You can now pre-order The Saxon Wolf
The second volume of my Fire Born Viking series, The Saxon Wolf, is coming out in mid-January 2022. But if you like, you can pre-order the eBook and the paperback in advance so that you get the book as soon as possible. It also occurs to me that I haven’t done much blogging about the new book so I thought I would give you a few details of the plot, setting and so on. There may be SPOILERS but I’ll try not to give away anything too earth-shattering.
The book opens in Rerik, a big Wendish port on the Baltic coast (near modern-day Rostock), where Bjarki is working like a mule stacking sacks of grain in a warehouse. I drew on my own experience for this scene of the worst job I ever had – and I have had some doozies – which was unloading a massive truck full of cement bags in Crete in the 1980s and carrying the 50kg sacks to the top of a three-storey building. It was sheer torture. I can still remember the agony in my legs and back, forty years later. Anyway, Bjarki and Tor are in Rerik looking for the long-haired man Goran, who sold Bjarki the dream of a perfect life in the east, with land, crops and a little cottage by the sea.
They have been looking all winter and now that spring is at hand Tor want to go back to the Dane-Mark and fight for a Saxon Jarl, who is raising an army there. Small SPOLIER here: they do go back and sign up with Widukind, aka, The Saxon Wolf, who is trying to drive the Christian Franks out of his homeland. Bjarki and Tor fight in many battles for Widukind. But Bjarki now has an aversion to his gandr (the bear spirit that possesses him, when he becomes a berserker) which is increasingly controlling him. He is terrified that he will become exactly like his blood-crazed father Hildur, who slaughtered folk for the sheer pleasure of it.
So Bjarki is trying to get rid of his gandr – and Tor resents this because she sees being a berserker (one of the Fire Born) as a great privilege, and it is something she greatly aspires to. So that is the set up. There are a lot of bloody battles, Bjarki rises to a position of authority under Duke Widukind, and then it all starts to go horribly wrong . . . I think that’s all I can say without ruining the story. But it’s a cracker of a tale, and I really hope you will all like it.
I have included a map in this one, as many people complained that The Last Berserker didn’t have one, and it was designed by my very talented brother John Brodie Donald. It shows the location of the four tribes of the Saxons: the Nordalbians, the Angrians, the Westphalians and the Eastphalians. And the main action takes place around the Hellweg, an old Roman road that, as Tor puts it, drives like a spear up into the belly of Saxony. And we revisit the Groves of Eresburg, home of the Fyr Skola, which featured so much in the first Fire Born novel.
If you would like to pre-order The Saxon Wolf (Fire Born 2) – and it would be very helpful to me if you did – you can do so by clicking here. As always, please leave a review when you’ve read it and let me know what you think of the tale.