Saturday 16 March 2019

#BookReview — Children of the Chieftain: Bound for Home, by Michael E Wills #ChildrenBooks #HistoricalFiction #Vikings

Children of the Chieftain:
 Bound for Home
By Michael E Wills

After three years in the service of the emperor of the Greeks, Ahl and his Viking friends have become very rich. Now the crew longs to return home with their wealth, their problem is that the emperor will not permit them to leave. They make a daring plan to escape. The route home is perilous as they navigate uncharted seas. They must overcome robbers, storms and hostile strangers as they seek their way back to the Northlands with the riches which they have earned.

“Man the oars,” shouted Ahl. “We are bound for home.”

The Varangians have been in the service of the emperor of the Greeks for three years, and in that time they have earned a fortune. But the men are restless and they want to take their treasure and return to the colder climate of their homeland. Alas, the Greeks are reluctant to part with their Varangian allies. Ahl, the leader of the Varangian’s, has come up with a way to escape the hold of their Greek masters. It will be dangerous, and if they fail, they may well end up as slaves, but it is a risk worth taking. Nothing was going to stop the Varangians from going home — not even a Greek galley.

From the heat of the Mediterranean sun to the dangers of the open sea, Children of the Chieftain: Bound for Home, by Michael E Wills is a wonderfully engaging historical fiction story for children.

Children of the Chieftain: Bound For home begins with a delightful narrative hook, which draws the reader into the world of Ahl and his men. Wills’ keeps the language of the story simple for his younger audience, and he is careful not to overload his readers with large paragraphs of descriptive text. Instead, Wills gives just enough detail to set the scene and lets the narration of his characters drive the story forward. I thought this worked very well, and it is sure to keep the attention of his intended audience.

The journey the characters go on is fraught with danger, especially in the open sea, but Wills does not make the story too frightening. Wills mindfulness of his audience is apparent throughout this book. Wills does touch on the conflicting religious beliefs of the time, but again, he is very sensitive in his approach to this. 

I thought this book was a fabulous introduction to historical fiction for a younger audience. It is just the right length for even the most reluctant readers, but rich enough in the story for those children who like to lose themselves in a good book.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Purchase your copy of
Children of the Chieftain: Bound for Home

Michael E. Wills

Michael E. Wills was born on the Isle of Wight, UK, and educated at the Priory Boys School and Carisbrooke Grammar. He trained as a teacher at St Peter’s College, Saltley, Birmingham, before working at a secondary school in Kent for two years.

After re-training to become a teacher of English as a Foreign Language he worked in Sweden for thirteen years. During this period, he wrote several English language teaching books. His teaching career has included time working in rural Sweden, a period that first sparked his now enduring interest in Scandinavian history and culture - an interest that after many years of research, both academic and in the field, led him to write “Finn’s Fate” and the sequel novel, “Three Kings – One Throne”. Continuing in a Viking theme, in June 2015, Michael published, “Children of the Chieftain: Betrayed”, the first of a quartet of Viking adventure stories for young readers. The book was described by the Historical Novel Society reviewer as “An absolutely excellent novel which I could not put down.” The novel was long-listed for the Historical Novel Society, 2016 Indie Prize. The second book in the quartet, “Children of the Chieftain: Banished”, was published in December 2015 followed by the third book, “Children of the Chieftain: Bounty”, which was published in 2017. The fourth and final book in the quartet. “Children of the Chieftain: Bound for Home”, has just been published.

Today, Michael works part-time as Ombudsman for English UK, the national association of English language providers. Though a lot of his spare time is spent with grandchildren, he also has a wide range of interests including researching for future books, writing, playing the guitar, carpentry and electronics.

You can find out more about Michael and the books he has written by visiting his website:


  1. Congratulations on your award, Michael!

  2. Congratulations on your fabulous award!


See you on your next coffee break!
Take Care,
Mary Anne xxx