Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth

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Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth

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Category: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A stirring historical tale with a wonderfully strong female lead, Daughter of the Wolf evokes well a dangerous and treacherous time. Intricate details and a strong plot combine to make this a great read
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 512 Date: May 2016
Publisher: Head of Zeus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1784082130

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We're in the Dark Ages in an England ruled by rival Kings served by Lords. One of the lords is Radmer of Donmouth, the King's Wolf, guardian of the estuary gateway to Northumbria. When the king sends Radmer on a mission to Rome, Donmouth is left in the safekeeping of his only daughter, Elfrun, whose formidable grandmother wants her to take the veil, while treacherous Tilmon of Illingham covets her for his son. This is the story of daughters in a man's world: Wynn, determined to take over from her father, the smith, Saethryth, wilful daughter of the village steward, whose longing for passion will set off a tragic sequence of events and Auli, whose merchant venturer father plies his trade up and down the coast, spying for the Danes. Above all, it is the story of Elfrun of Donmouth, uncertain of her father's fate and not knowing whom she can trust, or love…

In the past, historical novels tended to fall into rather clunky (not to mention sexist) categories, with bodice ripping books about Queens and Princesses aimed at women, and anything involving any kind of war or battle (almost always with a combination of blood and a sword/axe/halberd etc on the cover) aimed solely at men. In recent years, however, that seems to have changed – the huge success of series such as Wolf Hall changing things for the better.

Daughter of the Wolf is set in the Dark Ages – a period of time I haven't read a huge amount about, with most historical fiction either fixing on Romans, Vikings, or jumping forwards to the Tudor dynasty onwards, so it's great to see more books coming out about such an exciting period in our time. It's a much talked about period too – with modern day scholars claiming that the name Dark Ages is an unfair description of a time in which there was a fascinating change in political and social boundaries, as well as shifting religious landscapes and some definite culture – but it certainly works as a suitably epic sounding name for a period of history, and definitely works for this book.

Author (and historian) Victoria Whitworth has crafted something very clever in Daughter of the Wolf – it's a stirring epic journey at first glance, but on a deeper level there are really fascinating questions raised about the nature of fate, duty, and loyalty. Elfrun is a captivating and compelling lead who is no mere noble's daughter but a powerful woman in her own right – that combined with the deep historical detail and the beautiful descriptive language makes this a really cracking read. Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I would recommend an earlier foray by the author into the world of the Dark Ages: The Bone Thief – like Daughter of the Wolf it's a fantastic combination of historical detail with wonderful prose – and earned a glowing review from here at The Bookbag

Buy Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth at Amazon.co.uk

Buy Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Daughter of the Wolf by Victoria Whitworth at Amazon.com.


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