The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga
Life is progressing normally for sixteen-year-old Dan Renfrew when he accidentally transports himself to England in the year 1066. He soon realizes that he’s trapped there, and that’s not his only astonishing discovery. Dan learns that he’s descended from a long line of time jumpers—secret heroes who travel to the past and resolve glitches in the time stream that threaten to alter subsequent history. The only way Dan can return home is to set history back on its proper course in the Anglo-Saxon age. This is no easy task. A Viking horde is ravaging England in the north while a Norman army threatens to invade from the south. In between and desperately struggling to hold on to his throne is Harold Godwinson, the newly-crowned English king. Dan is fighting to ensure that events play out correctly when he finds himself plunged into an even more lethal conflict. To save history, Dan must battle a band of malevolent time jumpers whose lust for wealth and power threatens the entire future of the world.
Daniel’s father is being attacked by an assassin in their living room. A six-inch rod with a forgotten set of symbols is thrown to him by his father. He is given a phrase to say and is thrust back into the time of the Battle of Hastings. His adventure begins with Sunngifu who first meets him, telling him how inept and uneducated he is. His day goes down from there!
The rod seems to be a translation device and having it placed next to his skin allows him to talk to the people in the village. At 16 years of age, Dan is expected to join the local authority and fight for the kingdom. He has fallen into a time of great conflict. There is no choice; when the king or lord commands you, you must join and fight.
The class system is well described in this narrative as are the problems Daniel faces. The leaders in this part of the world are either royalty or the most-wealthy individuals. Peasants are required to fight for the royal and will be killed gruesomely if they do not comply but Daniel manages to become a companion to Edward and the future king of England.
The description of society as well as the interactions with the various characters describe a very colorful existence. Conscripted into the service of the overlord being mandatory, the conscripts must supply their own weapons. A farmer is not given a weapon but rather brings a pitchfork or hoe or some other farm implement.
Additional weapons are prizes of battle such as swords, lances, and poleaxes. A running count of the casualties inflicted on the other side is bragged about by the victors.
This author has developed a very fine example of life in the middle-ages and the dangers faced. Modern man is not equipped for these dangers. Can Daniel save himself long enough to return to his own time? Or, does he want to? 4 stars – CE Williams
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a review copy and the opportunity to read this book.
Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars
Genre: Historical Fiction, #timetravel, YA Fiction
Publisher: Imbrifex Books
Print Length: 316 pages
Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: The Last Saxon King [Amazon]
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The Author: I am a YA historical fiction author who takes great pains to ensure historical accuracy in my books, while still ensuring that I tell a great story. Although I enjoy reading and writing about all history, I have a particular fondness for European history from Greco-Roman times until the crusades.
I hope you enjoy my stories.
©2022 CE Williams – V Williams