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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
or on Mastodon @balkandave@mastodon.scot, or Threads @davewatson1683

Thursday 2 January 2020


My Christmas fiction reading has been ‘Birthright’ by Ethan Jones. 

The setting is late 11th century Ireland and North Wales. Our hero is Gruffudd the exiled heir to the throne of Gwynedd, one of several Welsh kingdoms fighting each other and the advance of the Normans.

The story starts in Ireland where Gruffudd is fighting for his foster father who is part of the King of Munster’s army besieging Viking Dublin. His success brings him lands and an army to cross the Irish Sea to take back his birthright.

I won’t spoil the story, but suffice to say, all does not go according to plan. There are battles, romance and betrayal, all told at a fast pace. The battle scenes are particularly well described, with little detail spared for the squeamish!

If you enjoyed K.M.Ashman’s ‘Blood of Kings’ series, this covers a similar period, if a little earlier and in South Wales. The battles are not massive and offer plenty of scenarios for the wargamer. SAGA and Lion Rampant are ideal rules for this period. Gruffudd’s army is particularly interesting, with the mix of Viking, Irish and Welsh troops.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to the rest of the series - historical fiction at its best.

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