- File Size: 2551 KB
- Print Length: 556 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Longship Publishing (August 20, 2016)
- Publication Date: August 20, 2016
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01IS4CIPY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,488 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Wolf Banner (Sons of the Wolf Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Sons of the Wolf focuses primarily on the family of a thegn (a retainer of the king ranking below an ealdorman, what would eventually come to be known as an earl) of Edward. Wulfhere, the thegn, as he struggles to balance family life with the duties he owes the king, risking much and making many mistakes along the way. These mistakes impact not only the economic future of his family, but also its relational well-being. His children are growing, and as they do, each makes his or her own choices which bring a parallel future ramification. These choices build the plot, propelling the story alongside the historical events.
The Wolf Banner picks up where Sons left off. The storylines of Wulfhere, his wife, and their children is continued, but we also meet new characters whose stories move the action to other parts of England and Wales, revealing the complexities of the politics of this era through the shifting of power and control, and the subterfuge and greed that creates it.
Lofting’s first book was good, but like most second novels, The Wolf Banner shows a maturing of the author’s writing. The plot is more complex, the pace is faster, the characters deeper and more nuanced. Among these characters, there are the basest of military men, politicians with single-focus, fathers who use their children solely to meet their selfish ends, laid-back fathers who shrug their shoulders and trust their children to wyrd, flawed people, guilt-ridden people, boys who want to be men yet don’t know how, fickle and flighty women, emotionally strong women who carry those around them, mothers who fail their children, mothers who do what they can for their children with little success and few resources… all in all we see a vast canvas of personalities and maturities, some who gain ground and others who lose it. I often say that a strongly developed character can carry any book. Had there been little to no plot in this book (and there was), I still would have enjoyed it for the sake of the individuals filling the pages alone.
The pace of the book is good. The first 40% or so continues in a similar cadence to the first book. Around this point the reader is left with some closure regarding many of the earlier events, and this was satisfactory. But then… look out. The pace picks up, and the book turns into a page-turner with non-stop action and adventure. Lofting’s battle scenes are magnificent, leaving little to the imagination. Readers who are a bit squeamish may want to skim through these as the battle gore is somewhat graphic at times. Yet even in the violence we find an illustration, and Thegn Wulfhere capitalizes on this as he implores a group of young men on the eve of battle not rest on false bravado or to glory in the upcoming death-giving and gore. He relates the terror of battle in full color so they proceed with eyes wide open, harnessing their energy to survive rather than dissipate their energy through ignorant bravery as untried young men are wont to do.
Lovers of historical fiction who enjoy thoroughly drawn characters along with their action and adventure will not be disappointed by this book. I enjoyed the story, but even more so did I enjoy exploring the thoughts and motivations of the characters behind it. Even though I know the history and what awaits these characters in their literary futures, I eagerly await the next book, The Wolf’s Bane, coming in 2017.
Ms. Lofting has brilliantly created characters that come off the page as living breathing figures. When Wulfhere is forced to make choices that will alter the fates of his children one cannot help but feel his pain.
You meet the real Lady Godiva, not simply a beautiful woman to be objectified, but a Lady of strength and power, that has the guile to hold her families’ legacy together.
The political intrigue of Edward the Confessor’s court is laid bare. The rivalries between the Godwinson’s, the animosity between Earls, the betrayals between fathers and son, and the price one paid for treachery abound in this second story.
By the end of this story, over the course of three years, Wulfhere of Horstede, is a broken man that must still find a way to go on. The years have harshly changed his family, yet with hopefulness and his grown children ….. he will go on.