Longsword by David Pilling

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Sons of the Wolf!

Today I have a guest slot for Paula Lofting Wilcox, whose novel, Sons of the Wolf, is due to be released by Silverwood next February. The following is Paula's description of what sounds like a great historical tale:

1054, and pious King Edward sits on the throne, spending his days hunting, sleeping and praying, leaving the security and administration of his kingdom to his much more capable brother-in-law Harold Godwinson, the powerful Earl of Wessex.

Against this backdrop we meet Wulfhere, a Sussex thegn who, as the sun sets over the wild forest of Andredesweald, is returning home victoriously from a great battle in the north. Holding his lands directly from the King, his position demands loyalty to Edward himself, but Wulfhere is duty-bound to also serve Harold, a bond forged within Wulfhere’s family heritage and borne of the ancient Teutonic ideology of honour and loyalty.

Wulfhere is a man with the strength and courage of a bear, a warrior whose loyalty to his lord and king is unquestionable. He is also a man who holds his family dear and would do anything to protect them. So when Harold demands that he wed his daughter to the son of Helghi, his sworn enemy, Wulfhere has to find a way to save his daughter from a life of certain misery as the daughter-in-law of the cruel and resentful Helghi, without comprising his honour and loyalty to his lord, Harold.

Following the fortunes of his family, we meet Ealdgytha, his golden-haired wife, attractive, neurotic and proud. Her lust for success and advancement threatens to drive a wedge between her and her husband, while Wulfhere’s battle with his conscience and his love for another woman, tears at the very heart of their relationship.

Also central to the story are his children; Freyda, his eldest daughter, reckless, defiant and beautiful; Tovi, his youngest son, his spirit suppressed by the pranks of the red-haired twins, Wulfric and Wulfwin; Winflaed, a younger daughter, whose submissive acceptance of womanhood belies a stronger spirit and a longing to hold a sword in battle like her warrior father.

Sons of the Wolf is snap shot of medieval life and politics as the events that lead to the downfall of Anglo-Saxon England play out, immersing the reader in the tapestry of life as it was before the Domesday Book. With depictions of everyday life experienced through the minds of the people of the times; of feasts in the Great Halls to battles fought in the countryside, it cannot help but enlighten, educate and entertain.

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