BEWARE THE NORSEMEN.
. BY ANNA MARKLAND.
I received an A.R.C. of this book but that will not colour my review in any way.
This book is about the Viking ancestors of the Mountbryce family that our author has written many very good books about.
Bryk Gardbruker is a Norseman who has been sickened by the behavior of some of his comrades when they have been “a Viking”. However when his chieftain declares they must leave the frozen wasteland of Norway that has been home for the richer land of Francia, he knows it is right. Bryk is now a farmer who grows apple trees, so he takes the root stock of his trees with him on the search for better land.
The Norsemen take many longboats and head south. The villages along the banks of the river Seine have seen a few Viking raids in the past. This time the chieftain is planing to go further in land and create a settlement.
The abbey convent of Saint Catherine of Alexandria sits on top of a hill. That has saved it and It’s occupants from raids in the past. Cathryn was a foundling abandoned on the doorstep of the convent at birth. She has grown up and studied under the care of the nuns. Cathryn’s favourite work is illuminating manuscripts. Because of that job she her friend Kaia and an elderly nun sister Ekaterina are sent down to an abbey near the river to work.The Viking hoard make camp on an island in the mouth of the river, and Bryk is sent out to lead a small scouting party to find horses. He finds a bonus ,a beautiful girl and an almost undefended village. He is intent on taking both.
The richness of history in this story is wonderful. The characters come alive on the page. I particularly liked the old nun, she is so funny. The story shows us that not all the Norsemen were evil rapists. Some were just looking for a better life.
A great book wonderfully written.
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