The Raven and the Wolf

Written by Christopher Spellman
Review by Heather Domin

In 10th-century Northumbria, two brothers, Wulfric and Hereric, are raised in the warrior class, bitter rivals from their earliest days. A blood oath sworn at their father’s behest does little to quell their antagonism. Parted as children, they come of age separately and are reunited as two very different men on two very different sides of the conflicts rising in their land. War is brewing, and the turmoil between Wulfric and Hereric mirrors the turmoil between the peoples vying to control England’s destiny—a turmoil of secrets, plots, betrayals, and a war that is just beginning.

The first in a series, The Raven and the Wolf is a fast-paced, blood-soaked adventure. The author has taken great care in establishing an authentic historical setting and building a realistic backdrop for the plot: the sights, sounds, and smells of 10-century England are intense and visceral. One drawback is the writing style, which is heavy to the point of being overwrought. Some readers will find this too distracting to enjoy the story, while others may consider it part of the genre and no hindrance. The battles are exciting, particularly in the latter half, and the diverse cultures and religions are vividly described. Fans of medieval adventure may look forward to seeing where this story leads.