In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of England and Scandinavia, sails with his son Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome.
Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine.
When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. New found enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute and are forced to travel cross country on horseback. If Duke Robert's plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of England will follow.
Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the king?
King Cnute stood with one bracing hand on the rise of the longship's bow, gazing on the rolling, forested hills they had been passing for a number of days. The day was clouded and cool and the wind followed them from the north.
Sigurd, his captain, spoke at the King's back, "My King is concerned for his son?"
"Your King is concerned about a great many things. And why would I be worried about my son, Harald? You presume much, Sigurd."
"It has been a sennight since you sent Alric to find him, and there has been no word."
"And except for the time spent waiting, we have been on the river moving south. God willing, I'll see Harald before I see the Alps."
"The lad is reckless, Your Majesty. I would not see my King disappointed…"
Cnute turned. His eyes bored into those of his captain. "And yet you choose to trouble me with such statements? Keep your own counsel, Sigurd. Look to your ship and leave my son to me. Harald chooses his own path."
4 out of 5 (very good)
The Swan's Road is the first book in the The Atheling Chronicles, which details the life of Harald and his father, Cnute. If you have read any Viking literature then these names will sound familiar. This story may have a basis in truth or it may be completely made up by the author. Either way, you will have a great historical novel to read.
Harald is the main character and he is travelling with his father. Excitement, adventure, love and sorrow, all wait for him as by his choices, he becomes separated from the main group.
This is full of action and adventure, in a medieval fashion. The characters grow throughout the book and behave true to themselves. I loved how it all worked out together, whilst keeping the reader on tenterhooks at the same time.
A brilliant medieval read in a series I hope to continue with. Absolutely recommended by me.
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer living in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, BC. When he's not writing, he is riding horses or working with young disabled riders. Garth's short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and in journals such as Blank Spaces, The Spadina Literary Review, and The Opening Line Literary 'Zine. His story River's Rising was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Short Story America 2017 Prize, and his fantasy novella River Born, was one of two runners-up for the Windsor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. Garth Pettersen's historical fiction series, The Atheling Chronicles is being published by Tirgearr Publishing and books one and two are available at most online outlets (The Swan's Road and The Dane Law). Book three, The Cold Hearth, will be available for pre-order by February 2020.
Tirgearr Book Page: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Pettersen_Garth/the-swans-road.htm
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/writeandride/
Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/garpet011