|The Last Saxon King was a surprising joy to read. The first chapter had me slightly annoyed with the awkward and prone to more whining than necessary, 16 year old narrator, Dan. Dan had been homeschooled his entire life by his father with the main educational emphasis on history, and medieval history at that. He was made to memorize seemingly boring dates of battles and long dead Anglo-Saxon kings. Dan showed little in the way of social skills and far too often pointed out his inability to talk to girls. When we meet him he is wondering the local mall as his dad had company coming and had sent his son away for the afternoon. The first chapter was spent on this boy lamenting about his lack of a social circle and social skills. Why would he need to know long ago battles and who won and lost them? Why in the world would he ever need to know how to carry a medieval sword into battle or make arrows as a man from the year 1060 would make? Why did he need to be schooled in what a medieval peasant or warrior would wear? Obviously, a decent amount of foreshadowing, though often a bit too much. I was fearful that I was walking into a typical and silly YA novel that would speed through a clean plot and even cleaner ending. Thankfully, I was mistaken. |
When Dan finally decides he’s going to make his way home in hopes that the company his father had would finally be a woman, his fate is quickly changed. No woman was found at the house. Instead, Dan heard loud voices and the clang of metal. A sword fight? In his living room? His father was arguing with someone, another man named Victor. When he finally entered the home he found his father and an unknown man arguing and fighting. Dan had never seen this other man named Victor. While he attempted to stop the Victor by throwing a clay statue at him, the assailant was too quick. His father ended up taking a spear to his body. Suddenly his father throws a rod at him and tells him to say a bedtime rhyme he had been taught over and over. Torn between saving his father, being killed by the assailant himself, or reciting the nonsensical rhyme, he chose the rhyme as his father used what seemed to be his last bit of energy to tell him again to say the bedtime rhyme. Dan said the rhyme and found himself transported to a forest.
Without giving more away, Dan enters a world he’d read about far past in the history of the world. While here Dan will meet several friends, and several foes. His life will be in danger multiple times and he will have to make many difficult choices. Will he ever return home? Is his father alive? Can he set history right?
The Last Saxon King blends historical facts with fictional elements. It is a novel of courage and hard choices. I found myself researching historical facts about this time period and I learned so much. The author went to great lengths to provide historical facts and blend them to make a compelling fictional read. It is part history, part adventure. While it is a YA novel, I found myself addicted to the story and I cannot wait to read the next six books in the installment. Read this book. All lovers of historical fantasy will fall in love with this wonderfully written novel. Happy reading.
Preorder your copy. It is set to release March 7, 2023. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/1945501855/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1662367915&sr=8-1