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8.21.2015

Oswald: Return of the King ~ Review

Oswald: Return of the King
By Edoardo Albert

Upon the death of his Uncle Edwin Oswald is deemed throne-worthy.  But Oswald doesn't desire or seek the throne that his uncle took from his father.  For in Oswald's opinion there are others who are equally throne-worthy, including his older half-brothers.  The life of a monk appeals to him, a simple life serving on the Holy Island.

But the life Oswald wants is not the life he is destined to live.  Cadwallon, not content to rule his kingdom after defeating Edwin, is determined to be named High King and to drive the Saxons to the sea purging the land of their vileness.  Cadwallon's evil and violent ways have left many on the verge of ruin and starvation.

Seeking guidance Oswald is convinced that his path leads him to seek his father's throne.  But to take the throne Oswald must gather allies who will come to him when he challenges Cadwallon. 

Oswald and his brother Oswin set out in a most unusual strategy to capture the throne.  But defeating Cadwallon is but the first step to becoming High King of a united Britain.  The path Oswald has taken is one that is without the peace he has become accustomed to on Iona.  

Betrayal is a possibility with every alliance and yet there are those who Oswald trusts with certainty - his brother, his dearest friend Aidan, his mother, his sister, and a few who have come to him in his quest for the throne.  

Oswald: Return of the King is an engrossing and intriguing story.  If you read the first book Edwin: High King of Britain you will enjoy this continuation of the history of the Northumbrian throne.  If you haven't there is a recap of the first book so that you will be brought up to speed so that you can enjoy this second installment in the series.

Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this book, this series.  I believe fans of Tolkien's works will be delighted in this series from Edoardo Albert.  This would make an excellent addition to any library - be it home, school, or public.  

Get ready to enter a world that is a foundation to all we know today.  A world that is on the edge of the old and the new.  A world that faces the same basic struggles that we face today.  Whom will you follow?  Who will you call for king?

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher through Kregel Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.


About the book:
The second book in The Northumbrian Thrones series follows the young prince Oswald as he seeks to regain the throne taken from his family by Edwin.

The exiled family of King Æthelfrith of Northumbria arrive, after much hardship, on the island of Iona, where the monastery founded by St Columba has become a center of worship and learning. Amid the violence and turbulence of Dark-Ages Britain, the island appears a sanctuary to the hunted princes and Oswald, having become firm friends with a novice named Aidan, enters the church along with his younger brother, Oswiu.

As befits a young prince, Oswald learns to fight and soon becomes renowned for his courage, earning the title Lamnguin, the Whiteblade. However, the peace of Iona leaves Oswald torn between becoming a monk or returning to Northumbria to reclaim the kingdom that is rightfully his. When news reaches Iona that his half-brother, Eanfrith, has been killed by Cadwallon, the king who defeated Edwin, Oswald sails back to Northumbria and meets Cadwallon in battle, defeating and killing him.

Oswald, now the undisputed king of Northumbria, gives Aidan the island of Lindisfarne as a base from which to take the faith to the English. But Penda, the last great pagan king in England, is raising troops against him...