5 Stars for The Reluctant Berserker

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Thanks ever so much to Kazza at On Top Down Under for a fantastic review of The Reluctant Berserker, and for choosing it as one of the site’s books of the month 🙂

It’s a lovely detailed review that does delve into a lot of the plot – so Spoiler Alert. But it was great to see that Kazza enjoyed some of the thinking about religion and spirituality in the book. I’ve had a few reviews where the overt Christianity of some of the characters was a problem for the readers, and I’ve been thinking that I should probably do a blog post to say why I chose to go that way.

(Short answer – because most of the written evidence of Saxon society shows a markedly religious/spiritual world view, and I was attempting to be true to that.

I probably also ought to say that what the Saxons called wicce craft is not what we would call wicca today. I studied Anglo-Saxon paganism for a year at university, and not a lot of evidence survives to tell us what it was really like. So in drawing Saewyn, I drew heavily on the Leechbook of Bald and Stephen Pollington’s book Leechcraft, Early English Charms, Plantlore and Healing, and various other sources…

But I’m getting distracted into writing that other post now, and I should really do it separately.)

For now I was talking about this book review, which sums up:

All characters were given time to develop, secondary characters included.  Overall, the writing is glorious – lyrical, intelligent without being arrogant, thought-provoking, nuanced perfectly for the setting with licence taken where it should be in fiction. It sets a realistic tone for the period and the characters, and stands up to any literary fiction written in any genre by any author. I loved Wulfstan and Leofgar, both independently and as a couple. 

And which I feel I could not possibly be happier about. Thank you Kazza!

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