Friday, 19 October 2012

Review - Sons of The Wolf by Paula Lofting

Author’s name:             Paula Lofting
Publisher:                     Silverwood Books
Year:                           2012
Price in sterling:           £12.99 (pb)
Format:                       Paperback & eBook
ISBN:                         9781781320273
Pages:                         394

It is 1054 and the country of England is united under the pious reign of King Edward, who history will remember as “The Confessor”.  Earl Harold Godwinson has strengthened his position and is one of  England’s most powerful barons; a position that is greatly despised by his rivals.
Lord Wulfhere, a trusted and loyal vassal of Earl Harold returns home after the Battle of Dunsinane, where the evil MacBeth was defeated and killed.  The horrors of that battle and the brutal rape and pillage of local villages plague him in dreams, but being home with his wife helps to ease the burden.  All is not well, however.   He is involved in a feud with a neighbour, the disgraceful and cruel Lord Helghi. Harold is fed up with the constant warring between the two families and proposes Wulfhere’s daughter marry Helghi’s eldest son in order to unite their families.  However Wulfhere desperately tries to find a way to save his daughter from Helghi’s lecherous hands without disgracing himself in the eyes of Earl Harold, however the biggest threat is one he cannot see – one that is a lot closer to home than he realises.  

Historical fiction, in general terms, is only as good as the research that supports the fictional story.  Paula Lofting is passionate about the local history of her native Sussex, the main location for “Sons of the Wolf” and the depth of knowledge she has is reflected in this engaging tale.
The book starts slowly but gathers pace and the taut emotions surrounding Wulfhere’s dilemma stirs emotions and you want him to find a solution, you side with him and egg him on from the sidelines, as it were.  Each character is written with passion; their emotions, their deepest secrets and hopes and fears are teased out and exposed at the right time which adds to the tension.  The story is entwined around a skeleton of well researched historical fact and you instantly get a sense of the era and what it must have been like to live 1000 years ago.
To me, a great historical fiction novel, is one where you cannot distinguish the fact from fiction and you go through the authors notes at the end or trawl the internet to discover what elements were true.  I can honestly say, Paula Lofting has written a very good book but there were some editing issues in my copy; however I understand these have now been corrected.

Sons Of The Wolf is a great read and I am looking forward to reading the second half of the story once it is written.  I bestow Sons Of The Wolf 4 Crosses! 

1 comment:

  1. A really good review. Thoughtful and well-considered. Excellent work, Stuart!