Giles Kristian

Began with Vikings (to be continued), got two books into a series set during the English Civil War, but went back to the Vikings with a prequel to the Raven series.

He is active, after a fashion, on Facebook and Twitter, but don’t expect much other than occasional comments about drinking, Vikings drinking and Vikings drinking. Don’t bother replying to a Facebook page post as they seem to be auto-posts from the Twitter account and he doesn’t reply to them. Some authors ‘get’ interaction – Ben Kane, Angus Donald, Robert Fabbri and especially Jeremy Duns – others don’t. Posting a picture purported to be of you sunning it on a beach saying you’ve just handed in the final version of your latest, is just taking the piss, imho.

The Civil War series clearly didn’t do the business for our Giles, as it was set out as a trilogy and the second book came out back in 2013. Judging by the expensiveness of the cover (feel, as well as images) someone took a bit of a bath on them. And, hence the hasty retreat into Viking prequel land.

My Giles Kristian ardour is cooling more than a little, I will admit. I’m struggling to take him seriously. He seems to be writing about cartoon Vikings, rather than the real thing. The paperback covers are good though, I’ll give him that.

Raven. Blood Eye
For two years Osric has lived a simple life, though he is feared and shunned for his mysterious past and blood red eye. Then raiders from across the sea ransack his village and Osric is taken prisoner by this ruthless band of warriors. Immersed in the Norsemen’s way of life and driven by their lust for adventure, Osric proves a natural fighter and forges a deep bond with their chief, Sigurd the Lucky, who renames him Raven. But the Norsemen’s world is a savage one, where loyalty is often repaid in blood, and a young man must become a killer to survive. It seems the path Raven has chosen is a dangerous one indeed…

Sons of Thunder
If you betray a fellowship you are a dead man.
And Raven – a young warrior with no memory and a blood-tainted eye – and his band of Viking brothers have been betrayed. Now the Saxon traitor Ealdred is fleeing for his life, to the court of the Emperor Charlemagne and the promise of untold riches.
With revenge burning in their hearts, Raven and the Wolfpack go in pursuit. He has found friendship and purpose amongst these fierce Norsemen, but to survive, his cunning must be as sharp as his blade. For there are scores to settle, battles to fight and unknown dangers that lie in wait as they journey into the heart of a Christian empire intent on wiping their heathen kind from the face of the earth…
Brutal, bloody and unputdownable, this thrilling novel confirms that in Giles Kristian, action-packed historical fiction has a new master.
My review

Odin’s Wolves
They hunted for an even greater prize; one that can never be lost, stolen or burnt…
Raven and his fellow Vikings have suffered. Good men have died. Hard-won tear sure has been lost. But for these Norsemen, there is something more precious than gold or silver, and that is fame – for this is what a warrior leaves behind when he has breathed his last.
And so the brotherhood sail for Constantinople, the city they call Miklagard. There, it is rumoured, both riches and glory are to be found, but the journey takes them through unknown and dangerous waters – from the wind-whipped marshes of the Camargue to the treachery and faded glory of a once-mighty Rome.
For Raven and the Wolfpack there is a high price to pay for the fame they seek. Miklagard’s streets may seem paved with gold, but they also run with blood…

God of VengeanceGiles Kristian God of Vengeance PB (small)God of Vengeance (The Rise of Sigurd)
Here, you may not be able to get your hands on a hardback copy any longer (though there are places I use for such things, email if you want some inspiration), but count yourself lucky, as the paperback cover is far, far superior. And…we had a patient in at work the other day, called Jarl…Anyway, on with the show:

Norway AD 785. It began with the betrayal of a lord, by a king…
But when King Gorm puts Jarl Harald’s family to the sword, he makes one terrible mistake – he fails to kill Harald’s youngest son, Sigurd.
On the run, unsure of who to trus and hunted by powerful men, Sigurd wonders if the gods have forsaken him: his kin are slain or prisoners, his village attacked, its people taken as slaves. Honour is lost.
But he has a small band of loyal men at his side and with them he plans his revenge. All know that Odin – whose name means frenzy – is drawn to chaos and bloodshed, just as a raven is to slaughter. In the hope of catching the All-Father’s eye, the young Viking endures a ritual ordeal and is shown a vision. Wolf, bear, serpent and eagle come to him. Sigurd will need their help if he is to make a king pay in blood for his treachery.
Using cunning and war-craft, he gathers together a band of warriors – including Olaf, his father’s right-hand man, Bram who men call Bear, Black Floki who wields death with a blade and the shield maiden Valgerd, who fears no man – and convinces them to follow him.
For, whether Odin is with him or not, Sigurd will have his vengeance. And neither men nor gods had better stand in his way…

Winter's FireWinter’s Fire (The Rise of Sigurd 2) Available April 2016
Sigurd Haraldarson has proved himself a great Viking warrior and a dangerous enemy. 
He has gone a long way towards avenging the murder of his family. And yet his vengeance is not complete. The oath-breaker King Gorm – who betrayed Sigurd’s father – still lives and, so long as the king draws breath, the scales remain unbalanced. 
But Sigurd and his wolfpack of warriors are not at full strength and to confront the king now would mean death. And so they sail west, to Sweden, where a local warlord employs them as mercenaries, but in a brutal siege, Sigurd, Floki and Valgerd are taken by the enemy, their fate to be sacrificed in return for the gods’ favour. 
Escaping the priest’s knife at the last moment, they steal a sacred treasure: Gungnir, the legendary spear of Odin. The journey Sigurd and his colleagues are destined to take is punctuated by blood and betrayal. Uneasy alliances are made, silver, fame-lust and the Odin spear draw men to Sigurd’s banner, until he commands a war host of his own. It is time to return to Norway to face the Oath-Breaker. 
When storms rip the sky, men say that it is Odin the Wild Huntsman, summoning the souls of the dead. And Sigurd’s course is set. His return to his homeland foretells death. He will lead his warriors against King Gorm in an epic fight to the death, and the clash of axe and sword and shield will shake the timbers of Valhalla itself, for Sigurd’s bloodlust is like the Spear God’s passing, and his revenge will be the Wings of the Storm . .

The Bleeding Land
A nation divided.
England is at war with itself. King Charles and Parliament each gather soldiers to their banners. Across the land men prepare to fight for their religious and political ideals. Civil war has begun.
A family ripped asunder.
The Rivers are landed gentry, and tradition dictates that their allegiance is to the King. Sir Francis’ loyalty to the crown and his desire to protect his family will test them all. As the men march to war, so the women are left to defend their home against a ruthless enemy. And as Edmund, the eldest of Sir Francis’ sons, will do his duty to his king, so his brother Tom will turn his back on all he once believed in…
A war that will change everything.
From the raising of the King’s Standard at Nottingham Castle to the butchery and blood of Edgehill, Edmund and Tom Rivers will each learn of honour, sacrifice, hatred and betrayal as they follow their chosen paths through this most savage of wars.
My Review

Brothers' FuryBrothers’ Fury
Rebel: Cast out by his family, Tom Rivers returns to his regiment. His commander believes the young hothead’s contempt for authority has no place in his troop. But to a spymaster like Captain Crafte, Tom’s dark and fearless nature is itself a weapon to be turned upon the hated Cavaliers and used to strike at their very hearts. Renegade: Raw with grief at the death of his father, Edmund Rivers rejects the peace talks between Parliament and the King. He chooses instead to lead a band of marauders across the moors, intent on exterminating rebel forces like the vermin they believe them to be. But Prince Rupert recognises in Mun a fellow child of war and has other, no less daring plans for him. Huntress: Her heart broken following the deaths of her beloved Emmanuel and her father, Bess Rivers takes the hardest decision of her life: to leave her son and Sheer House and to go in search of the one person who might help her re-unite her family. Risking her own life on the road, can Bess douse the flames of her brothers’ fury and see them reconciled? Brothers’ Fury continues Giles Kristian’s thrilling and acclaimed story of the Rivers family, whose lives are turned upside down by that most brutal and tragic of wars – the English Civil War . . .


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