Book Review: Shadow of the Raven (Sons of Kings #1)


Author: Millie Thom
Release Date: April 10th 2014
Series: Sons of Kings
Genre: Historical Fiction
Edition: Kindle
Pages: 5668
Publisher: Self-published
Source: Author (Thanks Millie!)
Buy it here: Amazon


Thunder claps roar and Odin’s ravens fly. Dragonships set sail – and the kingdoms of Western Europe hold their breath. Warriors of Thor are on the move. By the mid ninth century, Danish raids on Anglo-Saxon kingdoms have escalated. Several bands even dare to overwinter on the coastal islands, particularly those at the mouth of the Thames, where the kingdoms of Wessex and Mercia border each other. The kings of these lands must put past enmity aside and take the first steps towards unity; steps they see as vital in the face of this newfound threat to their lands . . . Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia are the sons of kings, whose futures have been determined since birth. But the turbulent events in their childhood years change the natural progression of things – and shape the characters of the men they will become. Their roads to manhood follow vastly different routes, but both learn crucial lessons along the way: lessons that will serve them well in future years. Discovering that they enemy is not always a stranger is a harsh lesson indeed; the realisation that a trusted kinsman can turn traitor is the harshest lesson of all. The story takes us from the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex to the Norse lands stretching north from Denmark to the Arctic Circle and east to the Baltic Sea. We glimpse the Court of Charles the Bald of West Francia and journey to the holy city of Rome. Through it all, the two boys move ever closer to their destinies.





The story follows the early years of Alfred of Wessex and the fictitious Eadwulf of Mercia – the sons of kings. I have to say that the first third of the book was very slow read for me. I struggled with the names a lot (didn’t know how to pronounce them), but after that I got used to the author’s style and from there on it was a fast read and I enjoyed it very much. As the author takes you with her all over Europe and the adventure you take with the characters are both exciting and dangerous.


The author takes both real characters from history and fiction and placed them together in such a unique and wonderful way that is so believable. The characters are so well thought off and it shows she really knows her history. Eadwulf has grown so much in this story and I’m really looking forward reading more about his adventures. I am so happy that the author placed a ‘characters list’ it was very helpful.


This is the time of the Vikings who are known for their violence and ruthlessness. You see the harsh life and the slavery of this period. In this story there is love, sex, kills and betrayals, all written in a very wonderful way.


The author did a wonderful job; bringing back that dangerous time for the Vikings in a very passionate way. Millie Thom wrote the story and the characters with so much details and knowledge of this time in history, which made me immersed in the story even more. It’s a wonderful bled of history and fiction 🙂


The beginning of the book was a bit hard and it did take me a bit getting used to all the names and all the details for that time period.


There are so many things left unsolved for me and the story of Eadwulf and his mother Morwenna are so sad and heartbreaking.


The blurb from Goodreads was very accurate on the book’s plot and didn’t have any spoiler of the story or the characters (just the way I like it). It puts you in the right mood to start reading the book and hints of things to come.

Cover Art:

The cover art is so beautiful and compelling. I truly love it.

You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “The snowball caught him completely unawares; a solidly packed pellet that smacked into the side of his head with considerable force, sending him reeling.” Memorable Quotes:

“You are destined to become a great warrior, and I a simple healer. We are surely opposites, you and I. But I know deep inside that you could never be evil.”

Highlights: There is so much, from the detailed story of this great Kingdome to the well-developed characters. From the first time we see the young boy to his exciting adventures over the years as he grows up. The greatness of this story for me is in the details. Lowlights: The names were a bit too much at first and it made it harder for me to get into the story. Final Thoughts: A very well written story, which has both real history and fiction. I learned so much about the time of the Vikings in a very fun and exciting way. It’s a very interesting historian fiction. The fight for power will continue and I can’t wait to read the next book and see where the story will go on from here.

Review contributor:

pics copy 2Galit Balli

I am an avid reader, coffee addict, a writer and a blogger. I am a bit of agoraphobic (people scare me, lol). Me and my hubby love to spend every moment together, we even game together. I live mostly in my own imaginary world full of dragons, magic and vampires and from time to time I pull myself away to deal with the real world. Read more about Galit here.

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