Monday 8 April 2019

#BookReview — The Swan’s Road: The Atheling Chronicles Book #1 by Garth Pettersen #HistoricalFiction #AngloSaxon @garpet011

The Swan’s Road:
The Atheling Chronicles Book #1
By Garth Pettersen

In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine.

When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. Newfound enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert's plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow.

Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?


“So tell me, how does a son of the illustrious King Cnute come to be in Friedland rescuing my niece from Norman abductors?

All roads lead to Rome, especially when your father, who so happens to be King Cnute, has made an alliance with Conrad, the Holy Roman Emperor. However, what was meant to be a long but worthwhile journey takes a sinister turn.

“Stay out of trouble,” that had been King Cnute’s warning to his son, Harold. Harold tried, he really did, but when he met the beautiful Selia, he feared there was more to her story than what the eyes saw. And he was right. Robert, Duke of Normandy, plans to make Selia his wife, whether she likes it or not. Taken by force, Selia is determined to escape the clutches of the vile Bertrand deZouche, Captain of Arms to the Duke of Normandy, before she is forced to wed Robert. Perhaps, this young Anglo-Dane would help her escape before it is too late.

From the dangers of a storm out at sea to the perilous streets of Rome, The Swan’s Road: The Atheling Chronicles Book #1 by Garth Pettersen is the enthralling story of Harold Harefoot as he battles to save his father from assassination and the woman he loves from marriage to a man she despised.

Having already read The Dane Law: The Atheling Chronicles Book #2 I was looking forward to going back and reading book #1 in the series. I was immediately transferred back to the world of Harold and his family. Filled with non-stop action and with a narrative that threatens to mesmerise, The Swan’s Road was impossible to put down — in fact, I read it in one sitting! 

The historical detail of this book has to be commended. Pettersen writes with a keen eye for historical accuracies of the time this book is set in, although he does use a little poetic license to make his historical characters fall in line with the direction he wanted his story to go in. Pettersen certainly has a visceral understanding of what makes historical fiction worth reading. His descriptive prose brought this era back to life, and his ability to flesh his characters and make them breathe only demonstrates what a great writer he is.

As before, I adored the characterisation of Harold. He is a very noble yet humble man, who is honourable and above everything else, kind. It is no wonder that Selia falls in love with him. The love story between Harold and Selia is a slow simmering build, which gave this story a sense of depth and realism. The journey the two them go on is fraught with danger and adventure, which propelled the story forward and kept me turning those pages.

Pettersen’s masterful style pulls the reader into the story immediately. The Swan’s Road is told in the first and third person, which really worked for this book. I enjoyed reading about Cnute and The Duke of Normandy. Their perspectives gave this story its background and depth. Although I have to admit, it was Harold’s story, told in the first person which made this book an enchanting epic.

If you are looking for an absorbing, yet heartwarming historical fiction novel, then The Swan’s Road: The Atheling Chronicles Book #1 is the book for you.

I Highly Recommend.

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

Pick up your copy of
The Swan’s Road:
The Atheling Chronicles Book #1

Garth Pettersen

Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer living in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. When he's not writing, he's riding horses and working with young, disabled riders.

Garth's short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies, and in journals such as Blank Spaces, The Spadina Literary Review, and The Opening Line Literary 'Zine. His story River's Rising was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Short Story America 2017 Prize, and his fantasy novella, River Born, was one of two runners-up in the Wundor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. His debut novel, The Swan's Road (Book #1 of the Atheling Chronicles) published by Tirgearr Publishing was released in 2017 and Book #2, The Dane Law, in September of 2018.

Connect with Garth: Website • Goodreads • Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your award,Garth!


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