Next up on David’s Book Blurg I’m reviewing Wolf of Wessex by Matthew Harffy…. (Granted a little later than planned.. blame the weather and an Ill family ha.. Apologies.
Here’s the blurb
Genre – Historical Fiction.
AD 838. Deep in the forests of Wessex, Dunston’s solitary existence is shattered when he stumbles on a mutilated corpse.
Accused of the murder, Dunston must clear his name and keep the dead man’s daughter alive in the face of savage pursuers desperate to prevent a terrible secret from being revealed.
Rushing headlong through Wessex, Dunston will need to use all the skills of survival garnered from a lifetime in the wilderness. And if he has any hope of victory against the implacable enemies on their trail, he must confront his long-buried past – becoming the man he once was and embracing traits he had promised he would never return to. The Wolf of Wessex must hunt again; honour and duty demand it.
Wolf of Wessex sees Matthew Harffy move away from the comfort of his Bernicia Chronicles Series.
To say I was excited is an understatement.. I was more than a little keen to see how the author would fair with a completely new set of characters.
Following the tale of Dunston was a pure joy! He’s pushing on a years a little as he likes to remind everyone but he’s thrust back into a life he thought he’d left long behind.
As Dunston goes about his normal day he stumbles upon a grisly murder..it’s pretty gruesome.. what makes it worse is Dunston’s dog Odin leads him to a young girl… it’s her father who’s just been murdered.
Thrust together Dunston and the girl Aedwen set out for safety.. Dunston’s wants nothing more than just to live out his days in peace as he’s promised his late wife… unfortunately for him he’s about to walk right into the biggest mess you can imagine.
Dunston is forced to hunt… to use every skill he’s got and Aedwen wants to come along for the ride… the only way to get the quiet life he’s after is to face one last trial.
As they travel the connection between the two grows.. Dunston’s reminded of the past and Aedwen needs that father figure.. a rather unconventional convergence but it’s what they both need… they don’t know it but they can help each other.
Dunston will make those who murdered Aedwen’s father pay. He doesn’t want to be a hero..her saviour.. but he can’t let her down… he’s too honourable to do that.
Down to the nitty-gritty… plot… bloody loved it! Moving away from Beobrand and the Bernicia Chronicles was a gamble of sorts but with talent like Harffy’s it’s a no brainer! My only question throughout the book was would it work.. an old man and a young girl.. can they connect.. will it make sense..and you know what it really did.
While Dunston takes the limelight there is an ensemble of supporting characters who add to the tale, combine this with a wonderfully detailed setting and you’ve got a winner!
I particularly liked the charcoal burners, learning about their lives and how lonely it could have been for them, shunned by many. It proves you can write a cracking plot whilst also sharing knowledge that will stick with the reader long after the book is finished.
The thing about Dunston is he’s complex..his motivations subdued.. until he can hide no longer.. he’s not the young man he once was but he’s a force to be reckoned with.
Gripping from the first page the last, the hero who didn’t want to be, a young girl seeking true justice.
There is one thing in this book better than everything though.. Odin! Dunston’s four legged companion.. his tale is one of pain, loyalty and strength.the connection between the two runs deep.. I loved it.
Wolf of Wessex is a cracking read, dark and brutal just the way I like it. The plot grows at a decent pace and at every turn you are led by the author on a heart-gripping adventure..
As much as I want to see Beobrand return Harffy has proved I’ll love anything he writes… more please!