I’m so excited about the release today of King of Kings. This story, the first part in the retelling of the greatest battle on British soil that many have never heard of, Brunanburh, has been long in the making. Building on the original series, begun in 2014, King of Kings is entirely reworked, and it’s so much better:) (I honestly can’t believe how much better it is.)
Here’s the blurb
‘An epic tale of the birth of a nation. Truly mesmerising. Game of Thrones meets The Last Kingdom’ – Gordon Doherty
In the battle for power, there can be only one ruler.
Athelstan is the king of the English, uniting the petty kingdoms of Wessex, Mercia, the Danish-held Five Boroughs and York following the sudden death of his father, King Edward.
His vision is to unite the realms of the Scots and the Welsh in a peace accord that will protect their borders from the marauding threat of the Norse Vikings.
Whilst seemingly craving peace and demanding loyalty with an imperium over every kingdom, Athelstan could dream of a much bigger prize.
But danger and betrayal surround his best intentions, namely from his overlooked stepbrother, Edwin, who conspires and vies for what he deems is his rightful place as England’s king.
As ever, powerful men who wish to rule do not wish to be ruled, and Constantin of the Scots, Owain of Strathclyde, and Ealdred of Bamburgh plot their revenge against the upstart English king, using any means necessary.
An epic story of kingsmanship that will set in motion the pivotal, bloody Battle of Brunanburh where allies have to be chosen wisely…
(available in ebook, paperback, hardback and audio, narrated by the wonderful Matt Coles).
King of Kings. with its five kingdoms, and one alliance, might need some explanation. To help my readers understand who everyone is, and importantly, where everyone is, King of Kings has a map and a genealogical table, as well as a cast of characters.
And because the family of King Alfred is so important to the story, I also have a genealogical table to share with my readers.
I’ve written some brief introductions for the main cast of characters.
Follow the blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources
And for those who are falling in love with the period as much as I am, I wanted to share some non-fiction recommendations, and cautions.
There is no one book that will adequately cover this period (that was one of the reasons that I fictionalised it) but these books (see photos below), along with Dr. Kari Maund’s The Welsh Kings, which I have in ebook, will give you a good grounding of events in Britain and Ireland. So, these are
Alfred’s Britain by Max Adams
Athelstan by Sarah Foot
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles ed and trans. Michael Swanton (other versions available – I like the formatting of this one -with the different recensions)
The Welsh Kings by Kari Maund
An Atlas of Anglo-Saxon England by David Hill (don’t be put off by the fact this book is from the 1970s – it is invaluable)
From Pictland to Alba 789-1070 by Alex Woolf
Viking Kings of Britain and Ireland by Claire Downham
English Historical Documents ed and trans by Dorothy Whitelock
The Frankish Kingdom under the Carolingians by R McKitterick
Edward the Elder ed. Higham and Hill (not a narrative account, but historians writing papers about their area of interest and expertise).
There are also two very important online resources.
PASE (The Prospography of Anglo-Saxon England)