Book Review: The Last Warrior: England: The First Viking Age (The Ninth Century Book 2) by M J Porter

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Independently published
Pub date: 25 June 2020
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

He sent a hundred men to kill two thousand. It had to be enough.

Mercia lies broken but not beaten, her alliance with Wessex in tatters.

Coelwulf, a fierce and bloody warrior, fears no man, especially not the Raiders claiming Mercia as their own.

Coelwulf must travel away from the heart of Mercia, hunting down the Raiders and what he discovers will determine the fate of Mercia, as well as his own.

Having read the first book in this series, The Last King recently, I was eager to jump back in to the story of Coelwulf and his loyal warriors.

This book picks up where the previous one ended and Coelwulf is faced with the huge task of ridding Mercia of the remaining Raiders following the battle at Repton.

Coelwulf has been announced as king of Mercia and him and his warriors, now allied with the ealdormen of Mercia must travel from Repton to Torksey to battle the Raiders but the battle awaiting them isn’t the only danger they face.

I was a little worried starting this that the sequel wouldn’t live up to the first book but I was very much mistaken, this one has a prologue that literally drags you in straight away with thoughts of “What??????”

As with the first, the battle scenes are brilliant! I especially liked the additional archers in this story.

Without much light, it’s impossible to see where the quayside begins and ends, and I hold my  position, as more and more flaming arrows descend from the heights.

It’s so detailed I felt like I was trudging through the rain soaked through or stood in a shield wall with the men ready to face the Raiders and their war axes.

Personally I found this one had a bit more humour than the first and I often found myself laughing at the banter between the men and the antics of Haden (Coelwulf’s horse).

The characters in this are just as great if not better than in the first book, no fault of the author in the first one I’ve just gotten to know the characters more now and I absolutely adore Pybba and Rudolf, they’ve grown as characters and become two of my favourites alongside Coelwulf, whilst reading I find myself hoping none of them will come to harm, as well as Haden of course! It’s easy to see why Coelwulf’s men are so loyal to him and others follow him although not all men are as loyal as they seem.

I really enjoyed the first one and after this I think it’s becoming a series I will definitely continue to read, I can’t wait for the next one.
It’s a story of war, loyalty and friendship with incredible battle scenes and the added bonus of humour. I can’t wait to spend more time with Coelwulf and his warriors.

The Last Warrior is available to pre order, it’s out on Thursday!

Amazon UK

Thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my review.

If like me you’d like to keep up to date with the author you can find MJ Porter on the website where you can sign up for the newsletter (I have as I simply can’t get enough of Coelwulf and co) https://www.mjporterauthor.com/

Or on Twitter @coloursofunison and lastly on the blog https://earlofmercia.wordpress.com/

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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