Raven Blood Eye
Bantam, Aug 28 2012, $7.99
In 802 England, Osric the orphan knows nothing about himself before he joined the villagers two years ago. The villagers of Abbotsend in the Kingdom of Wessex distrust him partially because his past is unknown and mostly because of his blood red eye. He works for mute Eahlstan the carpenter cutting and shaping timber as well as performing menial tasks.
Jarl Sigurd the Lucky arrives with his Norsemen after crossing the Njord Sea to Abbotsend insisting they are traders. They notice Osric’s red eye and believe Odin the God of War has given him the blood clot. Wulfweard the Christ priest calls them Satan spawns, but calmer heads hope to send them peacefully on their way. However, Wulfweard puts hemlock in their mead; speaking Sigurd’s tongue Osric warns him. They slaughter the townsfolk warriors and burn down the village but take Osric and thanks to the lad Eahlstan with them renaming the teen Raven though some of his new friends, like the villagers, distrust him. The lad’s adventures are just beginning as he seeks the Holy Gospels of St Jerome allegedly guarded by King Coenwulf of Mercia and meets Cynethryth.
The first Raven Dark Ages epic is an exciting look at the early ninth century when Norsemen raided the English coast. The storyline starts slow as Giles Kristian introduces his large cast, but accelerates once the Norsemen leave Abbotsend aflame. The well written action-packed storyline is filled with drink and blood as fans of Beowulf era historical epic adventures will want to follow the escapades of Raven marked by Odin.