The story gets off to a slow start as we're introduced to the main characters. But once it gets going, there's no slowing down for the remainder of the book. Bernardi clearly has a talent for character building. I found myself instantly liking Thurkill and his father Scalpi. You can really feel the bond between father and son as they defend the kingdom against Vikings in the north and Duke William's army in the south.
The main thing that stood out for me was the amount of research that has clearly gone into this book. Reading this book was like having a really fun history lesson. I was so happy that Barnardi included the story about the famous Viking of Stamford bridge. Its easily one of my favourite stories. I think the battles are another stand out point in this book and Bernardi can definitely write a fight scene with the best of them. From deadly one on one combat to straight up savage battles. It was pretty much a perfect balance of all the things you want in this type of genre.
My only complaint for this book was the use of the same name for two different characters. It just made the read unnecessarily confusing at times.
The major cliff-hanger at the end has made me want to read the second book so badly! If you trust my taste on historical fiction, you'll want to read this book.
I want to thank Paul Bernardi for allowing me to review his book. Its been a fun Journey.