#HistoricalFiction #Histfic #ScottishFiction #NorseFiction
Somerled’s parentage was noble, of the Kings of Dublin, the royal house of Argyll and the great Ard Ri, the High Kings of Ireland. But when the Norse invaded Argyll and the Isles, his family’s fortunes fell with those of his people. When all hope seemed lost, he rose from the mists of Morvern to rally the Gaels, the Scots and the Irish.
Sweeping across Argyll and the Isles like a fast-moving storm, brilliant in strategy and fearless in battle, Somerled began retaking his ancestral lands, driving away the invaders and freeing the people from the Norse stranglehold. In doing so, he would win the title Somerle Mor, Somerled the Mighty, Lord of Argyll, Kintyre and Lorne and, eventually, Lord of the Isles.
This is the unforgettable saga of his path to victory that birthed the Kingdom of the Isles and won him the heart of a Norse king’s daughter.
A Spellbinding Tale ~ 5 stars
In Summer Warrior, the first book in the Clan Donald Saga, Walker weaves a spellbinding tale of heroism and adventure coupled with a touching love story.
The backdrop to the tale, encompassing Scottish, Irish, Norse and English history, is an expansive one, worthy of the title saga. For me the writing conjured up vivid images of royal courts, battles and the ever present windswept coast and sea that surrounds the isles.
As with the author’s previous works, the novel is meticulously researched, breathing life into characters and events from history. In this instance it is the little known Somerled, the Summer Warrior of the title, who, through his valiant actions, comes to be crowned Lord of the Isles, a Kingdom independent of his Scottish allies and from the Norse he vanquishes.
There is much in the hero’s character to admire. I enjoyed how Walker portrayed his singlemindedness and his determination to reclaim both his birth right and win the woman he loves. The story illustrates how adroit he was at playing the long game; outsmarting both his enemies and his allies through his skills on the battlefield and his diplomacy, which eventually rewards him with both his title and his heart’s desire. It is a hugely entertaining read that transported me from the present to the twelfth century.
The romance with Ragnhild, daughter of the Norse King of Man, is a sweet one and I enjoyed how Somerled managed to both vanquish his rivals in love and eventually gain her hand. Ragnhild is a strong character and the couple are well matched in outlook and intellect. There are a number of barriers to their courtship and I enjoyed how little by little the couple managed to overcome them, most especially the thrilling conclusion to their courtship.
Highly recommended to readers of historical fiction who enjoy tales redolent with the sagas of old.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
Please note that an ARC of this book was given to me by the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.