Surely, a great number of those who love historic novels were as well faithful students of the history subjects at school. I wonder, however, how many got the chance to enjoy lectures by those teachers who not only loved history but also teaching?
I consider myself very fortunate in that matter. I had the honour to learn about World History from a marvellous, tough and passionate teacher: Mrs. Izaguirre, who not only did walk me through the centuries across the continents and presented me with excitement the faces, the empires, the wars and the treaties but also seeded the hunger for the knowledge of our past.
Today, I’m posting a brief review of a historic fiction thriller: ‘Saints and Sinners’ that left me with the same taste after those fifteen minutes sessions of history at high-school. John Broughton grabbed my hand and put me in the end of the seventh century with my feet on the grass of Mercian land, the English Midlands.
With the turn of every page, I managed to know King Aethelbald, later Bretwaldas on his early years when he was prosecuted due to a false accusation for murder. I stood next to him on the fights, arguments and negotiations to appreciate his personality as an impulsive and sometimes aggressive man and how his friends and foes built the character of whom will become a Ruler of Britain and bring a period of prosperity for the Mercian domination.
For those who are not savvy on geography – that’s my case – keep an eye on the map presented after the index.
I became his follower after reading “The Purple Thread” (Endevour Media, 2017) and I am certain that “Saints and Sinners” will attract more readers to him. I truly enjoyed this novel which is a master lecture of history, politics, war and – I am sure Mr. Broughton did it purposely – linguistics.
You have not read proper Historical Fiction if you have not read John Broughton’s work.