Monday, August 25, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert (Book Tour)

02_Edwin High King of Britain
Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England.

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure--the missionary Paulinus-- who prophesies that he will become High King of Britain. It is a turning point.

Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.

This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade--and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.

The dramatic story of Northumbria's Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.

Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Lion Fiction
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: The Northumbrian Thrones (Book 1)

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"For this is one island and it should have one king - and such a king would be a mighty king, able to stand as equal to the king of the Franks and even the emperor of the Romans."
I've never read anything before the 11th century (other than prior to 1st century). So this book was a new experience for me.  A little nervous with the spelling of names and places that I was unfamiliar with. Along with the way kingdoms were divided and the different, and again unfamiliar, territories.  This is one of those times that I was grateful for a print copy.  There was a nice detailed map, a full cast of characters and a glossary.  I found this very helpful and referred to it numerous times.

This is Edoardo Albert's debut and the start of a new series, The Northumbrian Thrones.  There is no hiding the fact that the author has definitely done his homework here.  From the very first chapter, when the secret messenger makes his appearance and has his say, I was captivated.

One of the reasons that I love historical fiction is not only to be entertained but to learn something at the same time.  This book was a pleasure to read, it was true to the time period with authentic language, settings and descriptions. The different relationships portrayed here showed Edwin as a leader, a father, a husband, a friend and one questioning his beliefs.  With his marriage to Aethelburh we are introduced to a Roman priest named Paulinus and his friend James.  They are bringing their belief in one true God verses a civilizations that believes in many gods.  Paulinus's style of sharing the gospel was unique and added much to this book.

The book ended with 3 pages of authors notes and with this type of book it was the perfect way to end.  The notes just complete the book adding the finishing touches that this reader loves.

I am very thankful to be part of this tour and having been given the opportunity to begin this series.

Praise for Edwin: High King of Britain

“In the first installment of the Northumbrian Thrones, a new historical fiction series, Albert launches readers into the tumultuous world of 7th century Northumbria. Edwin, the deposed king of the region, forges political alliances, is betrayed, and fights critical battles that form the arc of his rise and fall as High King of Britain. As he ages, he fears for the future of his kingdom, and war has simply become a necessary evil. His shifting worldview leads to conversion to the Christian faith—a slow process given special attention by Albert. But it is not a clear path, and sometimes Edwin and his subordinates doubt the validity and the power of the Christian God, as opposed to the pagan deities they have left behind. Albert’s focus on the religious element does not detract from the political and dramatic aspects of the history he is portraying. Rather, it lends an extra dimension of psychological turmoil, because characters must deal with the problem of not only individual identity but also the beginnings of a national identity related to religion. Albert’s offering is a highly entertaining and refreshing work of historical fiction thanks to his emphasis on the precarious intersection of religion and identity.” –Publishers Weekly

“A splendid novel that leaves the reader wanting more.” –Bernard Cornwell, New York Times bestselling author

“A fast-paced and gripping tale of the great Northumbrian King Edwin, reclaiming one of our great national figures from the shadows of history.” –Justin Hill, author of Shieldwall

Buy the Book

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

03_Edoardo Albert

Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian extraction based in London. The best response to his writing was when he reduced a friend to helpless, hysterical, rolling-on-the-floor-holding-his-stomach laughter. Unfortunately, the writing in question was a lonely hearts ad. He hopes to produce similar results in readers, without inadvertently acquiring another wife.

For more information, please visit Edoardo Albert's website. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Edwin: High King of Britain Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 25
Review at Princess of Eboli
Review at 2 Book Lovers Reviews

Tuesday, August 26
Review at Just One More Chapter
Review & Giveaway at Unshelfish

Wednesday, August 27
Review at Dab of Darkness

Thursday, August 28
Interview & Giveaway at Dab of Darkness

Monday, September 1
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Review at Queen of All She Reads

Tuesday, September 2
Review at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, September 3
Review at The Writing Desk
Review at The Mad Reviewer

Friday, September 5
Spotlight & Giveaway at Passages to the Past

Monday, September 8
Review at A Book Geek
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views

Tuesday, September 9
Review at Book Nerd

Wednesday, September 10
Review & Giveaway at 100 Pages a Day - Stephanie's Book Reviews
Interview & Giveaway at Thoughts in Progress

Friday, September 12
Review at A Bibliotaph's Reviews

Monday, September 15
Review & Giveaway at Words and Peace

Tuesday, September 16
Review at Layered Pages

Thursday, September 18
Review & Giveaway at Beth's Book Reviews

Friday, September 19
Review at Book Drunkard

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  1. A fascinating giveaway. Thanks for this feature. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. I'm between books right now, but I just finished The Agincourt Bride by Joanna Hickson. Working my way back through history!