I am writing this post at the last minute as I was riveted by the ending of my latest book and simply had to finish it! More about that book later on in the post…
My first of two books this week was Dunstan by Conn Iggulden. Here is the blurb:
The year is 937. England is a nation divided, ruled by minor kings and Viking lords. Each vies for land and power. The Wessex king Æthelstan, grandson of Alfred the Great, readies himself to throw a spear into the north.
As would-be kings line up to claim the throne, one man stands in their way.
Dunstan, a fatherless child raised by monks on the moors of Glastonbury Tor, has learned that real power comes not from God, but from discovering one’s true place on Earth. Fearless in pursuit of his own interests, his ambition will take him from the courts of princes to the fields of battle, from exile to exaltation.
For if you cannot be born a king, or made a king, you can still anoint a king.
Under Dunstan’s hand, England may come together as one country – or fall apart in anarchy . . .
Quite a while ago, I read the famous series by Bernard Cornwell, The Saxon Stories (The Last Kingdom etc.), which is set during and after the reign of King Alfred the Great. This novel takes place a few years later in the time of Alfred’s grandsons and further descendants. It was interesting to read about a time in our history that I really don’t know. Anyway, here is my review for a book which I awarded four stars on Goodreads:
A really enjoyable read. I have read several other books by this author and love his style of historical fiction. This is a stand alone novel set in 10th century Britain, just at the time when England was being unified. As a child, I lived in Canterbury and regularly walked past St Dunstan’s Church there and so was intrigued to read about the life of the saint himself. Iggulden’s portrayal of the man’s character is amusing as Dunstan appears to be rather less than saintly in many of his doings. Really worth reading.
My second book of the week was a return to the work of Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström: Cell 8, #03 in their Grens and Sundkvist series. This is the blurb:
Detective Superintendent Ewert Grens of THREE SECONDS returns in a riveting mystery that centers on perhaps the most controversial subject in the modern criminal justice system: the death penalty.
In Ohio, seventeen-year-old John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for the brutal murder of his girlfriend. The victim’s father hungers for revenge, while a prison guard is torn by compassion for the young man. When Frey unexpectedly dies of heart disease before he either receives his just punishment or achieves redemption, the wheels of justice grind to a halt.
Six years later, on a ferry between Finland and Sweden, a singer named John Schwarz viciously attacks a drunken lout harassing a woman, leaving the man in a coma. The Stockholm police arrest Schwarz for aggravated assault, but when Grens learns that the assailant has been living in Sweden under a false identity, he begins to suspect that something darker and more complex underlies the incident. Following his intuition, Grens launches an investigation that spans from Sweden to the United States and reveals a startling connection between the Frey and Schwarz cases.
Perhaps it was too soon after I finished the book, but I found it hard to write a proper review. I gave this one the full five stars and wrote this:
This is an incredible book. I don’t think I have ever read a book where my heart started to beat faster and faster as I got closer and closer to the end. The whole structure is amazing, the plot is exciting, gripping, unexpected, heartbreaking and so much more. I am, almost, unable to express my feelings as I have only just finished, but I will be requesting more by these authors from our Library. Highly recommended.
I still have four four books in the pile next to my bed, but I haven’t yet decided which one I want to read next. So, you will find out in next week’s Reading Roundup post!
Until then, Happy Reading to you all.