19 January 2018

A Discovering Diamonds review of The Wolf Banner by Paula Lofting




AMAZONUK £2.41 £10.99
AMAZONUS $2.99 
AMAZONCA $n/a

Fictional drama / military
1066 era

Book two Sons of the Wolf series

“1056...England lurches towards war as the rebellious Lord Alfgar plots against the indolent King Edward. Sussex thegn, Wulfhere, must defy both his lord, Harold Godwinson, and his bitter enemy, Helghi, to protect his beloved daughter.
As the shadow of war stretches across the land, a more personal battle rages at home, and when it follows him into battle, he knows he must keep his wits about him more than ever, and courage and fear must become his armour…”

One thing Ms Lofting does very well is create believable detail of time, place and action. Her research is impeccable, her depictions of everyday life in the mid-eleventh century are detailed, and her battle scenes are vividly realistic.

Book two of her Sons of the Wolf series include an interesting set of characters – some real people from history, others imagine, what makes them all interesting is that most, particularly the main characters, are not perfect people, they have their flaws, their good side and bad side. 

Some of the characters I liked very much, others I did not, which also gives this tale of upheaval, trauma (and hope!) that genuine feel of reality. There are scenes of joy, scenes of fear, scenes of laughter and scenes of terror, all blended into the factual elements of the actual period, in this case King Edward (the Confessor), Earl Harold Godwinson and the Welsh King Gryffud, with a few rampaging Viking Danes thrown in for good measure.

This is a second book, and I believe there is to be a third, which could explain the rather too many, in my view, loose ends that were left dangling, and I did feel I would have benefited from reading the first book to have made better sense of some of the sub-plots and what was motivating the characters in this one. The Wolf Banner is somewhat lengthy and maybe some disciplined pruning would have benefited the tale, as some parts are a little over-flowery or drawn-out, giving it a slight 'romance' feel.

That said, for the energy the author has put into recreating those turbulent years that led to those fateful days of 1066, and the rich, knowledgeable, detail of the period this is a worthy read, especially by those who enjoy this particular period of history. Possibly not a book for readers who are squeamish about battle-scenes though. (Which is a shame as they are very realistic!)


© Mary Chapple


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6 comments:

  1. Thanks for this great honest review. I am really honoured and pleased to have received a Discovering Diamond Review! Thanks to Helen for providing us with. Such. A supportive site.

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  2. This is indeed a fabulous read that I know I'll be re-visiting, and can hardly wait for the third! Well done, Lofting!!!

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  3. A wonderful review of an exceptional book. Ms Lofting has an incredible talent and deserves all the praise she can get.
    Diana

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  4. Always a wonderful read.

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  5. I have most definitely enjoyed both of Ms. Lofting's books and hope more readers discover them. I eagerly await her next one!

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