In today’s blog tour post, I have the privilege of sharing my thoughts by reviewing Brothers of the Sword by Peter Gibbons.
As always, I’ll take the opportunity here to thank both Peter and Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for organising the blog tour and giving me the chance to be a part of it. I had a great time taking part in the blog tour for the first book in the series, Warrior and Protector!
Now, let’s find out more about this latest book in the Saxon Warrior series.
Brothers of the Sword – Peter Gibbons
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Publication Date: 02 Aug 2023
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
An epic battle where heroes fight and die to protect a Kingdom from Viking invasion…
King Aethelred the Unready’s Kingdom of the English is threatened. Olaf Tryggvason and his fleet of Viking warships snap at the coastal edges like ravenous wolves, and Sweyn Forkbeard, King of the Danes, has landed in East Anglia with an army of battle-hardened warriors.
Ealdorman Byrhtnoth of Essex must stand against them faced with overwhelming odds, forging his legend in the blood of his deadly enemies.
By his side, his Thegn, Beornoth, a brutal warrior and savage Saxon fighter is torn between his need to protect his loved ones, and his duty to fight for his Lord.
As the Vikings raid and slaughter, Beornoth is forced to fight for the survival of his oath sworn
brothers, his Lord, and the Kingdom itself when all roads lead to the fateful Battle of Maldon.
Can Beornoth protect his people and survive one of the most famous battles of the Viking Age?
A thrilling story, packed with war, vengeance and visceral combat.
Following on from the earlier books in the series, Warrior and Protector and Storm of War, we are once again thrown into an action-packed novel. The life of a Saxon warrior is never a quiet one. Especially not for someone as reputed as Beornoth.
As ever, Vikings continue to raid and plunder throughout the kingdoms of now England. Despite attempts to pay the Vikings off to leave, these bloodthirsty men keep returning to English shores. It is Beornoth’s duty to cast them back into the sea.
I’m sure it goes with the territory with this book and setting, but it’s only fair to mention that the narrative in places is quite violent and in some places, graphic. I personally enjoyed this level of description, although I appreciate it may not be for everybody. I knew going into this book that it was going to feature a lot of war and battle scenes.
If Viking troubles weren’t enough, ongoing internal political conflict throughout the kingdoms divert the attention of those warriors who would protect the innocent. The particular time period this book’s set in is around the time when England first started to operate as a single country rather than independent kingdoms. It is apparent that this is still a recent development in the books as there are still shadows of division present, both in the events of the book, as well as the attitudes of characters. Although a work of fiction, Peter Gibbons incorporates historical elements in an interesting, but still informative way.
There is a lot of travelling that takes place throughout these books, and that gives us the opportunity to appreciate how vastly different locations were at the time. From established, fortified burhs to small villages on the roadside, a slightly geeky side of me enjoyed experiencing the architectural and technological advancements ongoing at the time. Compared to our modern day life, it seems very primitive. Even still, the descriptions are beautifully vivid, and so help immerse you into Beornoth’s world.
Beornoth was established as a multi-dimensional character from the first book. Even still, he continues to grow throughout the series. He is a well-known Saxon warrior, renowned for his skill and courage in fighting to protect Saxon land. He has his fair share of troubles. Having suffered at the hands of Vikings as a younger man, he detests those who would cause harm to others. And he fights against them savagely, and doesn’t shy away from putting himself in danger in order to try and protect others.
Even so, he is far from an altruistic character. Hellbent on revenge, a character from the second book (whom Beornoth deliberately debilitated in the previous book), makes a real appearance in Brothers of the Sword. Beornoth’s actions in Storm of War come back to haunt him, as the circumstances of the maiming of this character have spurred the Vikings into trying to dominate the Saxons for good… more savagely than ever!
As with all people, Beornoth is multifaceted and at times, morally grey. It makes him a very plausible character in terms of motives and understanding how he thinks, as well as allowing for growth in learning from his mistakes. Overall, I really enjoy Beornoth’s perspective on events. Whilst he may not be perfect, he more often than not has the best of intentions.
Brothers of the Sword is an exciting sequel to the Saxon Warrior series. I’m really enjoying the amount of action and conflict present throughout each of the books. The events of this particular book show that the author does not pull his punches – something I really enjoy. It’s more exciting to read a book if you don’t know if everything will work out in the end. In every battle scene, I was questioning whether my favourite characters were going to make it out alive. After the heat of battle, I couldn’t help but wonder what was next on the horizon for the survivors!
Peter Gibbons is a financial advisor and author of the highly acclaimed Viking Blood and Blade trilogy.
He comes to Boldwood with his new Saxon Warrior series, set around the 900 AD Viking invasion during the reign of King Athelred the Unready. He originates from Liverpool and now lives with his family in County Kildare.
Social Media Links –
Newsletter Sign Up: https://bit.ly/PeterGibbonsNews