Sons of Thunder

Written by Giles Kristian

This is the second book of the Raven series, and it follows on closely from the first adventure. Raven and his Viking sword-brothers, the Wolfpack, seek a reckoning with Ealdred, who has cheated them out of treasure and most importantly their ship. They pursue Ealdred to the lands of the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne, accompanied by their tame English monk, Egfrith, and Cynethryth, Ealdred’s daughter and the woman Raven is in love with. Soon they are forced to fight for their lives in an aggressively Christian empire that would wipe pagans like them from the face of the earth. It is here that Raven’s singular abilities come to the fore.

There is a real sense of an authentic world being created here: the dialogue is crisp and appropriately salty, the allusions to the Norse Gods for example are omnipresent but never intrude, and the pace of the story is never allowed to slacken. And the story is the thing here; the research is worn lightly and always put at the service of the narrative. An excellent read which compares favourably with writers like Bernard Cornwell and Conn Iggulden. I look forward to the next adventure.