Children of the Chieftain: Banished

Written by Michael E. Wills
Review by Jo Barton

Children of the Chieftain: Banished, follows the exciting adventures of a group of fearless young people whose lives have been altered by a Viking raid on their small town on the Isle of Birches, Birka, which is now in modern day Sweden. In this second story of a proposed trilogy, a young boy has been taken captive and sold into slavery in the land of the Rus. The son and daughter of the deposed Birka chieftain, who first appeared in Children of the Chieftain: Betrayed, embark on an intrepid journey to rescue their friend.

Firmly aimed at the young people’s book market, Banished will appeal to those readers who enjoy a well-written adventure story. Thriving on exciting historical content, this ancient world is wonderfully recreated and is filled with characters who are always believable, not always likeable, but who, collectively, add a sense of authenticity to a story which abounds with excitement, danger and adventure.

The book is professionally finished to a high standard, with dramatic cover art and good size text for ease of reading. Both the language and content is entirely appropriate for eight to thirteen year old readers and a glossary of Viking terminology found at the end of the book is especially useful.

Sitting comfortably within the historical fiction genre, I have no hesitation in recommending this book to young readers who enjoy exciting historical adventures. Although Banished can be read as a standalone story, for greater enjoyment it is better to enter the trilogy from the beginning.