News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
Saturday, 16 January 2016
A new author for me is Julian Brazier who has written a new take on the Alfred the Great story in his novel Viking Storm.The story broadly follows the historical record, such that it is, with Viking armies conquering Northumbria, Mercia and East Anglia. Next is Wessex and the young king Alfred is betrayed by his own nobles then driven to the remote marshes in Somerset to regroup. He organises a comeback rallying the Fyrd and defeating the Vikings led by Guthrum. The cakes get burnt and all the usual elements are touched on.
The twist in this version is that Alfred finds unlikely allies in Constantinos, a Byzantine soldier and diplomat and his bodyguards who all find their own reasons to fight. These are professional cavalry in a war fought mostly by foot militia and they add a new dimension to the Saxon forces.
It's not easy to find a new take on such a well known story and the author does it well. The story rattles on at a good pace, with plenty of action and several sub plots. A good read.