Lion Fiction/Kregel Publishing
My thoughts: I enjoy reading books based on real history and written with historical authority. Edwin High King of Britain is authored by Edoardo Albert who has taken the early history of England (Britain) in the 6th century as recorded by historian Bede, who lived during the period and is accepted as authority in his writing, and fleshed it out to give us Edwin, the first High King of Britain.
The time is after the conquest of the Roman Empire in the land that is now England, Ireland, and Scotland and after the Romans had left. It is 625 A.D. This is the story of uniting the people to form a nation.The inhabitants are pagan in religion and clannish with individual kings for each group. The area has been settled by the Germanic people, the original Britians, and invaders from the North. Edwin is an actual person recorded in the Ecclesiastical History the English People by Bede. The story opens with Edwin in exile and out wandering when he is approached by a mysterious stranger who predicts that Edwin will be a ruler.
This was a barbaric land and people, and the story portrays this well. It was also a good portrayal of the beliefs about the hereafter that these early people held as well as that of their many gods. The introduction to Christianity by the new wife of Edwin who brought with her a Roman Catholic priest, Paulinus, is interesting. A blending of the barbaric warring and piety made for a different and interesting read.
While based on the history of Bede, the reader must keep in mind that this is not a record of what took place. It is, in fact, a novel and should be read as such. I enjoyed the book and will recommend it to those who enjoy reading fiction based on this time period.