight to take part in the BlogTour for A Sacred Storm by Theodore Brun. It’s the second part in the fantastic The Wanderer Chronicles by Brun. If you haven’t read the first part A Mighty Dawn yet, I highly recommend you do. This series is historical fiction par excellence.
About the Author
Theodore Brun studied Dark Age archaeology at Cambridge, where he graduated with a BA in Archaeology and Anthropology and an MPhil in History. He also rowed in the Boat Race for the university. Professionally, Theodore qualified and worked as an arbitration lawyer, in London, Moscow, Paris and finally Hong Kong. In 2010, he quit his job in Hong Kong and cycled 10,000 miles across the whole of Asia and Europe (crossing 20 countries) to his home in Norfolk. Theodore is a third generation Viking immigrant – his Danish grandfather having settled in England in 1932. He is married and divides his time between London and Norfolk. A Sacred Storm is his second novel.
About the book
8th Century Sweden: Erlan Aurvandil, a Viking outlander, has pledged his sword to Sviggar Ivarsson, King of the Sveärs, and sworn enemy of the Danish King Harald Wartooth. But Wartooth, hungry for power, is stirring violence in the borderlands. As the fires of this ancient feud are reignited Erlan is bound by honour and oath to stand with King Sviggar.
But, unbeknownst to the old King, his daughter, Princess Lilla, has fallen under Erlan’s spell. As the armies gather Erlan and Lilla must choose between their duty to Sviggar and their love for each other.
Blooded young, betrayed often, Erlan is no stranger to battle. And hidden in the shadows, there are always those determined to bring about the maelstrom of war…
This is the second book in The Wanderer Chronicles series, and although A Sacred Storm can be read as a standalone novel, I would recommend reading the first part A Mighty Dawn. You don’t need it to catch up on the story, but you’re missing out on one heck of a read.
This book takes place in 8th century Sweden and features Erlan Aurvandil as the somewhat unwitting accidental main character. He is favoured by King Sviggar for saving his daughter, however he is ridiculed and hated in equal measures for being an outsider and a cripple. What is more worrying is the fact he has caught the eye of the queen, a woman who will do anything to get what she wants. A woman with ancient skills and a taste for violence, blood and pain. Saldas is certainly a force to be reckoned with, as she moves her pieces strategically across the board of this game of war.
I liked the fact Erlan isn’t your typical vision of brawn, beauty and perfection. He keeps his tragic past to himself, and is used to being the focus of negative attention. The only chinks in his armour are his almost fatherly affection for Kai and his bond with Lilla.
His confusion when it comes to lust, love and physical attraction is right on the money. More in keeping with a young man with a weakness for a pretty woman and pumped up with battle fuelled adrenaline, as opposed to a lovesick puppy.
Be prepared for murders, false accusations, the questioning of allegiances and for oaths to be broken in this fast-paced brutal story. Reading this makes you wonder how any people were left at all in the Scandinavian countries. Talk about bloodthirsty and vicious, but hey it does make for a fantastic story.
This an excellent piece of historical fiction. It is filled with betrayal, intrigue, passion and savage battle scenes. Brun plots with precision, and that meticulous plotting is strengthened by the riveting characters and on point dialogues. It’s an outstanding read.