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Bloodline Hardcover – February 10, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 7–10—Essa has traveled the lands of seventh-century Britain with his father, Cai, for many years without incident. In a Wolf Folk settlement, he wakes to find that his father has left without any explanation. Feeling angry and alone, he slowly comes to appreciate the people of the village, but never forgets his father's betrayal. Eventually Essa becomes sworn to a king and is sent out on a small errand. He gets himself deeper and deeper into tribal disputes and finds that the errand has become a full-blown adventure across kingdoms, with Essa taking matters into his own hands to try to influence the outcome of a potential tribal war. Well written and deeply researched, Bloodline moves along at a steady pace with enough intrigue and mystery to keep readers turning pages. It is a wonderful story of emotional and physical discovery that reads with "you are there" immediacy. The historical details are effortlessly woven throughout as the plot develops into a complete picture of the times. A map and an outline of the characters are included. This novel would make an excellent companion to a study of the Early Middle Ages and/or British and European history.—Dylan Thomarie, Johnstown High School, NY
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The sword-and-shield pageantry found in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth and Paolini’s Alagaesia gets a historically based tweak in this adventure set in Britain circa 650 CE. In a land where allegiance to lords is held above all else, Essa is a young man with no king. The son of a roving trader and secret-peddler named Cai, Essa finds himself consumed with his ancestry: he is neither fully Wolf Folk nor Wixma nor Northumbrian, treads the line between British and Anglish, and has no mother—and then Cai disappears, too. Three years later, a routine reconnaissance mission mires Essa within a coming war between kingdoms. Keeping track of the various factions is a chore eased somewhat by a chart at the front of the book; Moran, nonetheless, prevails on the strength of her theme of shifting loyalties, as only fealty to his true self can pull our hero through. Essa’s ability to see through the eyes of animals seems a bit tacked on, but once the climactic struggle kicks in, the result is no less than rousing. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus
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Top Customer Reviews
He grows up in the village, struggles to find his place in the world until his village is attacked by Mercian marauders. He not has a mission to fulfill, while preventing war between the various kingdoms and tribal federations, and has a psychic talent for astral travel and communication with animals, even with entering their bodies.He makes friends and enemies, and his strong bonds with his animals and his love for his childhood sweetheart blond Saxon beauty Lark, are both beautiful to read. his ultimate task is to stop the savage and bloodthirsty Mercian king Penda, after having gone with Penda's son, Wulfehre, on a journey to Powys to fetch Wulfhere's young bride.
The author shows great understanding and research of the Britain of this time , and we get a feel fro the characters and places.
She definitely shows a feel for Britain and it's history.
He's expected back in two days, but he's gone for much longer. He's caught while spying on the camp. The father he thought was dead is alive in the village. Essa's forced to swear another oath - to his enemies - and join their side.
He doesn't understand why his father is there and his reasons for not returning. Essa figures he'll have plenty of time to ask these questions, but the next day he's sent on a mission with the King's son to fetch back his bride.
The two boys form a friendship and gradually realize the pending war isn't best for both sides. They attempt to stop it with knowledge they've gained. But are they too late?
Katy Morgan makes the Dark Ages come alive with her tale of war and courage, friendship and loyalty, and family and belonging.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rummel