When Rick Hughes receives a reliquary pendant as a gift from an old friend, he has no idea what’s coming next. Drawn to an old excavation site, Rick stumbles upon a portal that takes him back to the 8th century, in the middle of a Viking invasion.
After discovering a shocking link to the present, Rick is determined to intervene and save the village from devastation – and to find a scientific explanation for what is happening.
With the perils of 8th century England surrounding him, can Rick save his new friends and live to tell the tale?
Rick Hughes is contacted by an old friend, he wants to show him something….Gary, a metal detectorist, has found many treasures and reported them to the correct authorities, but he has found something special….a reliquary pendant ( a reliquary is a container for holy relics)….he gives it to Rick who wants it cleaned properly by a professional.
So we meet Esme, who cleans the ivory pendant…..it is from approximately 870 AD. Rick is immediately smitten by Esme and so a little romance begins.
The story then jumps 5 years ahead ( I have to admit it felt a bit odd to just jump 5 years mid chapter with no real reason for that amount of time)…
Rick and Esme are still together but only just, and Gary invites Rick to an Anglo-Saxon re-enactment event, so off the two of them go all dressed in costume and for a touch of realism, Gary wears the pendant….
Then the story really starts, Rick just touches the pendant and he wakes up a bit groggy 1100 years in the past….he meets local people and his double, Rinc and his wife, who is the double of Esme….this was real wasn’t it? Or is he losing his mind ?
Well it’s real and the adventure begins, he takes Gary and Esme back too and they become friends with the villagers. Gary learns how to make parchment, Esme helps a woman give birth by caesarean, Rick meets Vikings and convinces them he’s a seer…….but they then realise the Vikings are about to arrive and destroy the village and enslave or kill everyone…….So they make a plan to save them…
I loved this, the characters are so engaging and well rounded, and it feels like historical fiction due to the factual elements, which I found to be very interesting, but with the sci-fi of time travel. Does time actually exist……? Well that’s a question to ponder…..I have to admit the science part went over my head, as quantum mechanics is beyond me, but this didn’t detract from this marvellously entertaining read. The epilogue is just brilliant.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book and this is my honest, unbiased review
You can buy a copy here (only 99p for kindle at the moment too)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I was born in Cleethorpes Lincolnshire UK in 1948: just one of the post-war baby boom. After attending grammar school and studying to the sound of Bob Dylan I went to Nottingham University and studied Medieval and Modern History (Archaeology subsidiary). The subsidiary course led to one of my greatest academic achievements: tipping the soil content of a wheelbarrow from the summit of a spoil heap on an old lady hobbling past our dig. Well, I have actually done many different jobs while living in Radcliffe-on-Trent, Leamington, Glossop, the Scilly Isles, Puglia and Calabria. They include teaching English and History, managing a Day Care Centre, being a Director of a Trade Institute and teaching university students English. I even tried being a fisherman and a flower picker when I was on St. Agnes, Scilly. I have lived in Calabria since 1992 where I settled into a long-term job, for once, at the University of Calabria teaching English. No doubt my lovely Calabrian wife Maria stopped me being restless. My two kids are grown up now, but I wrote books for them when they were little. Hamish Hamilton and then Thomas Nelson published 6 of these in England in the 1980s. They are now out of print. I’m a granddad now and happily his parents wisely named my grandson Dylan. I decided to take up writing again late in my career. You know when you are teaching and working as a translator you don’t really have time for writing. As soon as I stopped the translation work I resumed writing in 2014. The fruit of that decision is my first historical novel, Die for a Dove, an archaeological thriller, followed by The Purple Thread and Wyrd of the Wolf, published by Endeavour Press, London. Both are set in my favourite Anglo- Saxon period. Currently my third and fourth novels are available too, Saints and Sinners and its sequel Mixed Blessings set on the cusp of the eighth century in Mercia and Lindsey. A fifth Sward and Sword will be published in November 2019 About the great Earl Godwine. Creativia Publishing have released Perfecta Saxonia and Ulf’s Tale. about King Aethelstan and King Cnut’s empire respectively. Shortly, in May 2019, they will publish In the Name of the Mother, a sequel to Wyrd of the Wolf.