The Last Saxon King
A Jump in Time Novel
by Andrew Varga
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add firstname.lastname@example.org as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 25 Mar 2023
One Jump to Save All Time
Life is progressing normally for sixteen-year-old Dan Renfrew when he accidentally transports himself to England in the year 1066. He soon realizes that he’s trapped there, and that’s not his only astonishing discovery. Dan learns that he’s descended from a long line of time jumpers—secret heroes who travel to the past and resolve glitches in the time stream that threaten to alter subsequent history. The only way Dan can return home is to set history back on its proper course in the Anglo-Saxon age. This is no easy task. A Viking horde is ravaging England in the north while a Norman army threatens to invade from the south. In between and desperately struggling to hold on to his throne is Harold Godwinson, the newly-crowned English king. Dan is fighting to ensure that events play out correctly when he finds himself plunged into an even more lethal conflict. To save history, Dan must battle a band of malevolent time jumpers whose lust for wealth and power threatens the entire future of the world.
A Note From the Publisher
The first in a seven book series. The second book, "The Celtic Deception" will be published in September 2023 (six months after the release of "The Last Saxon King.")
"The Last Saxon King is a riveting story. Although aimed at the YA genre, I have a feeling many an adult will love the premise of the story and the characters. Well researched and beautifully written, you can practically sense the sights, sounds and smells of 11th century England."--Historian Sharon Bennett Connolly is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and the author of Heroines of the Medieval World, Silk and the Sword: The Women of the Norman Conquest, Ladies of Magna Carta: Women of Influence in Thirteenth Century England and Defenders of the Norman Crown: Rise and Fall of the Warenne Earls of Surrey.
"This novel is a really well-constructed, strong story, with believable characters. The author gets into the minds of teenagers and the difficulties they can face at what is a very tough age in so many ways and the relationship between the two main characters is very touching."--Annie Whitehead, historian and author of Women of Power in Anglo-Saxon England, Mercia: The Rise and Fall of a Kingdom, To Be A Queen, Tales of the Iclingas Series, and Alvar the Kingmaker
"As a historical fiction writer and as a homeschool parent, I loved every page of The Last Saxon King. Varga presents an impeccably researched historical account of the Battle of Hastings within an adventure story that brings history to life. Modern characters swept back in time give readers a vivid, vicarious experience as they interact with historical figures and gain a broad range of perspectives. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in Varga's Jump in Time series."--Lynn Dean, creator of educational history resources for homeschool families
This author is committed to providing as much accurate historical details in his stories as possible. He is developing a series of lesson plans for middle school students that teachers can use in their classrooms. Contact the publisher if you would like the teachers guides.
The book is being released as a hardcover, a paperback, an e-book and an audiobook. v
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 135 members
The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga, is a marvelous time-jumping novel that follows the story of Dan, a teenage boy of current times, who finds himself in the year 1066 AD. One moment he's in his living room seeing his dad being furiously attacked and seriously wounded with ancient weapons by a strange man called "Victor",. In the next moment, his dad tosses him a unique rod looking device and tells him to say the riddle he taught him! Now! Do it now his dad pleads... and upon saying the riddle while he holds the device in hand, Dan is transported to where and when he doesn't have a clue! He seems to have landed by a river in the middle of nowhere!
All he knows is, is that his phone doesn't work, his life is in danger with someone pointing a bow and arrow at him, and he has to fix SOMETHING that is wrong in order to return to his own time period, thereby, having the chance to hopefully save his dad.
He discovers It's Anglo-Saxon England, and takes on a new made up name (Leofric), from Eoforwic.. If they handed out an Oscar for Best Spontaneous Lie in Life-or- Death Situation, he would have just won it., But he must become whatever he needs to become to survive.
It's one unforgettable and enjoyable journey!
Appealing to Time-Travel lovers , fans of YA and historical fiction.
5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My thanks to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books, and Andrew Varga for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Be still my beating heart, this book was phenomenal! The Last Saxon King follows the story of Dan, a teenage boy of today who finds himself in the year 1066 trying to fix history. The historical accuracy of this book as well as the characters made this impossible to put down. I've always had a deep passion for history, especially European. It's rare that I find a work of historical fiction that doesn't irk, or disappoint me, in some fashion as to it's accuracy. This may be the first YA novel I've read that is accurate down to the language, lifestyle, buildings, food, and hierarchies. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and find out what happens! Young adult readers will learn so much about this period and in a way that allows them to understand and identify with the characters.
What a fun story! If you've ever fantastised about jumping back in history, you'll enjoy this story. I, for one, cannot wait to read the next in the series. Well done!
For fans of alternative history/ historical fiction and time travel. As an adult who enjoys ya, this was a fun read. As a mom with a houseful of boys, this was a terrific find. It's a more grown up version of Haddix's time travel series and all around better than Harry Turtledove's Cross Time Traffic series.
We meet our main character, 16 year old Dan, as he's about to be kicked out of a shopping mall for loitering. He's homeschooled by his history obsessed dad and his PE curriculum consists of historical fighting techniques. Nothing weird about that, right? This character reminds me of a young Sam Winchester if his dad had been a time traveling professor not a demon hunter.
He interrupts a life and death struggle at his house and escapes with a mysterious device to England in 1066. We learn that time flows and can actually change the past. Small changes don't matter, but large changes require time jumpers to go in and set things right so that the present doesn't come undone.
The time travel devices are also universal translators and somehow don't attract much notice from the people in the past. We learn the devices are very old (ancient aliens, maybe?) and are passed down in families. Dan receives help from another time jumper whose family was murdered. He has to find a way to fix the past without becoming the next victim in a war between the time jumpers.
This book teaches history by having an alternative set of events start to unfold, causing Dan to have to remember what actually happened and then figure out how to fix things.
This book features professional level writing, good editing, strong plots, and well developed characters. It is suitable for ages 13+. I stayed up to finish this book. I can't wait to read the whole series. I will be buying these for my boys.
One of my favourite prompts is the one where people get stuck in time. Either from the people from the past getting stuck in the future or people from the present getting stuck in the past.
The author took a historical figure not many people talk about and wrote his story from a different perspective.
The characters, even the secondary ones, are well written as well as the fight scenes.
What I really liked was that the action didn't take much away from the main plot.
The descriptions of the landscape and the people were okay.
A thank you to Netgalley for providing ne an ebook.
I'm hooked! Want to binge-read the entire series of 7 books in total. But only this one has been released yet...must find a time jump device!
(Read the book for details!)
The author doesn't keep you waiting long for action, twists and turns to start happening. After the introduction of the main character the story takes you on an adventure!
Second book in the series will be released in September 2023. I can't wait! Is is September yet?
My favorite way to study history is via alternative histories. The author has done an amazing job in researching the era into which he “drops” his character. Our homeschooled protagonist shows how his dad/teacher has prepared him as he works through numerous precarious and interesting adventures.
Dan Renfrew is a sixteen-year-old homeschooled teenager with an unusual set of skills, thanks to his history-obsessed father. A terrible event sends him to England back to the year 1066 AD, where he learns he is a time jumper, responsible for fixing a glitch in history that jeopardizes his ability to return to his time as well as the course of history as we know it.
We follow Dan’s journey as a series of alternative history events unfold and endanger his mission. He makes friends, but also faces individuals who want to make sure that he does not fulfill his purpose.
The author has done a fantastical job of teaching us the historical events leading to the end of the Anglo-Saxon reign in England, while providing a highly entertaining account of a young man (from his own POV) whose life has been suddenly turned upside down. The characters are likable, and relatable. Dan is particularly honest in his impression of things and the dilemmas he encounters while trying to survive in extraordinary circumstances. The story is well paced, and there is never a dull moment, right up to the end.
This is a YA book that, as an adult, I found very refreshing. I highly recommend it to people that enjoy history, adventure, and time-traveling themes. I am excited to follow Dan’s new adventures in time and cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Thanks to NetGalley and Imbrifex books for providing me a free copy in exchange of an honest review.
This was an interesting story in the sense that the protagonist essentially had to adapt to an alien environment that at the same time is so familiar to us. In addition, while the author allowed some amount of modern politics into the book, the book was refreshingly apolitical compared to most major young adult novels being released now. Also as a history enthusiast and one who sees the misrepresentation of the period daily, it was pleasant to read a novel with a primarily accurate representation of the times (discounting time travel aspects and "time glitches" plot devices). I would recommend this book to fans of adventure, time travel, coming of age, historical fiction, and high fantasy.
adventurous funny informative lighthearted tense medium-paced
Plot- or character-driven? A mix
Strong character development? Yes
Loveable characters? N/A
Diverse cast of characters? No
Flaws of characters a main focus? No
A really fun and captivating read that takes historical fiction on a different front. I'm a fan of isekai/time travel sci fi so having it set in this particular era was intriguing. One qualm I do have is with how Sam was written, particularly how stilted her speech was in some places. Other than that, a really nice read to take a break from too much academia.
Big thanks to the publisher for providing me this ARC via NetGalley. This does not in any shape or form influence my review on this book.
Dan Renfrew has a boring life. Nothing ever happens. Until the day he gets home and is thrown back in time to Anglo-Saxon England. Dan has to 'fix' history. Someone is out to change the true course of events and he has to stop them before it is too late. He meets a fellow time-jumper and the two soon become firm friends as they race to stop history from being rewritten.
Mild spoiler alert. I loved this action packed story. The historical events and time-period were researched really well. The characters and their friendships were also well written. Dan and Sam stole my heart. The author did a wonderful job of making Dan's first trip back in time real (well as real as time travel can get). The emotions he feels, his reactions to facing battle, his confusion and the way he befriends the king's housecarls all make for a very authentic experience. I enjoyed his growth as well.: the way he learns to think about people, about death and life and his role in all of it and his relationship with his father, complicated but full of love and finally also understanding. The last battle was done so beautifully, in that moment he realizes the cost of 'fixing' history, I almost cried.
As far as historical YA fiction goes, this is a brilliant book. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
When Daniel’s father is attacked by an assassin, he is thrown a six-inch rod with a forgotten set of symbols. He is given a phrase to say and is thrust back into the time of the Battle of Hastings.
The rod seems to be a translation device and allows him to talk to the people in the village. At 16 years of age, Dan is expected to join the local authority and fight for the kingdom.
The class system is well described in this narrative as are the problems Daniel faces. The leaders in this part of the world are either royalty or the most-wealthy individuals. Peasants are required to fight for the royal and will be killed gruesomely if they do not comply but Daniel manages to become a companion to Edward and the future king of England.
The description of society as well as the interactions with the various characters describe a very colorful existence. Conscripted into the service of the overlord being mandatory, the conscripts must supply their own weapons. Additional weapons are prizes of battle such as swords, lances, and poleaxes.
The author has developed a very fine example of life in the middle ages and the dangers faced. Modern man is not equipped for these dangers. Can Daniel save himself long enough to return to his own time? 4 stars – CE Williams
This story follows Dan Renfrew, a young teenage boy who time travels to the year 1066 AD, The author did a great job researching the time period and staying historically accurate. I can't wait to read the rest of the series!
5+ Stars and 2 thumbs up! I absolutely LOVED this book! I normally hate books that leave the story unfinished, especially if it’s a big cliffhanger. This book wrapped up most of the book but does have a smidge of an unfinished story which will continue and get wrapped up through the entire upcoming new series. This was a winning read for me, especially because this is a first time author! If this is how great his first book is, I can’t wait to read the rest of his books! I loved the characters in this book and actually cried in the end! This book had it all - mystery, time travel, historical facts, murders, fighting, a bit of love, friendship, entertainment, plotting, evil doers, and hero’s. I normally read romance books and this had a tiny bit of a love story but was mostly just a time traveling, historical fiction book with historical nonfiction bits also. I could not put this book down, it was a phenomenal read. I love historical books that entertain and teach at the same time so now I feel smarter too! I absolutely loved this book, I can’t say it enough. I highly recommend this one and I don’t give out 5 stars easily, so when I do, you know it’s gotta be fantastic! I really can’t wait to read this authors future books, this first one was that awesome.
*I received this at no charge & I voluntarily left this review.*
For a book that pitches itself as a novel for teens and young adults from the start, it quickly turns into a deep and engaging narrative of alternate history and time travel.
Its vision of the Middle Ages is much more focused on real aspects than the vast majority of titles in the genre, managing to arouse curiosity and admiration for the world-building work done here. It is one of those novels that I wish I could see in the cinema. Highly recommended.
Really enjoyed reading! Two teens stuck in Medieval times trying to figure out how to get back to their own time period at the same time keeping themselves alive. Varga does a well job at keeping the reader engaged in this fast read novel.
The Last Saxon King follows the story of Dan, a teenage boy of today who finds himself in the year 1066 trying to change history. Time travel novels are my favorite and this one was no exception!
Mich hatte der Klappentext gefesselt. Generell finde ich Zeitreise-Romane extrem faszinierend. Immer wieder eine spannende Story, vor allem, wenn der jeweilige historische Kontext auch mein Interesse weckt. Und das hier war mal eine komplett neue Idee und Konstellation: Normalerweise sind die Zeitreisenden ja bemüht, möglichst wenig in der Vergangenheit zu ändern – wir wissen ja alle, wenn man nur ein Detail anders macht, kann das verheerende Konsequenzen auf den kompletten Lauf der Geschichte haben – aber hier ist es anders. Die „Time-Jumper“ reisen in die Vergangenheit, um eben bewusst Details zu ändern, damit eben die Geschichte so abläuft, wie wir sie kennen. Wenn Störimpulse in der Geschichte auftauchen, sind die Time Jumper gefragt: sie gehen zurück in der Zeit, beheben die Störung, und kehren dann wieder heim nach Hause. Und normalerweise ist so ein Zeitreisender auch gut vorbereitet, denn diese Jobs vererben sich seit über Tausend Jahren in der Familie.
Der 16jährige Dan ist allerdings nicht wirklich gut vorbereitet. Zwar geniesst er Homeschooling, und sein Vater legt grossen Wert darauf, dass er sich in der Geschichte auskennt und auch mittelalterliche Kampftechniken beherrscht (Sportunterricht mal anders), aber Zeitreisen standen bei ihm nicht auf dem Stundenplan, und so ist Dan eher schockiert, als er sich eines Tages im England des Jahres 1066 wiederfindet. Die Angelsachsen werden von Wikingern und Normannen bedroht, und König Harold stehen einige entscheidende Schlachten bevor. Und Dan muss sich nicht nur in einer völlig fremden Umgebung zurecht finden, sondern auch damit klarkommen, dass sein neuer Job es ist, die Battle of Hastings zum gewünschten Resultat zu bringen – ansonsten dreht sich das Rad der Geschichte nämlich dezent anders als unsere Geschichtsbücher es schreiben, und er selbst wäre gezwungen, den Rest seines Lebens im angelsächsischem England zu verbringen….
Das fand ich jetzt mal richtig interessant, und ich bin durch den Roman geflogen 😊. Der Held und die Heldin (ja, es gibt sie, das Mädel seines Herzens) sind recht jung, ich hatte schon Bedenken, dass ich hier altersmässig nicht in der Zielgruppe liege, aber ich muss sagen, das war egal. Die Story war einfach gut, und Dan und Sam hatten meine volle Sympathie, ich hab mit den beiden voll mitgefiebert. Die Geschichte ist aus der Ich-Perspektive erzählt, teils ein bisschen schnodderig, aber das hat super gut gepasst. Dans Galgenhumor war brilliant. Ich fand es auch als Nicht-Muttersprachlerin sehr gut lesbar, sehr flüssig lesbar, und fand den Stil sehr ansprechend.
Übrigens war das auch sehr gut historisch recherchiert. Ich habe mich im Studium (lang ist es her) mit dieser Zeit auseinandergesetzt, und genau so habe ich mir das auch vorgestellt, das England zu Zeiten William des Eroberers. Ich fand es atmosphärisch super gelungen, und wie gesagt, der Plot war genial. Das Spannungslevel war jederzeit hoch, und – ich wiederhole mich – es war richtig mitreissend geschrieben.
Das Buch ist der erste Band einer 7 (!)- teiligen Serie, und der zweite Band mit dem Titel „The Celtic Deception“ steht für den Herbst 23 schon in den Startlöchern. Es geht also weiter, und ich bin jetzt schon gespannt. Ich bin Fangirl 😊 geworden.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I totally adored this book. I have been on my Saxon and Viking kick since finishing up watching the last kingdom and I just really got in to time traveling books from reading Stealing Infinity, and this book combines those to things, making this the perfect read for me. The historical accuracy of this book was spot. This book was everything I did not know I needed. I highly recommend it to people that enjoy history, adventure, and time-traveling themes. I am excited to follow Dan’s new adventures in time and cannot wait for the next book in the series.
When Dan Renfrew arrives home early, he finds his father seriously wounded and and unknown man standing over him. Dan's father hands Dan a strange device and it transports him back to England in 1066. This is how he learns that he is a time jumper, a person who can travel through time. The catch is he must set right something that has gone wrong in order to return to his present. Dan must figure out how to survive and he learns that the unorthodox lessons his father taught him were preparation for his work as a time jumper. He meets some important historical personages, as well as several fellow time jumpers. Dan learns that there has been a destructive division in the time jumpers and he is going to have to decide what side he is going to fight for. I love a time-travel story and this book is the start of a new series.
NOT FOR ME
I didn't enjoy most of this book (except for the ending).
I'm a complete sucker for time travel novels, and have read a ton of them: The Time Traveller's Wife, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Master of the Revels, Doomsday Book, To Say Nothing of the Dog, Blackout (All Clear #1), A Wrinkle in Time, The Time Machine, The Story of the Amulet, Time and Again, etc. etc. All of these charmed me in different ways, reflecting the various eccentricities and idiosyncrasies of their authors.
This book bored me for most of the story (except for the ending). I normally would not have even finished it, except since I got it on NetGalley, I felt obliged to read it to the end in order to write a fair review. It was fairly long, so I forced myself to slog through it.
I wondered if maybe the problem was that I was too old to be reading a YA novel. But I don't think that was the issue. I've read (and reread) and enjoyed many YA and children's books over the years, even as an adult: [book: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Ender's Game, The Golden Compass, The Hunger Games, book: Flora Segunda, Coraline, etc.
I had a number of problems with this book.
First, it was so generic and plain vanilla. It seemed like the mall/TV/Hallmark card version of a time travel novel. It's no accident that an early scene of the book in fact takes place in a mall.
Second, the main character and narrator, teenager Dan Renfrew, was such a nonentity/nebbish through much of the story. While not having a clear sense of self might be normal for a modern teen who's lived a sheltered life, it doesn't make for very interesting reading. Compelling characters, even in kids' books, have a strong sense of who they are. That's what makes them interesting to read about.
Also, people flocked around Dan and were eager to support him. He appeared to be such a vacuous person, I could not for the life of me understand why. Also, I couldn't understand what the girl in the romance central to the story saw in him. He was like a vacuum to me. Nothing there.
Next,, much of the writing was just plain trite. Dan watched his love interest's hair "shimmer like copper in the sunlight" and says she had "eyes that sparkled like emeralds". The warriors were having "fun with their friends". Groan... The author used the most cliched fantasy tropes. (The girl was disguised as a boy, and blah blah).
The time travel was done with "jump sticks". The mechanism of how these worked was never explained in a satisfactory way. Why did he end up in a certain time period, for example?
Dan's dad (also a time jumper) had wisely trained him in things he might need to know in a time jump but unwisely kept the whole business secret from him. Dan gets a letter from his Dad in the last scene, but even that never really explains much about time travel and why he (the father) was involved in it. In every other time travel novel I've read, there was an elaborate discussion of the how and why of time travel (different in every series of time travel books, but always carefully explained). Not here. It's tacked on at the end and even then the explanation is not satisfactory.
We are told that the objective of time travel is to go back and fix “glitches” that would prevent modern history from unfolding the way it has. (Would that be so terrible? Are modern times so wonderful?) An “evil” group of rogue time travelers are deliberately causing these “glitches”. Why? Who knows? We aren’t really told why, except that they are a big group who have hatched a conspiracy. To be revealed in a later book, maybe. But after this book, there’s no way I’m reading any more of this series.
The story didn't even start to get interesting until about eighty pages in. Isn't a good story supposed to grab readers from the beginning? Why do so many novice authors go on and on in the beginning before the story really starts?
While the romantic and time travel/fantasy elements of the book were unsatisfactory, its strongest element was the history. But even this bored me. There were pages of unnecessary and dull descriptions of armies on the move, etc. Many of the historical scenes seemed to take place at a boring distance from reality, like a bad TV show one plays in the background but pays little attention to.
The Viking history was accurate, but not terribly compelling. My basis for comparison would be John Gwynne's incomparable Bloodsworn fantasy series, based on Norse myths and Viking history.
The main character was constantly getting into scrapes. But I never really felt like he was in real danger until the last few scenes of the book.
The best sections of the book were the last few: the Battle of Hastings (in which I finally felt as if the "hero" were in real and immediate danger) and his return to the present. His reunion with his dream girl in modern times was cute.
I didn't give this an even lower rating because I felt the author has potential. He has a sense of how to develop a story. His grounding in history is good. But he needs a lot of work on characters, authorial voice, and a more imaginative prose style.
Thank you NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for providing an Advanced Review Copy (ARC) of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Daniel Renfrew has a relatively normal life until the day he finds himself stuck in Medieval England. With no way home and no idea how he got there, we join Dan on his quest to find the answers to these questions and deal with the problems he encounters along the way. When Dan discovers he actually descends from a long line of time travelers whose goal was and remains to fix “glitches” in time, things only get more complicated.
The Last Saxon is for a great read for anyone fond of history, fantasy novels, and/or time travel stories. Taking real historical figures and events, this tale threads us through the tapestry of time in the year of the Norman invasion of England in 1066. With Dan as our guide, we wander the countryside and cities of Medieval England, encounter allies, and discover rivals and enemies in the mix.
Dan serves well in his role as the main character. Through him we are granted access to the difficulties of navigating the foreign terrain of the past and the shifting morals that coincide with such a drastic temporal shift. His struggles with reconciling his situation and what he has to do with his sense of morality and ties to modern times makes him relatable. However, his inability to focus on his mission when a girl is involved takes away from the reality set forth in the story. The possibility of being stranded a thousand years in the past, the responsibility to set things right in order to survive, and the looming possibility of his own death among the many he witnesses, shouldn’t lend itself for time to contemplate the color of hair or the nearness of a female figure. While I understand he is apparently a heterosexual teenage boy and these things usually would concern him, his overwhelming terror in certain situations makes his distraction implausible or at least unlikely in a lot of scenarios.
That said, overall the romantic subplot is sweet. Our heroine is a fierce, capable figure who forces Dan to be a better person as well as a more capable one. She is vital to Dan and the story. Her skills and cleverness is needed in many situations which serve to highlight just how lost Dan finds himself at times which is understandable given the circumstances. Their dynamic is an important piece of the story and it’s enjoyable to see them work together for a common goal.
The story itself was exciting. We find ourselves in the thick of it before we start to unravel the various threads that weave together to make it all possible. I like stories that kick off with a lot of action like this one did. It pulled me in and held me there for most of the book. Since the year Dan is brought to is rife with such important history and broad, lasting consequences, there’s always action, adventure, and history to be had.
The research that went into this book is absolutely breathtaking and the details provided about the battles really brings them to life. It would have been great if the places they encountered along the way were also described with such detail. That being said though the use of historical figures and events to pull this tale together makes up for the lack of these descriptions. They just would’ve added that extra element.
As the start of a series, we are left with some questions at the end of the story which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’m interested to see where this will go and what the bad guy meant when he told Dan what his cohort had planned. I was a bit disappointed in the reveal of this because it felt very generic, but like I said I also understand that it will be fleshed out and hopefully made more unique in future installments.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. It’s a fun, quick read and as a history buff it satisfied a lot of needs for me. I can’t wait for book two!
What a great first-time read for this author!
I just love his writing style, from his fast-paced suspenseful scene writing to his dynamic character development! In this first of a seven-part series, we meet young Dan at a pivotal turning point in his young life. Growing up in a house with a single history professor for a dad, Dan has been surrounded by tales of the past his entire life. Little did he know that those stories would become necessary for his future survival. I loved meeting this band of characters and watching them develop during scenes that had me fervently flipping the pages. I’m so excited this tale will continue. Yes, please! As an educator, I will be recommending this story for students as it is a clean, well-written adventure story.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
**Thanks to NetGalley & the publisher for an advance copy of this title in exchange for a fair and honest review**
This was a fun read. Time travelling into the past, trying to right what once went wrong... definite Quantum Leap vibes and that's a good thing. I liked the characters, especially Sam, and enjoyed the historical side of the story even though I would definitely last less than 5 minutes myself.
I'll look out for future titles in the series.
I absolutely ADORED Andrew Varga’s The Last Saxon King!
It gave off the same energy as the Percy Jackson series with narrations coming from a young (largely confused) boy that has been taken from everything he knows and thrown into the thick of it with a smart, badass female main character on his side.
I thought that this book was such a fun read and even as someone who is only mildly interested in history, I found the general historical concepts to be easy enough to grasp and engaging for a large variety of people who might chose this as their next read.
I loved seeing Dan really engage with the characters that he met along his travels and found myself rooting for him through every one of his battles. I also appreciated, what I felt to be, the appropriate awkwardness of a sixteen year old boy around a girl he likes. I thought his inner monologue was both witty and age appropriate and it just made me like him even more!
I also felt that he was quite a realistic character via his feelings toward war as someone who’s never set foot in a battle before. His reactions were correct for his character and it didn’t feel like he was so incredibly knowledgeable about everything in his situation that it would be unbelievable.
"Let's go fix history. I need to go home"
As a history lover (who in another life would have been an historian), I've always been obsessed with time travels and the past. And to be completely honest, the medieval era is probably always been my favourite. For a long time my obsession with the events of the Battle of Hastings, in 1066, were imprinted in my mind and I'm so glad they were brought to life in such a innovative way.
Fantasy and historical references meet through the eyes of a young boy who finds out he is a time traveler just like his father and his father before him. The terrible thing is that he finds out after watching someone trying to kill his father...
He is suddenly transported to 1066 England right in the middle of the Anglo-Saxons wars and he needs to find out what happened in the past to unbalance the equilibrium of history so that he can go back home and face whoever attempted to his father's life.
With the help of an uncommon time traveler, he will manage to set the past to right but not before getting in the middle of it all!
This book was really good. I loved the history part. I loved the fantasy part. And even the little romantic undertone it has.
The battle scenes are very specific and truthful as well as the description throughout the entire book.
I'm so glad I had the chance to read it and I already can't wait for the second one to be available!!
"Only a week ago I thought time travel was impossible. Now impossible has pretty much ceased to Eva meaning"
If I am completely honest, this book was closer to 3 starts than 4. But the strong final part (which is very important for me) made me want to immediately read the sequel !
The Last Saxon King follows Dan, a homeschooled teenager living with his eccentric father, as he is thrown headfirst into 1066 England, right after he witnesses the attempted murder of his father by a mysterious man with a sword. There, with the assistance of fellow time-traveller Sam, he has to undo the damage a rival faction of time-travellers is attempting to do, while surviving in medieval England.
A stand-out trait of this book is historical accuracy. The atmosphere of the era, the characters, the different social classes, the battles, all of them follow the real historical events and facts we know about the era. The highlight is undoubtedly the Battle of Hastings, which is the climax of the book.
I had a few issues with the characters: they're quite bland and lack flair, they could be anyone, just vassals for the reader to see the world of medieval England. The dialogue is quite flat sometimes as well - and the fact that one of Dan's few definitive traits is that he is thirsty for a girl (Sam) is not something I really enjoyed. I hope there is more character development in the sequels. The background of the time-travellers ongoing war is also a bit...generic. General platitudes about wealth and greed, it could use a bit more depth.
All in all, The Last Saxon King is a promising debut which sets the tone for an exciting book series!
Thank you NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for the ARC!
Great book, loved the twists and turns in the storyline and the interaction between the characters but got tired of the “bloody” descriptions of the battle scenes-weren’t needed in the story. The time travel element in the story leads the reader through history, which is well depicted and keeps the reader interested. Eagerly awaiting the next book.
The Last Saxon King is an impressive debut and the fantastic start to an exciting new historical fantasy series!
Dan Renfrew is a homeschooled teenager who has no idea that he comes from a long line of time jumpers, whose sole job it is to fix glitches in time. He has no idea why his father is hammering detailed history at him or why he is being trained using ancient weapons. Until one day his world turns upside down and he thrust into his first time jump—back to Anglo Saxon times on the eve of the Battle of Hastings.
There is so much to love about this story. Dan is a great character to root for, and I love the supporting characters, especially Sam. Dan is funny with a wry sense of humour. He has to think quickly on his feet because he’s literally been launched into another world. Not only does he have to figure out the glitch, so he can return back to his time, but he has to survive being in the thick of a battle that changed the history of England. And even when he returns, there is the threat of a first rate villain to contend with.
The Last Saxon King is a gripping, faced paced read, perfect for readers who love a clever blending of history and fantasy.
The Last Saxon King (A Jump In Time Novel #1) by Andrew Varga is a fun time travel novel that takes its reader and MC, Dan, back to the year 1066 where he learns he's descended from people who time travel to protect the present from glitches and breaks in time. In order to get home, he'll have to fix the glitches with history. I particularly liked seeing all of the historical details come to life. It's not too often that I have the chance to read a story featuring Anglo-Saxons, Normans, and Vikings, especially in a time travel novel. My favorite aspect of this was that it features just how different English was back then compared to now with Dan's translator. The novel takes a little while to get going, but it's definitely worth sticking around for to see what it's all about. Overall, if you liked Accidental Warrior (The Unlikely Tale of Bloody Hal #1) by Colin Alexander and Doomsday Book (Oxford Time Travel #1) by Connie Willis, you may want to try Andrew Varga's The Last Saxon King.
While I may not have picked this book up off the shelf, I am glad to have given it a go and read it.
Firstly, the amount of research the author had done was immediately obvious, I know a fair bit about the period and was impressed with the authors knowledge. It is a good way to teach you about the that period in history in a fun way. The characters were good, a bit of a usual trope, but fun along the way.
The story had some nice twists along the way, definitely a book I would recommend for a fun easy read.
The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga has made me a fan of time-traveling historical fiction. This is an amazing story of Dan, an ordinary home school teenager in current times, who never understood why his dad focused so much on history and weird ancient fighting techniques. Dan quickly find his life upside-down in year 1066 AD.
All the characters are so well developed and described its like you can fully picture them in your head.
I'll be honest, historical fiction and history itself has never been someone to hold me focus, but boy this this book change that.
Andrew Vaga created a perfect work of art and im excited for the next installment.
Great for Time-Travel, historical fiction and YA lovers.
"When Dan Renfrew is accidentally transported to England in the year 1066, he also learns a startling fact. He’s a time jumper, descended from a long line of secret heroes who protect the present by traveling to the past to fix breaks and glitches in the time stream. To get home alive, Dan must try to restore history, but he soon discovers even bigger challenges than suspicious Anglo-Saxons, marauding Vikings, and invading Normans. A band of malicious time jumpers is threatening the very future of the universe."
Let's get a few things out of the way up front. The mechanism of time travel is never explained beyond something that passes for magic. The motivation of the "bad" time jumpers is never explained. And the tattoo, with which all time jumpers are supposed to be marked? Well, let me just quote Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality: "Oh, that reminds me! Let's make sure nobody here has the clearly visible tattoo in the standard, easily checkable location which would mark them as a secret enemy spy." (Chapter 86)
But despite those flaws, Varga has crafted a fun story here. It's a quick read, as many YA novels are, but the historical aspect quickly drew me in, and kept me engaged right up to the end. I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.
At sixteen, Daniel Renfrew’s life just got interesting. Being homeschooled by his dad has its perks (like being able to wander around the mall for an entire afternoon), but those perks are offset by boring history classes, medieval combat training, and lessons in conversational Latin. When Dan comes home to find his dad in a sword fight with a strange man in their living room one afternoon, those lessons come in handy as he’s catapulted back through time to an English forest in 1066 CE. Dan will have to use his knowledge of English history, his physical training, and his wits to not only keep history on its set course but to survive in a difficult world with the *teeny tiny* problem of outrunning a hostile group of time jumpers who want him dead at the same time. Dan may be a fairly normal teen, but the fate of all he holds dear depends on his ability to safeguard the timeline.
This book would be perfect for 10-14 year olds. It gives off Percy Jackson vibes with a slightly awkward but relatable protagonist, a single parent hiding a family secret, light snark sprinkled throughout, and a quest to save the world. The chapters are quick and snappy with ample recap of information learned along the way through conversations between characters and Dan’s internal monologues. The character dynamics are straightforward and easy to follow. Some of the battle scenes might be too detailed for sensitive readers, but they’re not egregiously gory. They’re a realistic portrayal of the horrors of medieval warfare.
This book is a fun debut novel with more books on the docket. The author paints a vivid world that’s easy to get lost in. Dan’s interactions with Anglo-Saxon peasants at work and his experiences helping clean up a battlefield once the fighting is finished shine a light on the mundane aspects of medieval life that are rarely used for literary fodder. You can practically smell the roasting rabbit as the men carouse the night before the battle. The area where this book could use a little bolstering would be the interplay between the “present” and “past” storylines. They seem disconnected from each other even though the present hangs on what happens in the past. A major emotional plot point that takes place in the present seems to have little lasting emotional effect once Dan is transported back in time apart from a few passing remarks. The disconnect does not take away from the action and adventure in 1066 CE, but his quest and subsequent character development might be enhanced by more connection between his experiences at different points in the historical timeline. Overall, this book is a great read for upper elementary to junior high readers. This is a book I wish I had been able to read as a lonely history nerd during my tween years. I’ll be waiting in anticipation for book 2.
With the derth of primary sources on life in the middle ages, Varga's The Last Saxon King provides a good feel for life during this era. Enough detail to allow the reader to feel she/he is there. Beyond that, it is a rollicking tale that is a fun and fast read, keeping the reader engaged from start to finish. I wish there had been a little more resolution of the conflicts at the end rather than feeling set up for the obviously coming sequel. But glad I got to read this.
The Last Saxon King
A Jump In Time Novel, Book 1
Our main character is sixteen-year-old Dan. He walks in on his dad in the midst of a struggle with a strange man with ancient weapons. His father throws him a rod and begs him to repeat the riddle. Suddenly Dan finds himself by a river somewhere. Someone is pointing a weapon at him, a bow and arrow. He knows something isn’t right. He discovers he is in Anglo-Saxon England in the year 1066 AD. He must fix something that has gone wrong in the past before he can return to the present.
Dan was homeschooled by his father with an emphasis on history and on fighting skills, all of which come in handy in his current situation. Dan’s family are time travelers; their mission is to protect the present from glitches and broken timelines. Through Dan, reader’s roam the landscape and cities of Medieval England, meet supporters, and locate opponents and foes.
The characters in this book are well done. Dan is a great role model that survives the challenges he faces; he has a great sense of humor and can think fast on his feet. The secondary characters add much to the plot. This tale teaches history through alternative events and Dan’s memories of how events actually happened. This is a high interest low level book written for a target audience of middle school level students, approximate ages of 10—13. The genre of this book falls under, history, fantasy, and time travel. Author Andrew Varga introduces readers to real historical figures allowing the reader to not just read history but to experience historical events. This is a new series (there will be seven books) and one that I predict will be extremely popular. I would love to see this series featured in public and school libraries.
the last saxon king. I love this idea, the name of the book caught my attention and peaked my interest. Throw the time travel part in and I was hooked.
"Dan travels to the year 1066 on accident. He then discovers hes from a long line of time travelers who fix time glitches. Caused by rogue jumpers who are determined to change the world."
I enjoyed the history, how the characters of angelo saxon interacted with dan. The battles were enthralling and even made me cry. I wasnt a fan of the time jumpers but thats only because well obviously they were the villians.
All around it was good book i havent read a book that hooks me like that in years. Im excited for the next book in the series.
4.5 rounded down. YAs might rate this a 5 star book.
I really liked this YA historical fantasy novel. You do not need to be a YA to enjoy this book. However, for those who are used to grittier historical fantasy with modern curse words, sex scenes, and graphic violence; this book may fall short.
The characters were well-developed, and both were teens. The book is obviously aimed at teens, because the plot involves teens saving the time line. It's a little corny, but also fun to read. The shades of teen romance brought back memories of awkwardness, thus realistically presented.
The author inserted plenty of real, well-researched history. He successfully created atmosphere that drew me right into Anglo-Saxon England. Battle scenes were exciting without being drawn out or overly graphic. The story was interesting and intriguing from the first page. I wanted to continue reading and flew through this one quickly, all the while hoping it is the first in a series.
The ending was a bit of a disappointment; a silly romantic meeting between the 2 main characters. YAs might like it more than I did. The ending was far from conclusive, thus leaving room for a second installment. Lo and behold, a sampler from book 2 was included at the end of the ARC I received. I will definitely read the next in this series.
This book would make a great movie; or, better yet, a streaming series.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.
Review copy (eARC) provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
It is (I believe) the debut YA novel from the author's "A Jump in Time" series...in fact, there's a preview for book #2 in the back.
The main character, Dan, is a home-schooled teenager who encounters his father struggling with a stranger at his home, and is thrust into a time-travelling adventure. Dan is in the year 1066 in England, and must "fix" history in order to get back home and figure out what happened and why.
I enjoyed this novel, and it flows well/is a quick read. The main reasons I did not give it a higher rating:
1) The ending was somewhat disappointing. It's not bad, but rather not satisfying. It made the whole first book feel more like a set-up for book #2 and not stand as well on its own.
2) Some of the descriptions, in particular with respect to Dan and his main love interest, were stylistically written in a somewhat juvenile fashion, even for a YA novel.
In summary, I enjoyed the novel, and would like to read book #2. I'm particularly impressed by the amount of effort put into the historical setting. I look forward to seeing what happens next.
The Last Saxon King is a riveting story. Although aimed at the YA genre, I have a feeling many an adult will love the premise of the story and the characters.
Well researched and beautifully written, you can practically sense the sights, sounds and smells of 11th century England.
A unique take on the momentous events of 1066, the reader finds themselves egging the characters on. This is edge-of-the-seat time travelling historical fiction. I loved it and cannot wait for the next book in the series.
Having a teenager of my own who has a deep love of history, I know he would love to be in Dan's shoes, living the adventure of the battles of Stamford Bridge and Hastings.
Andrew Varga brings history to life!
This book was so fun. It was fast paced and the lead characters were definitely characters. I was sad at how the beginning took place but realized it was needed to get you to the point where the story took place, I enjoyed the fact they Sam's position as a female was correct in history and how it would effect their job. The side stories of friends were amazing the the teamwork was awesome. I really hate Victor he is an %$^&*#@. I am so looking forward to the next book. It feels like it is going to be a long wait.
Reading Time Travel is a great way to learn History. This novel begins with a father battling a sword. The slow, thorough way his shirt turns from white to blood red is emotional.It makes a teen wonder what life would seem like without parents or siblings. It's a well developed story about handling new experiences. Andrew Varga writes about the year 1066. In the end, I wanted to read more about the Medieval Period.
After a tragic event, 16-year-old Dan finds himself transported to England, in the year 1066. The year of a big battle, Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, and English kings. Obviously, he is totally perplexed and unequipped for this era. Luckily, he has some education in history. Can he survive? And can he survive alone?
He soon finds out that he comes from a family of time jumpers, throughout history, his family has had a great part to play in the shaping of the world, and he was trained to inherit that role.
The book is an enjoyable journey to different times, and yet human nature is the same as today. Dan, as a teenager with his doubts, fear, and a whole pleiad of emotions. And the others with their bravery, cunning plots, and politics. Vivid descriptions and atmosphere, action and adventure. And of course love.
A great read for all young history enthusiasts.
Poor Dan. One morning he's your average American teenager living with his dad and hanging out at the mall and that evening he's flung through time, dropped right into Middle Age England with absolutely no clue as to why and how he got there.
We follow along as Dan sleeps on the cold, hard ground, eats the blandest of mutton, attempts to convince small townsfolk he's not an enemy, becomes a warrior's squire and, oh yeah, fighting the Norman's; all the while attempting to return home. No big deal.
The Last Saxon King is an awesome debut by Varga for YA readers. Perfectly balanced between mystery, action and conversation, I never felt bored or rushed. As an adult, I appreciated the personal growth of the main character as he finds himself in situations that require honesty and staying true to yourself, hard work, overcoming fears, responsibility and the like.
For the teen and pre-teen readers there is plenty of action, sword fights, deception and a bit of G/PG rated romance. There is an occasional, logically placed swear word but nothing extreme that would stop me from letting pre-teens read it.
I was a bit sad when I read the final page knowing I'm going to have to wait for the next installment. I'm not sure if I can wait a year...I need to know what happens!
I love historical fiction as a whole, and even as an adult often enjoy YA historical fiction. I'm also a homeschooling mom, and am always looking for novels that will interest my kids in history. This book grabbed me from the start, and I am so excited to use it in our LA/History curriculum. The device of dropping Dan into different historical settings is genius, an engaging way of teaching history, The entire thing was just so fun, but also engaging on an emotional level (I teared up near the end!). Highly recommended not just to teens but to adults who love alternate history.
The description of the book mentioned Saxons and time travel so that was what intrigued me. This is the first book that I ran across that dealt with this era. It started a bit slowly but the portion dealing with the time travel in the Saxon Era was very good. It picked up as it went on in terms of interest and character development. The ending seemed a bit off but the epilogue and sneak preview of the second book in the series helped to resolve some issues.
I think that this is a great book for youth. For adults maybe not that impressive but I spent a nice time and really enjoyed the story.
The main character, Dan, can be a inspiration for young people. He's very smart, has a kind heart, loves his Dad and found his courage.
The idea for time jumper isn't new but I like the plot. It was nice to see how young boy was trying to not only survive in Saxon England but also trying to fix the history. Thankfully he was prepared by his Dad who taught him how to fight and survive in the forest.
I definitely recommend this book to young boys and girls who like adventures.
This was a fun book for me! Daniel, 16 year old boy, travels back in time to 1066 AD. Of course he’s completely unprepared, but he’s a very smart kid and quickly learns the ropes of eleventh century living. He also learns that the very fact he was able to jump back in time is because something has happened to change the past causing catastrophic impact on the present. You see, Daniel comes from a long family line of time jumpers, who are committed to protecting the present. Until that catastrophic change is fixed, Daniel cannot return to the present. From there it’s a wild, exciting adventure, with a little teen angst and a lot of humor.
I was very impressed with the author’s attention to historic detail. I’ve sometimes wondered what it was like to live in a different era and Mr. Varga did an outstanding job of illustrating what life in the eleventh century might have been like. There is a lot of information about how commoners and soldiers traveled, waged war, and built relationships and hierarchies within the system, but it is always presented in a fun and interesting manner. There were even parts that made me laugh out loud.
This is a solid YA book, most characters are not very deeply developed, but there are moments of soul searching, moral dilemmas, and romance (nothing racy).
On the whole, The Last Saxon King worth reading. I think both kids and adults will enjoy it.
From the subtile itself "Jump in Time" you can tell right away there's time travelling in the story.
Dan living in the present time, suddenly got transported back in 1066 with a purpose- to change History. The theme is almost close to real accounts of what happened in Europe, the Vikings, the Anglo Saxons and the conquering the nation.
I enjoyed the story which carries a quest to mystery and a little humour to add into the mix of adventure between Dan and Sam.
This is the first book from the series and the second will be coming out next year.
Thank you Netgalley & Imbrifex Books for the ARC.
If you enjoy time travel stories, fantasy, or history and historical fiction, this book is for you. The first novel by Andrew Varga in his A Jump In Time Series will keep you engaged.
Dan Renfrew is a 16yo living a relatively mundane and sheltered life until he comes home and walks into a life and death situation. His only escape transports him back to Anglo-Saxon England in the fall of 1066 AD. Dan has to quickly learn to survive in a more fast paced and dangerous environment and culture. He learns he is a time traveler with the burden to fix a glitch in order to stabilize history and return to his comfortable existence. While making numerous mistakes, his new friend Sam has to save him multiple times and teach him survival skills. But eventually Dan becomes a hero you want to root for. The action waxes and wanes as Dan and Sam are inserted in historical Anglo-Saxon battles at Stamford Bridge and Hastings.
The highlight of this story is the mix of historical accuracy with an entertaining time travel connection. The history is well researched and accurate while aligning with an entertaining storyline. The action and plot twists will keep you on your toes and sustain your interest. There are also several interesting characters, especially Sam who in some ways is the most compelling "star of the show".
As the book is designed for young adult readers, Dan is a good character for teenagers and young adults to watch develop. The emotional and physical struggles he faces, and the visible growth the character makes throughout the story, will be compelling for readers in this age group.
Two opportunities that I hope to see develop more completely in future books of this series are a more complete juxtaposition and comparison of the period Dan experienced the first 16 years of his life compared to where he travels, and development of additional characters. Although Sam and Dan developed and became more interesting throughout the story, there were some missed opportunities to develop other characters.
As a whole this was a well contrived and interesting story. Personally, as a fan of history and historical fiction, the development of this story was accurate, entertaining, and held my attention from start to finish. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
This is a fast paced, action filled story about a sixteen year old modern day boy that, to his surprise, finds himself in 1066 England amidst wars between the Anglo-Saxons and Vikings. There are a lot of great battle scenes. This is a YA novel, but I did feel like some of this story, especially the beginning, felt more like a middle school level book, but a lot of the content is definitely YA, not middle school. So that was a bit of an odd mix for me. I loved the history aspect of the novel, and appreciate the history notes the author included at the end of the book.
Thank you NetGalley and Imbrifex Books for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review which is not affiliated with any brand.
This novel was absolutely amazing! I LOVE the concept that it is a jump in time story, but with actual historical events. All of these were so detailed that I learned quite alot about that time in history, as our focus in lessons never really touched English history.
Also, I felt so immersed in it. Yes, at the beginning I did have some doubts about it, but once I started, I got pulled in and couldnt let the story go. I still cant and I am so sad that the next book will be out in nearly a year.
I am so freaking excited to see where the story will go, and hopefully some questions will also be answered (I am sure they will, the series is far from over).
Andrew Varga and his team did such a wonderful job with this and I can only recommend others to read this exciting jump in time novel!
The Last Saxon King was a surprising joy to read. The first chapter had me slightly annoyed with the awkward and prone to more whining than necessary, 16 year old narrator, Dan. Dan had been homeschooled his entire life by his father with the main educational emphasis on history, and medieval history at that. He was made to memorize seemingly boring dates of battles and long dead Anglo-Saxon kings. Dan showed little in the way of social skills and far too often pointed out his inability to talk to girls. When we meet him he is wondering the local mall as his dad had company coming and had sent his son away for the afternoon. The first chapter was spent on this boy lamenting about his lack of a social circle and social skills. Why would he need to know long ago battles and who won and lost them? Why in the world would he ever need to know how to carry a medieval sword into battle or make arrows as a man from the year 1060 would make? Why did he need to be schooled in what a medieval peasant or warrior would wear? Obviously, a decent amount of foreshadowing, though often a bit too much. I was fearful that I was walking into a typical and silly YA novel that would speed through a clean plot and even cleaner ending. Thankfully, I was mistaken.
When Dan finally decides he’s going to make his way home in hopes that the company his father had would finally be a woman, his fate is quickly changed. No woman was found at the house. Instead, Dan heard loud voices and the clang of metal. A sword fight? In his living room? His father was arguing with someone, another man. When he finally entered the home he found his father and an unknown man arguing and fighting. Dan did not know who the other man was. While he attempted to stop the other man by throwing a clay vase at him, the assailant was too quick. His father ended up taking a spear to his body. Suddenly his father throws a rod at him and tells him to say a bedtime rhyme he had been taught over and over. Torn between saving his father, being killed by the assailant himself, or reciting the nonsensical rhyme, he chose the rhyme as his father used what seemed to be his last bit of energy to tell him again to say the bedtime rhyme.
Dan said the rhyme and found himself transported to a forest. Without giving more away, Dan enters a world he’d read about far past in the history of the world. While here Dan will meet several friends, and several foes. His life will be in danger multiple times and he will have to make many difficult choices. Will he ever return home? Is his father alive? Can he set history right?
The Last Saxon King blends historical facts with fictional elements. It is a novel of courage and hard choices. I found myself researching historical facts about this time period and I learned so much. The author went to great lengths to provide historical facts and blend them to make a compelling fictional read. It is part history, part adventure. While it is a YA novel, I found myself addicted to the story and I cannot wait to read the next six books in the installment. Read this book. All lovers of historical fantasy will fall in love with this wonderfully written novel.
The Last Saxon King keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end! Homeschooler Dan Renfrew is not only shocked by the lethal combat taking place in his home, he’s then unknowingly flung into the year 1066 by a time-jumping device and a bedtime rhyme. Dan has to navigate medieval England and find a fissure in time without the 21st century conveniences that he may take for granted. He does, however, possess an obsessive knowledge of history and historical fighting skills taught by his father.
Dan encounters a variety of interesting and well developed characters. The plot is familiar, but unique as well. The ending leaves the reader craving more adventures.
YA is not my usual genre. However, the historical accuracy and time travel were very appealing. Those aspects will interest a wide variety of readers. They will be rewarded with this amazing tale of Dan’s journey through time.
Interesting time travel novel. I like that it is a teenage boy and the story is pretty good. I am excited for the next installment.
So much magic and adventure! Was great from start to finish. I loved the main character and all of his courage and bravery. Having never read a time travel book, this book has opened my eyes to a completely new genre. I was intrigued throughout the whole book and am very excited for the second installment of this story. I loved all of the historical information that was provided to it's readers throughout the entirety of this book. Thank you for the advanced copy to this book. I will definitely reccomend this book.
This is not just another time travel book. It's one where Dan and Sam have to make a difference, have to right a wrong, or be stuck back in time for the rest of their lives. Andrew Varga does an excellent job of describing this harrowing time in history (CE 1066 in England) using names and towns as they would have been back in that time. The reader will get caught up in the action, worry that Dan may not make it, and celebrate when he does. The events in the book are based on actual records from that time, which the author shares at the end of the book. I dread having to wait so long for the next book, and wonder where in time Dan and Sam will find themselves.
I really enjoyed this book but I will say that it felt a little long - specially for the target audience. There came a point where I felt it was dragging just a little bit, but that is truly my only negative. It felt well researched (knowing nothing of the subject, I can't speak to this), I learned a lot and it was a fun and unique story. It jumps into action quickly so it allows you to be engaged. Thanks NetGalley!
I'm not normally a fan of time slip/time jump novels, but the setting for this one really drew me in so I gave it a shot. I'm so glad I did! This was fantastic novel from Andrew Varga, where the time jump actually serves a purpose and seems to have some consequences. I also appreciate the MC being a male, I normally avoid time jump novels as it all devolves into "woman sucked back in time, timeless romance" and that it just not my cup of tea, so this was a welcome change.
This book is well paced and engaging, I really enjoyed the way Varga set the atmosphere through out, it really evoked what I imagine 1066 England would have been like.
Where’s the next book? As soon as I finished this I had to look for the adventure but it’s not out for a year. Oh I can’t wait. The story goes that some people, usually men but an occasional girl slips through to go back in time to solve a bump in history. But these time travellers aren’t all so goody two shoes. Some want to change history to serve their own ends and our heroes need to be vigilant, brave and very clever. I loved this entanglement with the King Harold and William the Conqueror and the ultimate Battle of Hastings. Bring on the next adventure!
The Last Saxon King is a tale about a teen-aged boy who travels in time to medieval England to "fix" glitches in time. This is a solid , well-paced story line with well-researched historical events. The book provides a chapter from the upcoming sequel, which I am already looking forward to. Readers young and old will enjoy following Dan as he "jumps" through time to become an unlikely hero.
The Last Saxon King pulled me in right from the beginning. I liked the main characters and the secondary characters. The action and adventure were exciting. The book had elements of science fiction, horror, and fantasy. Except for the time travel, the historic events were pretty accurate. Umm, maybe time travel exists which would make the book seriously accurate. The author has a section following the story that explains the end of the Viking era and the events leading to the Battle of Hastings. As a history buff, I enjoyed this.
The Last Saxon King is set up to have a sequel. I only ask two things. More female characters. The main female character is fantastic but she's the only one! Surely, even in medieval battles, there were camp followers. The other thing is I want to know how Dan kept the time-traveling rod in the waistband of his trousers throughout the battles. What kept it from falling out? Medieval pants didn't exactly have elastic waistbands.
I can suspend my disbelief to believe in time travel, but it's hard for me to believe the time travel device never fell out of Dan's pants while he's slaughtering Normans.
Thanks to Netgalley and Imbrifex books for allowing me to read and review an eARC of The Last Saxon King. I look forward to the sequel, The Celtic Deception.
The Last Saxon King is the first installment of the Jump In Time series, it starts slow but the pace grows and it becomes unputdownable.
I'm an history geek, but I ignore most of the Saxons battles so I was really engrossed in the story and I've finished it in a few hours.
Daniel Renfrew is a bored home-schooled teen until he find out he is a time traveler, and his life changes radically.
During his first unexpected jump in time he finds himself in 1066, he doesn't know anything about time travelling but fortunately he meets Sam that will help him. Will this couple of teens save the World from a catastrophic history glitch?
I adored to see Dan personal growth. He was shielded by his father all his life, so at the beginning he is unprepared and he can't deal with the difficulties but with the passing of the chapters he understands what he can do, his true abilities, he takes his responsibilities and he becomes a hero.
I've seen there are more books in the series and I can't wait to read what happens next.
This is the right book for a young reader, perfect for the adventures lovers.
The subtitle for this book is "a jump in time novel" and it does jump in time, back to 1066. Dan has been home schooled by his single father, a history professor. He has been taught to fight with medieval weapons and how to camp without matches or a tent. So when he returns home to find his father being attached and is sent off to another time he is somewhat prepared. Note, I said somewhat prepared. This is a well crafted tale which will appeal to both YAs and adults.
This is a review of an ARC provided by NetGalley.
this was FUN!
Originally I did not realize it was supposed to be a YA novel - so at first I was a bit reluctant as it felt a bit too youthful for me, and I am not used to reading from POV of regular modern-day teenage boys. I feel like this novel would be perfect for boys 10-16 years old - and I am not that.
However, the novel is fast-paced and it quickly sucked me in.
Overall it was a very fun read. It's not the most complex of novels - it doesn't answer the questions to "why?" or "how?" or goes too deep into the "messing with the historical timeline" stuff, but it was enjoyable and hard to put down.
The place where it didn't work for me was Dan being a 16yo boy - I don't feel very comfortable reading male gaze pointed at female characters (or "character" as this book had only one).
Thank you NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. Even though this is a YA book, I was attracted to the topic of time travel. This was a fun novel. A big plus to the story is historical facts of 1060 and the fictional fact. I also enjoyed Dan's transformation as he begins to understand why his father was teaching him about Medieval warfare and life. Additionally, it was fun to imagine yourself in Dan's situation as he navigated life in Medieval times! I am definitely looking forward to the next book!
I don’t know where to begin! My love of history and wishing I could travel back in time came together in this brilliant YA novel! I loved the characters, the time, the events and the detail that went into it being historically accurate for the events that happened in a period of history that isn’t generally written about. I liked the love story that was woven throughout the book, it was slow to start but it blossomed beautifully. The character learned about friendship, loyalty, courage and the beauty of history.
There are only a few things that I didn’t like:
1. Some of the page formatting was off and it made it challenging to read
2. The battle scenes - I could have done without so much of the descriptions of what happened while fighting especially with the implements of war and their potential, it seemed a bit much for a YA book in my opinion.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The Last Saxon King (Book One, A Jump in Time Novel) - Andrew Varga
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in order to provide an honest review.
Andrew Varga is an historian as well as an author. This is his first novel, the beginning of a YA Historical series.
Dan is your typical 16-year-old, that is if you ignore the fact that he is home schooled by his history professor father. So, Dan spends his days learning about history and memorising the names and reigns of long forgotten kings, whilst learning hand to hand combat and sword craft.
When Dean isn’t home, he spends his days wandering around the local mall, with being home schooled it didn’t provide a lot of options for making friends with other kids his age, life was boring and lonely for Dan.
Then one fateful day Dan discovered what he thought he know about his Dad, about his life, about everything, was all a lie. Dan was plunged into a world from another time, quite literally 1066 in England. Now Dan is alone in a strange land and time with no idea how to get back to his Dad.
Dan felt absolutely lost and alone just wanting to go home. But Dan found he wasn’t quite alone he discovered someone else from his time, here in 1055 with him. Sam, a beautiful girl about the same age as Dan but at the same time, so much older and wiser than he was.
Sam helped Dan learn all about the society of time jumpers that his father belonged to. Their burden – fixing glitches in time that occurred, stopping them from altering the course of history. Making sure history played out on the course that it was meant to take.
But most importantly the key to getting home - was figuring out the time glitch and fixing it, then Dan would be able to go home. But as always, this was easier said than done. Dan and Sam both worked together, it was hard enough figuring out the time glitch and how to fix it, whilst trying to survive the lift of a peasant in medieval England, shield walls and the odd battle. It was both a dangerous and exciting time.
“The Last Saxon King” is a riveting and engrossing read centered around a novel concept. Dan and Sam have been written in such a way by the author that will make them relatable to the reader – 16 is an awkward age but couple that with a time travelling father, well that is something new and captivating. I love the time period that the author picked, for me personally it's such an interesting time, and sad as it was the end of a people, a proud and fierce people – Vikings. I found this book such a marvelous and exciting read – I'm hoping for good things from the next instalment.
An intriguing and immersive story. Strong characters & plot. I enjoyed the pace. The historical aspects are well thought out. Overall an incredibly strong story!
An excellent book I thoroughly recommend. Well researched and a good historical novel that keeps you riveted at every turn of the page.I look forward to the second book due in September 2023 in this time travel saga.
I enjoyed this book!
It was a fun read and the main protagonist was a likeable, relatable character. As a medievalist & researcher of medieval texts, I enjoyed this author's take on medieval history and the way that he brought some of the characters and historical events to life for his reader.
I can see lots of potential for future sequels in terms of character arcs and events as the protagonist (Dan) grows up and continues to develop his skills at time jumping and setting historical characters and events back on their proper paths. This series is going to be a fun romp throughout history. I'm looking forward to the author's next instalment of this newly unfolding series.
Sixteen year old Daniel Renfrew finds himself thrust back in time to 1066, the age of the last Saxon King. He discovers he is descended from a long line of time jumpers and must fix the glitch in history in order to return home. As a novice to the world of time travel, Dan must rely on fellow jumper Sam’s help, his own wits and fighting skills and his own knowledge of history to survive this perilous time. While fighting in some epic historical battles and attempting to correct the glitches, Dan must also evade other malevolent time jumpers who are out to stop him. Can Dan fix history, survive and make it back home?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is well written, historically accurate, and had me turning page after page to find out how Dan would solve and survive the numerous challenges and life threatening situations thrown his way. It very well portrays how a 16 year old boy thrown back in time might think and feel. I highly recommend it!
What a promising new series, based on this fantastically fun installment! I loved this combination of time travel sci-fi and alternate history. Great for YA reads but will honestly be an enjoyable ride for readers of all ages.
A sweet and simple time-travel, historical fictional story which doesn’t go into the technicalities of the history or the science side of the time jump, but is still enjoyable and interesting enough to keep you glued to the end.
Dan, a sixteen-year-old homeschooled boy witnesses a brutal attack on his father by a mysterious man. While trying to save his father, the latter shoves a rod like thing in his hands and requests him to recite his childhood bedtime rhyme. Confused and clueless, Dan do as he is told and ta-da, he is transported in time to Anglo Saxon England in the year 1066. As he befriends another time jumper, he comes to know why he was heavily taught ancient history by his father and trained in war combat. His father belongs to a line of time jumpers (a role passed on from father to son) who go back in time and fix glitches in the time stream. Dan needs to figure out these glitches while save himself from his father’s attacker and make it back to his time.
What I liked: Obviously the theme, interesting concept and a fast paced story.
What I disliked: The execution was too simple. I expected a rich history packed plot but that wasn’t the case.It barely had any action despite the story enveloping two major battles. Also, the writing was quite bland and simple. Having said that, I’m still intrigued enough to read the next book in the series.
Thanks to Imbrifex Books and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Publication Date: March 7th, 2023.
Thanks to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books, and Andrew Varga for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.
.The Last Saxon King is an interesting time-jumping novel that follows the story of Dan, a teenage boy from the present, who finds himself in the year 1066 AD. One moment he's in his living room seeing his dad being furiously attacked and the next moment, Dan is transported to a different Where and a somewhat confusing When. He seems to have landed by a river in the middle of nowhere! Dan lands in the middle ages, teams up with another time-traveler (plenty of them throughout the ages), and sets off on a quest to save the timeline, but more importantly the world.
Now while this was a fast and engaging read, I couldn't help but find myself disliking Dan's naivety in relation to his situation. I could excuse it for most of the book, but after basically suffering a witch trial, he really should have realized he needed to get with the times. Still, this was a fun time, and I look forward to the next installment. Both the time traveling and historical fiction appeals to that tiny part of my brain that enjoys the chaos called the Butterfly Effect.
3 stars out of 5.
This book is a page turner for sure. By just reading the subtitle A jump in Time Novel you can tell that the will traveling involved to the past.
Daniel 16 who is currently living in present times quickly jumps back into 1066 with a idea to change history.
I loved the interaction between Daniel and Sam because there was a little bit laughing while same was trying to find out what he will have to do to stay alive.
I really enjoyed reading the first book of the series The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga and can’t wait to read the second book next year.
Note: I listened to an ARC of the audiobook through NetGalley
In the audio version, Mark Sanderlin's narration convinces you that you are listening to a 16 year old's tale of accidental time travel, In this book by Andrew Varga, after seeing his father viciously attacked, sixteen year old Dan Renfrew unexpectedly finds himself in England in 1066, Between the Vikings, the Normans, and the everyday threats of life in the 11th century, Dan has a tough time staying alive. Fortunately, he encounters another time jumper who helps him out. Sam also comes from a time jumping family and fills him in on some of the intricacies of the experience.
Dan and Sam need to figure out and fix the time glitch to ensure that they can return to an unchanged present. Things are complicated by the rogue time jumpers that are trying to break history. Dan is eager to get it fixed so he can get back to home to check on his father.
The sequel in this six book series is due to be released in September 2023. It will be a long wait!
Recommended for those who enjoy light romance, sci fi/time travel, and young adult books.
I adore a good time travel story and this one did not disappoint.
You have plenty of tension as things are bound to go horribly wrong when thrust into unfamiliar settings. Being displaced in time only makes it more likely something will happen.
Thankfully, Dan has been trained by his father. He just didn't know why his dad pushed all those lessons for fighting and history. He also has the good fortune of meeting another teen who is displaced and has a better idea of what is needed.
The author has a wonderful command of history that he expertly weaves into the storyline of Dan the time-jumping teenager.
I can hardly wait for the next title to be available!
4.5/5 Thank you to Net Galley and the author for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
What a great mix of history and fantasy! Good character development and a really fun ride. I think this Jump In Time series is going to be fascinating.
Sixteen year old Dan Renfrew is a time jumper, descended from a long line of secret heroes; too bad no one explained this to him. Instead, his Dad prepared him by home-schooling him with a large emphasis on history, fighting with a variety of medieval weapons, horseback riding, etc. Then one day, Dan is transported back in time without knowing what is happening. He bumbles around, but eventually figures out where he is, and when. He meets another time jumper, Sam, and it is explained to him that they are there to fix a glitch in the time continuum leading to their present.
Dan & Sam’s adventures are gripping. At first, Sam wants nothing to do with this “newbie”; but ends up saving him a few times. They realize that working together will help them both meet their objective and Sam reluctantly agrees to pool their experience and resources. Sam points out that the rod Dan’s Dad threw at him at the last moment is Dan’s way home; when it gets warm, he is to recite the rhyme his Dad taught him.
The time jump devices are not given much of a background; they are very old, hexagonal, rod-like devices which have sections that can spin. These devices also conveniently act as universal translators when touching the skin. They are passed down within families, father to son. Where they came from and how they work are not explained at all; perhaps fodder for future books in the series.
The history is accurate, the fantasy aspect is not very detailed; but the story is very entertaining. Why it is that their particular present is worth fighting for is not explained. What is causing the time glitches is hinted at, but also not really explained. I am really looking forward to learning more in subsequent entries of this series!
Perfect YA book for fans of historical fiction with fantasy elements. Overall, the book is an easy read, even the historical aspects. I did not struggle to keep up with the fast-paced action. Dan was a solid character. His emotions and reactions felt realistic, or as close to realistic as one can get with time travel. I would have liked to see Sam’s character expanded on a little more. The end “twist” was a little unexpected, but I expect it to be fully expanded on in future books, so I wasn’t too bothered that it ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. The premise of traveling in time to fix glitches is interesting and I definitely can’t wait to see how it is expanded on in future books. By far my favorite part of the book was the historical elements of it. The more accurate the history, the better and this book definitely strived for accuracy. I look forward to the same accuracy in future books.
I found this to be a solid YA book. It’s easy to read and blends history and fantasy in a satisfying way that perfectly sets the stage for the series.
A fast-paced time-slip young adult historical fiction fantasy with a dash of romance sprinkled in. Strong female second lead compliments the male lead well with age-appropriate snark. Fantasy is not usually my wheelhouse, but I've been pulled to time-jumping novels recently. This was a better written one with well-rounded characters and plenty to build on for a blossoming series. Can hardly wait for the next in the series coming September 2023!
I accepted a free copy of this book and audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
What a fun young adult story! Even as a person far too old for most YA, I enjoyed this very much.
The characters, pacing, arc, and overarching plot were engaging, the writing is plain but good, and familiarity with the historical period in which much of the book is set did not sour the enjoyment.
I’m looking forward to future installments. This is the sort of book series I’d buy for the young people in my life.
The audiobook is well narrated. I split my read between text and audio.
Fantastic upper MG/younger YA time travel romp that appeals to my stuck-in-2010 brain! There's a ton of room for expansion into a series - I think seven books are planned. Dan and Sam aren't overly interesting, but they're easy to project yourself onto. I'm no expert on this period of history, but from what I know, the historical aspects were correct. The only thing I would add is a pronunciation guide.
This book is addicting. Although aimed to the Young Adult genre, it speaks to anyone who enjoys time-travel and historic fiction. From the first page, I cared about our hero and wanted to continue with his through his early confusion and growing confidence. Choose this book and enjoy the adventure.
This a fun time travel romp with lots of historically accurate details. This will appeal to the King Arthur set along with the fantasy and sci-if fans. We’ll-paced and engrossing.
One of the best books I have recently read, and I have already recommended to someone. I couldn't put it down. The story is well paced, engaging, and simply enjoyable. The characters are likable and I look forward to reading the next book in this new series.
Many thanks to Netgalley, Imbrifex Audio and the author, for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
The last Saxon king is the first in the A jump in time series. The book follows the story of Dan who is homeschooled by his dad and lives a secluded life away from his peers. He spends his free time wandering around the mall and one da when he comes back home from one such trip, he finds his dad injured and attacked by a man who he did not recognize. While trying to do what his dad asks him to do, he end up time jumping to the anglo-saxon age. As he struggles to fit in and find a way back home, he realises the only way that can be done is by finding out the break in history and fix it.
I will be honest I picked up this book, only and only because I am a huge fan of Legends of Tomorrow and the blurb gave off the same vibes. The story was fast paced and happening. However, some parts of it just did not make sense to me. Now I am not an expert in anglo-saxon era or the languages or the way they spoke, but I am pretty sure they would not start a conversation with 'hey, dude'! I am not kidding, when I heard that in a dialogue, I couldn't stop laughing. Such inconsistencies in dialogue did effect my reading experience a tad bit. Other than certain impossibilities in dialogues, like that, the rest of the story was very enjoyable. It was highly dependent on history as our MC's are obviously tring to fix it, so I guess if I was more aware of the said history I would have enjoyed it much more.
Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more of Dan's adventures.
TW: Death, war, blood, gore, assault, sexism, misogyny, sexual assualt
What a fun romp through history! I loved this time traveling story. The characters were very relatable. It was easy to imagine what I would do in a similar situation. I’m excited to read more adventures from this young adult series.
A fast action, suspense history novel that makes you keep turning the pages
I certainly enjoy the plot, the action, the atmosphere of Anglo-Saxon England and the fights.
I m looking forward to read the next one of the series now that i got into the characters and the plot.
It may be suitable for younger readers than me and i have never read a time-jump novel but i still fully enjoy it
My thanks to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books, and Andrew Varga for an ARC
This series is going to become one of my favorites. I love the charcters and the deep bonds they form. I have not read much historical fiction but I find these books so engaging and entertaining. Dan is honest and raw and strong. He is faithful to his friends, even those he has to leave behind. The last time I felt that type of connections with a book was Harry Potter.
Parts of the story make me laugh and cringe with that teenage nostalgia and that relateablility is what draws me in.
I have already read The Celtic Decption and I can't wait to see the next adventure for Dan and Sam.
I received this complimentary e-ARC from the publisher, courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
Although I am mostly over YA novels, I’ll still give one a shot from time to time. I’m glad I did in this case. Varga has written an interesting story that digs deep into actual history and writes fiction around it. There was grit in the telling and one quote that sort of sums up the book: “So Leofrick. You drank well, you slept well, and you even got a kiss from the comely maiden. Ready to die now?”
Four stars for “The Last Saxon King.” The narration was good and the ending was satisfying. I’m looking forward to the second installment. My thanks to Imbrifex Books via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
The Last Saxon King, by Andrew Varga, makes history exciting, adventurous, perilous, and suspenseful! Time jumper Dan ends up in 1066 not even realizing he IS a time jumper. Fortunately for the 16-year old, Sam is also there and protects him at the start of his journey. As they try to "fix" history (the main reason they time jump), Dan also must avoid those time jumpers trying to murder him like they did his dad in modern times. As he and Sam (pssst....SHE is an experienced traveler), struggle together to find the traitors, they also form the close bond only those in life and death situations can. This exciting YA novel never lets up. Will Dan end up being a knight in (chain mail) armor, or will he end up dead? The Last Saxon King works for all ages, as long as adventure and mystery are your thing!
Interesting and entertaining. A bit like Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court only in 1066 Northern England
Daniel Renfrew thinks that his life is boring. He’s homeschooled and spends most days learning random in depth history facts his dad is teaching him as well as combat training and medieval weapon training. . All useless to Daniel or so he thinks. But one day a man shows up at his house and confronts his dad about some sort of device that his dad has and joining him. It’s a strange rod, a rod Daniel is instructed to hold and say a bedtime rhyme hid dad taught him. As his dad lies there Daniel obeys and is transported. He opens his eyes and is in a forest seemingly far from home not just in distance but in time. Daniel realizes with the help of a new friend named Sam, that his device is a jump device that gives the user the ability to travel through time. His family, his dad, is part of a long line of time travelers that right wrongs throughout the timeline of history. The only way for Dan to get home is to figure out what is wrong in medieval Europe. Unfortunately for Dan, there is a ban of time travelers who are tired of saving the world and have banned together to take over the world. Dan and Sam and the friends they make along their journey are determined to right history and this restore themselves to their rightful time in history. Battles are raging, few people can be trusted but all the training Dan’s father instructed him in comes in handy in navigating this new medieval world he finds himself in. The story moves quickly there are some key medieval battles mentioned which is a nice springboard into other topics to cover through this time period.
Dan Renfrew, a sixteen-year-old, is going about his daily life until he unintentionally sends himself back in time to 1066 England. His first realization that he is confined there is not his only startling finding. Dan discovers that he comes from a long line of time jumpers—mysterious heroes who go back in time to fix problems in the time stream that might change future history. Dan can only return home by reversing the path of history to the Anglo-Saxon era. No simple task, this. While a Norman army prepares to attack from the south, a Viking horde is wreaking havoc in northern England. The freshly minted English king, Harold Godwinson, stands in the middle and is valiantly attempting to maintain his position. Dan finds himself caught up in an even more deadly war as he fights to ensure that everything goes according to plan. Dan must fight a group of evil time jumpers whose thirst for riches and power threatens the whole future of the globe to preserve history.
This book was tough to put down because of the characters and historical realism. Adventure, mystery, suspense, and comedy are all present in the novel. This book teaches history by having an alternate series of events begin to take place, forcing Dan to recall what was intended to happen and then choose how to correct things. I loved watching Dan develop as a person. He was protected by his father all of his life, so at first, he is unprepared and unable to handle the challenges, but as the chapters go, he realizes what he is capable of and his actual skills. He also accepts his duties and develops into a hero.
This narrative has so many wonderful aspects. I enjoy the supporting cast, especially Sam, and Dan is a terrific guy to cheer for. Dan has a dry sense of humor and is witty. He needs to act swiftly since he has been thrust into a new environment. The author’s attention to historical detail pleased me. There is a lot of information regarding how troops and commoners moved around, fought battles, and formed alliances and hierarchies within the system, but it is usually done in a lighthearted and fascinating way. The writing is of a professional caliber, the editing is excellent, the storylines are compelling, and the characters are well-rounded. Ages 13 and above are appropriate. After midnight, I finished this book. I am very eager to read the other books in the series and see what happens! Young adult readers will pick up a lot of information about this era that will help them relate to and comprehend the characters.
This is a different kind of time travel novel, one that seems well suited for teenage boys in search of an adventure read. I am perhaps not the intended audience at all, but I’m enjoying it nevertheless.
The main character is a member of a time-traveling family, but doesn’t know it until his father is cut down by a sword right in front him. The last act of his father is to throw him a device that transports him to England in 1066. By a small miracle, he lands near another, more experienced time traveler who recognizes that this boy in modern clothes will be targeted for death immediately if he doesn’t master a few simple principles of living in the past.
Daniel Renfrew becomes Leofric, and finds himself volunteered to go off with an older man, Osmund, to fight for the king. He discovers that there is time glitch that he must fix before he can go home.
Sam is the more experienced time traveler who seems to appear (repeatedly) just in time to pull Daniel/Leofric out of his life-threatening situation when it things go awry. Sam, however, is not exactly who he seems to be, but I don’t want to spoil the surprise.
One thing I must say: Edwards does not dumb down the medieval period to spare our sensibilities. In fact, this work is based on the famous Battle at Stamford Bridge in 1066 which is generally considered the last of the major Viking raids on England. It ends at the Battle of Hastings, which changed the course of British history. Varga’s research was excellent.
Whether or not I am the intended audience, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this unusual time travel novel, and will almost certainly read the next one, coming out in September.
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 is one of my favorite historical events to read about, so it was the primary reason I picked this up. Time travel stories can be hit or miss, and this one does several things well: the protagonist does not spend an annoyingly long amount of time doubting that he has traveled back, the plot does not become caught up in the mechanisms of travel, and issues of translation and language are quickly addressed. The story is tight and packaged into a well-paced, easy, genuinely enjoyable light read. Both main characters are likeable and the clues to further adventures are satisfyingly sprinkled in. At times, dialogue and characters seemed overly simplified, but the action and suspense (especially towards the end) kept the read engaging. I definitely want more from Dan and Sam and will be keeping an eye out for the sequel. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the events of 1066 who is looking for a fun, fast read.