Following Guthrum’s crushing defeat at Edington, Alfred’s kingdom is enjoying a rare period of peace. Alfred is ageing. Bouts of his old illness are increasingly frequent, and he prays that his final years will be free of Viking raids, allowing him to concentrate on expanding his kingdom’s boundaries and improving its standard of learning. Scholars are summoned from near and far, amongst them a certain Welsh abbot named Asser.
Ongoing peace is no certainty, however, and Alfred continues to improve his defences. An attack on Rochester proves that Wessex is still far from safe… whilst also confirming the effectiveness of Alfred’s newly fortified towns and mobile armies. The arrival of a huge Norse army puts those defences to the test. Its devious leader does not easily give up and the conflict becomes a trial of will and wits between him and Alfred’s staunch ealdormen, one of whom is Eadwulf’s son, Aethelred.
While Aethelred pursues his role as Lord of the Mercians, Eadwulf settles back in Aros. Old friendships are rekindled, new ones are formed, and a situation in al-Andalus takes Eadwulf, Bjorn and their comrades on another dangerous quest across the sea.
But will this new life be enough to stop Eadwulf missing his children and friends back in Mercia?
5 star review for King of the Anglo Saxons
For those, like me, who have followed the story of these two men from the beginning, this final volume is a very satisfying tying up of all the threads. Ms Thom’s knowledge of this turbulent time in history shines through and her characters, as always, come across as rounded, real people. I was very sad to say goodbye to them but their story arcs have all been completed perfectly. Alfred’s reign was not all about the Danish wars and we see again the man, not just the king, as he interacts with his growing family. A fitting end to a fine series. ~ Whitey, Amazon Reviewer
Eadwulf isback on the Sea Eagle with Bjorn and his crew on a quest to discover if Eadwulf’s father, King Beorhtwulf of Mercia, is still alive after twenty years as a slave. Bjorn’s great dragonship carries them down to the searing June temperatures and strict laws in the Moorish lands of al-Andalus. But searching for Beorhtwulf proves more difficult than they’d expected, causing them more trouble than they’d bargained for…
In Wessex, King Aethelred is now dead, leaving his twenty-one-year-old brother, Alfred, to succeed to the throne. Though his succession was agreed by the witan, Alfred must now prove himself worthy of the kingship, or lose it. But Wessex is in turmoil, besieged by Viking Danes intent on subjugating the kingdom – and knowing that the new king is young and inexperienced. Alfred must use all his wiles if he is to outthink and outmanoeuvre Guthrum, the Dane who nearly becomes his nemesis.
Alfred’s victories and defeats take him on a journey of learning, during which he gains experience and strength. We share his highs and his lows, and how he rises from the depths of despair to save his beloved kingdom from total conquest.
And at his side in his greatest time of need is his new ally and friend, Eadwulf of Mercia.
Here are some of the 5 star reviews for Wyvern of Wessex:
As an avid watcher of The Viking series on TV, this series was an awesome fill in. Very well-written and kept my interest throughout the entire series. I sure hope there will be another book to tell of Eadwulf’s next phase of his life. ~ Amber Carrow Amazon.com
I have fallen in love with the characters in this book. Ms. Thom breathes life into these great people from our past. The different cultures coming together at this pivotal point in history is fascinating. ~ Sonora, Amazon.com
Sons of Kings Books 1, 2 & 3 are very well put together. Following the life of Alfred the Great, Millie has added history with fiction into 3 good reads. I liked the Norse/Mercian connection and enjoyed them so much I read one after another and looking forward to Book 4. Talented author and excellent compiler of historical & fiction. ~ Howard Riach Amazon UK
A very well written and researched book series. I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t praise the author enough. The amazing journey from Book 1 to Book 3 just keeps you reading! ~ Mark Evans Amazon UK
A Dash of Flash: A Collection of Very Short Stories
My third book is something quite different. It is a collection of 85 flash fiction pieces / very short stories, ranging from 100 to 1,000 words. Over 50 of the stories are illustrated, giving the text a bright and cheery feel. Here’s a brief description of the book:
A Dash of Flashis an eclectic mix of stories with both contemporary and historical settings, plus a few fairy tales and ghost stories added for good measure.
Step inside and join the many and varied characters at their times of joy or sorrow, remorse or loss. Laugh at their foibles, commiserate with their grief and indulge with them as they reminisce. Or simply smile at the fantasy of the tale.
Glimpse them all for but a mere flash in time…
5 star reviews of A Dash of Flash:
Thoroughly enjoyed these (very) short stories! This is the first collection of flash fiction I’ve read. I loved the variety of stories. This, together with the ultra-short length of the stories, really keep your attention. This is a perfect collection for people who have short attention spans (like most of us these days, myself included)! Most of the stories have enticing images accompanying them – these really set the stage for each piece – and are a clever addition. I found each story (‘The Double Crosser’, my favorite) to be well-written and very engaging. Five stars & looking forward to more flash fiction! … Amazonian, Amazon.com
This is a stunningly diverse collection of yarns, a mix of pathos, sorrow, joy and retribution. I enjoyed every one ~ Maureen Turner, Amazon.co.uk
“A Dash Of Flash: A Collection of Very Short Stories” is a work I highly recommend for anyone who likes the delight and brevity of the interesting, cleverly written short story. This assortment of flash fiction by author Millie Thom fits that bill … Millie Thom’s writing style is strong, her storytelling expertise wonderful, and her marvelous imagination and sense of humor brings to life so many delightful characters and plot situations all in the small space called flash fiction. This book is a joy to read, the stories brief, interesting, and cleverly composed ~ J.R. Cotner, Amazon.com
I happily spent two afternoons in the company of this miscellany of imaginative vignettes, eavesdropping on conversations and peeping through keyholes. I chuckled as a bikini top floated out to sea, marvelled at the beat of a fairy’s wing and nodded approvingly as I read a story that was written without using the letter ‘e’. Millie Thom has an engaging writing style and employs literary technique to good effect, using ambiguity, colloquialisms, metaphors and misdirection to amplify each dénouement. Pleasingly, she is a graduate of the ‘show and not tell’ school of writing and therefore trusts the reader to fill in the blanks. As well as subtle paradoxes, there is pathos-a-plenty to be found, but poignancy, wistfulness and whimsy take centre stage. The author’s tastes are wide-ranging; anything from mythical kings to alien spaceships takes her fancy. Overall, a most enjoyable read. Highly recommended! ~ K, Amazon.co.uk
The lives of Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia continue to unfold against the ever-increasing threat of Danish raids. Now back in his homeland, Eadwulf sets out on his determined quest for revenge, whilst Alfred’s leadership skills develop at the courts of his successive brothers. Before long, those skills will be put to the test.
The Danish invasion of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in 865 is merciless and relentless. Every year more Norse ships come to join their comrades in a quest to plunder for wealth and gain domination over the people. The Wessex king is now Aethelred, Alfred’s last surviving brother, and Alfred becomes his trusted second-in-command. Whilst the Danes take kingdom after kingdom, the brothers wait with baited breath for them to set their sights on Wessex.
By 869 their worst fear is realised.
Some of the 5 star reviews of Pit of Vipers:
If you like Bernard Cornwell’s Uhtred series, you’ll like this … BJ Kitchen, Amazon.com
If you like spellbinding historical fiction with plenty of grueling action, you’ve got to read Pit of Vipers. Fans of the Dark Ages and The Vikings will love this book. Highly recommend! N.N. Light Amazon.com
Anyone interested in the time of the Vikings and their addition to the creation of the English will thoroughly enjoy this book. For those of us who enjoy Griff Hosker, Bernard Cornwall and Jerry Autieri, try this new series by Millie Thom…Excellent! ~ Sue Merritt Amazon.com
A great find for historical fiction fans … SPR editorial review
Most people would probably agree that to present history as a mere list of dates, or the minutiae of births, deaths, battles, coronations and political treaties and alliances, would be the best way of putting anyone off the subject for life. Undoubtedly the information referred to has its place; the chronology of historical events is vital. We wouldn’t want people believing, for example, that the Battle of Hastings was a mere hundred years ago.
But there are ways of presenting information that overcome the mundane . . .
I believe that to appreciate the importance of history – and by that I mean the magnitude of its effect on the lives we lead today; the great advances in technology that make our lives so much easier – we must project our minds back to the time being studied, or read about.
Feel it. Live it.
For me, as for millions of others, history comes alive through fiction. Historical fiction has become almost an obsession to me. I read little else. Even my favourite detective novels have an historical setting. I read novels set in any era, any culture. I love to be transported from the here and now to a world of past times; to characters with completely different moral values and attitudes to life than our own.
It all helps to understand how life has progressed; just how far – or in some cases, how little – we’ve come.
I’ll leave with these snippets to consider (there are many more on the ‘Brainy Quotes about Historical Fiction’ webpage):
‘One thing I like about historical fiction is that I’m not constantly focusing on me, or people like me; you’re obliged to concentrate on lives that are completely other than your own.’ (Emma Donoghue)
‘The thing that most attracts me to historical fiction is taking the factual record as far as it is known, using that as a scaffold, then letting imagination build the structure that fills in those things we can never find out for sure.’ (Geraldine Brooks)
By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other. The kings of these lands must put past hostilities aside and take the first steps towards unity; steps they see as vital in the face of this newfound threat to their lands.
Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things and shape the characters of the men they will become. Their roads to manhood follow vastly different routes, but both learn crucial lessons along the way: lessons that will serve them well in future years.
Discovering that the enemy is not always a stranger is a harsh lesson indeed; the realisation that a trusted kinsman can turn traitor is the harshest lesson of all.
These are some of the five star reviews for Shadow of the Raven:
A fantastic, well written story – Tammy L. Nesheim: Amazon.com
…truly a remarkable historical fiction… J.L. Hutchisson: Amazon.com
…a beautifully crafted and seamlessly linked tale… Tricia Preston: Amazon.co.uk
You know those authors that write in a way that the reader can basically smell the soil just from the description? Well, Thom nailed it: Emmeline (The Book Herald)TOP 50 REVIEWER. Amazon.com