Tuesday 25 June 2019

BLOG TOUR: The Final Reckoning (The Shadow of the Raven Book 3) - Chris Bishop

Despite Alfred's great victory at Edington, Wessex is far from secure.

With the threat of an imminent Viking attack, Matthew, now a warrior, is sent to fortify and defend the ford at Leatherhead. There, hopelessly outnumbered, he faces his sternest test as he and a small band of barely trained Saxon warriors strive to hold out long enough for help to arrive or resolve to die trying.

In a time ravaged by political uncertainty, Matthew is placed in intense personal danger as he is also ordered to investigate the tyranny of the Ealdorman's stepson and dispense justice as he sees fit.

With his life still threatened by the wound to his chest, what is asked of him seems more than any man should endure as he faces . . . The Final Reckoning  

What did I think?

I have loved the previous two books of the Shadow of the Raven series so I was really looking forward to this final chapter, albeit that would mean closing the book on Matthew's life.  What an eventful life he has had thanks to Chris Bishop's descriptive writing painting this Anglo Saxon history in such vivid colour.

It's troubled times in Wessex with Vikings camped on the banks of the Thames in Mercia, it's only a matter of time before they head south into Wessex.  King Alfred (the Great) of Wessex tasks Matthew, a former novice monk who was once known as Edward, to defend the ford at Leatherhead.  Accompanied only by his trusty companion, Aelred, he must turn the villagers into warriors if they are to survive the inevitable Viking attack.

You could of course read The Final Reckoning as a standalone book but to fully appreciate Matthew's story, it's best to read the series in order.  If you have read the earlier books, you will definitely remember the unforgettable opening passage of the first book, Blood and Destiny, so it was with a heavy heart (and one or two goosebumps) that I read the final chapter that brought us full circle to the start of the first book.

What an outstanding historical trilogy!  Chris Bishop has written such a riveting edge of your seat account of such a turbulent time in England's history.  I absolutely love the character of Edward/Matthew; he has such an eye for the ladies that he was never going to be able to live his life as a monk!  I am definitely going to read these books again to bring Matthew to live once more.  As the warrior with the pierced heart, he is reputedly immortal and he has indeed been given immortality in literature.

As an historical fiction lover, I think it is unusual to find such a colourful account of the Anglo-Saxon period.  In my opinion, Chris Bishop rivals Bernard Cornwell as my favoured author of the period; if you like Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories, you will LOVE Chris Bishop's The Shadow of the Raven series.  Don't just read The Final Reckoning, read all three books in this very highly recommended series.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Chris Bishop is a retired chartered surveyor who has pursued his love of writing for as long as he can remember. He is an intrepid traveller and a retired Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. He is married with two children and four granddaughters and lives in London.

Twitter: @CBishop_author

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