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.

Giles has become much more active on social media than has been the case in the past. He posts frequently on Facebook – he has two accounts, one for himself, one for his work as a writer. He is rather good at seeing the difference between the two. Some people/authors just post the same on both, which seems rather pointless to me. Clearly, pictures of Giles enjoying a match at his beloved Leicester City, is more relevant on his personal account, than his author page.

Giles is rightly famous for his Viking-based novels. If you want my opinion (well, you probably don’t but here it is anyway), the two Civil War books, are way better. Even now, I can picture where I was sitting while reading about the battles at the end of ‘Brothers’ Fury,’ looking up, breathing (again) and thinking “fucking HELL!” Historical Fiction doesn’t get any better.

Personally, I think the covers for the recent Viking trilogy, were better as paperbacks than hardbacks. I felt the hardback ones were a little uninspiring and didn’t grab you enough. The paperbacks are much more ‘in your face’ and more than made up for that mistake. I mean, the Raven series had more or less the same design for both and they worked a treat, don’t you think?

Like most authors, his website doesn’t get updated. It’s still 2016 there. The News section’s most recent post is from 2014. However, he scores extra points for not having it raining all the time in the Viking books. It blows a bleeding gale (mostly west to east, if anyone’s taking notes) the whole time over here, but rain, not so much.

Raven:
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…

My review

Winter’s Fire (The Rise of Sigurd 2)
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 . .

Wings of the Storm (The Rise of Sigurd 3)
Norway. AD785. A wild place, a place of blood, a place where the gods must be favoured…
Fighting in Sweden for an ambitious warlord, Sigurd Haraldarson and his oathsworn band are winning fame and reputation. But to confront his hated enemy – the oath-breaker and betrayer King Gorm – Sigurd must win riches too.
Many believe Sigurd to be Odin-favoured, but his exploits have drawn the eye of another god: Loki the Trickster. A daring raid goes wrong, and suddenly Sigurd is a prisoner of the powerful Jarl Guthrum. Bound like a slave, he is taken to the sacred temple at Ubsola, where the blood of human sacrifice flows to appease the gods.
Here Sigurd will face the sacrificial knife, but here too he discovers a potent relic: Gungnir, the great spear that, people say, was once carried by the Allfather himself. With just such a weapon in his possession, Sigurd would be able to challenge King Gorm, and avenge the betrayal of his father and the murder of his family.
Indeed, the roar of Odin and the wild hunt will be as nothing compared to Sigurd’s rage, for it will be as if he and his warriors are borne on 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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2 Replies to “Giles Kristian”

  1. Actually, I’m very active on my Facebook page and enjoy an enormous amount of interaction with my readers. I spend a lot of time replying to readers both on FB and my website and think the above is rather unfair. But hey-ho.

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    1. In my defence – that was written quite a while ago. And you are a lot more (inter) active these days. I’ll alter it accordingly just as soon as my tea is settled.

      Like

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