The Last Saxon King
A Jump in Time Novel
by Andrew Varga
Narrated by Mark Sanderlin
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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 31 May 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 of a possible seven book series. The second book, "The Celtic Deception" will be available in six months.
“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.”–Paula Cwikla, Barnes & Noble, Albuquerque
“The Last Saxon King is a rollicking good read! Not every book gives you the unforgettable need to hide a book under the covers with a torch so you can read just another page, but this one kept me up well past my bedtime. It’d make a great movie, too: action, (lots!), light romance, history, great characters and even the odd laugh out loud moment – it’d be a very picky reader indeed who didn’t get a lot of enjoyment from this book!" –Dominique De la Tubiere, Anglo-Saxon Facebook Group
“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 traveling historical fiction... Andrew Varga brings history to life!”–Historian Sharon Bennett Connolly is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society,
If there are any Middle Grade teachers who would like the author to "join" your class via Zoom for a history class, we'd really like to set this up. Contact email@example.com
|DURATION||8 Hours, 49 Minutes, 40 Seconds|
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 74 members
After back-to-back fantasy books, historical fiction was a welcome change!
The story starts hitting you from the first chapter itself(fast-paced) unlike the books which take around 4 chapters to tell you what's happening(slow-paced)!
A historical fantasy book with dual timelines focused around the 11th Century and the modern day. A young boy: Dan is being homeschooled by his father for reasons he doesn't understand and is bored to the bone. One day when he is out in the city taking a stroll, an unknown visitor hits his home, By the time he comes back, he sees his father on the brink of death with a sword to his neck. Suddenly everything is tumbling down & in chaos and as a final goodbye, his father rolled off some sort of a monument/device and asked him to fix the time glitch. Wonderstruck by why his father wants to use the device when he is on the brink of his death he does as told n elopes to the 11th century. Will Dan be able to survive and do what he is asked? only time will tell!!!
Now let me tell you the book is very audience-specific, not just for the lovers of history but it will also take an open mind and a good imagination to appreciate this. Often history lovers don't like the actual stories being tinkered so they might get offended, but for people like me, this was an amazing roller-coaster ride in a haunted house!
Thank you Net Galley for an audio ARC of The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga. This is a time traveling novel where Dan, a teenage boy gets transported to 1066 where he encounters many adventures.
Firstly, thank you to NetGalley & the author for letting me read this book.
I was drawn in immediately! From the very start until the very end something was always happening, I was never bored.
I enjoyed Sam's character a lot & enjoyed Dan's journey & the relationships he made along the way. I honestly can not wait for the next book. I'm so excited.
I also want to point out that the narrator, Mark, did a fantastic job & has a lovely voice.
Thank you to Andrew for sharing this incredible story with us.
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.
I mostly listened to it on audiobook narrated by Mark Sanderlin and I really liked the narrator - his voice sounded youthful and fit perfectly with the story. Dan really came alive with Sanderlin.
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).
ARC audiobook provided by NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“The Last Saxon King” is a time travel book that follows the adventures of sixteen-year-old Daniel Renfrew. Dan was raised by his father, who also home-schooled him with a strange emphasis on history. Dan’s father also highlighted survival at its core, including teaching Dan various modes of combat and how to camp with the bare essentials. What Dan did not know is that his father was preparing him to fulfill his destiny and carry on the legacy of his forefathers.
When returning home from the mall one day, Dan’s world is turned upside down, and he finds himself unwittingly thrust back in time. To Dan’s amazement, he finds himself transported to Anglo-Saxon England in the year 1066. Once there, Dan discovers the secret that his father had been preparing him for: he is a time jumper. Descended from a long line of time jumpers, Dan learns that his destiny is to travel to the past to fix breaks and glitches in the time stream in order to maintain the present. In order to return to the present, Dan must find and fix the break in the time stream to restore history to its rightful path. However, Dan’s journey will not be easy. Dan faces suspicious Anglo-Saxons, marauding Vikings, and invading Normans, as well as a group of time jumpers set on rewriting the future at any cost. Despite these challenges, Dan soon finds that he does not have to face these challenges alone. Joined by allies from the past and future, Dan fights not only for his own survival, but also for the survival of his future timeline. Can Dan and his rag-tag group save the future, or will Dan be doomed to live in the past?
The premise sounded interesting, so I thought I would give this book a shot. I’m glad I did: I absolutely loved this book! The author has an easy writing style that pulled me in and didn’t let me go until the very end. The characters were well-developed and engaging. I felt invested in Dan’s story, cheering him on along the way and fearing for him as he faced various challenges. This book was rich with historical facts and events, but it never felt like a history lesson. The author integrated this fictional story with real-life history flawlessly. The story arc was clear and flowed well. This book is the first in a series, but it still reached a satisfying conclusion to its narrative while also setting up the theme for the rest of the series. I’m very stingy when it comes to five-star reviews, and I honestly haven’t found any books in this general genre that earned that status. Until this book came along. I found myself unable to walk away from the book as it progressed. I was dying to know how the book would end while also not wanting it to end because I was enjoying the story so much. Any books that make me feel that way definitely earn five-star status. I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in this series!
My copy of this book was an audiobook, so I must also comment on the narrator. I thought he did an excellent job. His narrative tone and pace were appropriate and engaging. His character voices, including female voices, were well done and easily discernable. His narration helped to pull me into the story and keep me engrossed the whole way.
Overall, this was an excellent book. I highly recommend this book for both young adult and adult readers. Fans of time travel, historical fantasy, historical fiction, and general fiction genres will all be pleased with this story. This is the first in what should be a seven-part series (at the time of this review, the author noted he was working on the seventh concluding novel in the series), and I will most definitely be buying copies of every book along the way. My only disappointment is that the rest of the series is not available right now! Pick up a copy of this book right away, in either written or audiobook format, and enjoy the journey!
Normally, I have a very hard time getting into these time travel kind of books but, I was shockingly surprised how much I loved it and got into it.
Dan is a time jumper descendant from his father and he never kenw about it until he accidentally finds himself in 1066 England. He finds himself trying to fix all these different rifts in time that are being destroyed by the bad time people. That's the best way I can describe them after having read the book a few days ago.
He finds himself stuck between a rock and a hard spot when he becomes part of this band of brothers, fighting a war and knowing what their fate has to be at the end just to fix time itself. I'm really excited to see where this series will go with the next book and just saying.. Sept 2023 is a long time :(
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. My only criticism of the audio book was the voice artist, they did the voice of Dan well but all his other voices sounded the same. I would hope someone with a better range would be used for next one.
Thank you to the publishers, author and NetGalley for the free copy of this audio book.
This was even better than I hoped! I would have liked a little more in depth, especially in the historical aspects but it was a good read and the narrator did a good job.
This was a very simplistic time travel book where teenager, Dan Renfrew, travels back to 1066. He must “fix" a problem before he can return back to current time. Dan was homeschooled and a huge part of his
education was memorizing history and fighting with ancient weapons. His dad insisted on this education and training because he knew that his son would one
day need to time travel. I love that the author threw this part of the story in there. In most time travel books I find it odd that the person who traveled back in time was knowledgeable in so many historical facts. This explains why Dan knows the things that he knows. The writing style for this story was very basic and simple, making it a great book for young adults and even children. I'll
be watching for the rest of the series to come out.
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.
I mostly listened to the audiobook but also read the ebook here and there, especially every time I came across a new Anglo Saxon name which were a mouthful. I recommend the audio more than the text version.
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, Imbrifex Audio, 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.
Narration by Mark Sanderlin: This wasn't the voice I was expecting when I first started reading those few chapters, but about halfway through the book I found my groove. I just expected the narration to have a bit more of a deep voice than what they gave Dan. I'll be honest and say it fits the character very well. As you progress through the story you see his growth in the way he speaks.
3 stars out of 5
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.
#TheLastSaxonKing #JumpInTime #NetGalley #IfCatsCouldRead #kindlesallthewaydown
I had so much fun listening to this story! It kept me fully engaged on my daily commute.
Dan has the emotional maturity of any regular, modern 16 year-old boy. However, he also has some very special and unique training, thanks to his history professor father. When Dan suddenly finds himself travelling back in time, his normal 21st century instincts often get him in significant trouble. Thankfully, he has an unexpected, and slightly more experienced, time travelling ally in 16 year-old Sam.
The Last Saxon King is full of adventure and rich in history. It’s a fast paced and exciting story that will appeal to many readers, both young and old.
Thank you NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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 downloaded this audiobook for a road trip with me and my 14-year-old son. What a great choice! This time travel historical fiction book took us back to that vital year of 1066, where our hero, Dan, a 16-year-old who was unwittingly thrust into the role of time traveler and time fixer, must make sure nothing happens that changes the course of history. We thoroughly enjoyed the audiobook, and my son is looking forward to the next book in the series! The five star rating comes directly from him!
I absolutely loved this book.
I'm not usually drawn to YA, but this really captivated me from the first chapter. It was also my first audio book, and I felt the narrator did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life.
Dan seems to live a boring life until he comes home one day to find his father attacked! He's sucked into a whole new to him world and has to face many hardships never knowing who to trust.
Fast-paced and action-packed. I couldn't wait to hear what happened, and I can't wait for the next book!
Sixteen-year-old Dan is homeschooled and does not have any friends. His father keeps him busy with history lessons and weapons training. He would like to go to public school, but all the men in his family have been educated this way. To save his life one day, Dan's father helps him time jump into the past. Dan lands in 1066 England unprepared to face the challenges of the time. As a peasant and then a warrior, he follows the king's army for the weeks leading up to the battle of Hastings. Something has changed in time and the only way Dan can return home is to fix what is wrong.
The author did a great job of balancing the youthfulness of the character with heavier historical events including battles and death. The historical references were well done and I never felt bogged down with too much information. I felt like I was there with Dan experiencing everything with him and I enjoyed that very much. I was not the biggest fan of Sam as she was overly dramatic in my ears. The narrator of this book was perfect for Dan's character. He did a great job of expressing Dan's emotions and really sold all the characters. I enjoyed this audiobook immensely and was sad when it was over. This is definitely a series I will be interested to continue.
Looking at this book through the lens of adult fiction it gets 4 stars. Under the YA banner a strong 5 stars, easily. I enjoyed this it was a fun read, after I think the third chapter. Once it opens up and reveals the plot it was a fun read. Fast paced and simple, but not in an insulting way. I thoroughly recommend this for a young adult audience or someone just looking for a quick read that just wants to relax and not think too much. I will be looking for the next books in the series.
Arc provided by netgalley
I was absolutely blown away by this book! Andrew Varga’s writing is truly something special. This is the first book in a new series called A Jump in Time. The sequel can not come soon enough.
Dan has been training his whole life to be a time jumper but he didn’t even know it. Dan comes home to find his dad in danger and by listening to his dad he is brought back in time to England in 1066. At this point he meets Sam another time jumper and he starts to learn about what needs to happen to go home.
Time jumpers are a group of people that need to fix glitches in history so we can stay on track to protect the present and future. When time jumpers are in the past they can not return to the present until they fix the glitch.
I loved watching Dan and Sam get to know each other and how they had each other's back. All the characters that they run into were all great. There was not a poorly written or bad character in the entire book.
This served as an excellent entry point into a series and sets up the next installment perfectly. I can’t recommend this book enough and I can not wait for the sequel.
4 stars. I enjoyed the story, I thought the dive into a lesser known battle was well done and this would be fantastic for middle schoolers studying history. I even thought it might be good for our homeschooling curriculum next year. The characters are likable and the book ending closed up the story while also setting up the series. My one gripe is the romance. It was unnecessary, it was a little ridiculous, and it didn't add to my enjoyment of the story. It's a whole series, you can take your time with the romance.
Timeline is one of my favorite movies and this definitely gave me the same vibe. I'm very excited this is the first in a series and not a stand alone. Very curious to see where Dan and Sam will go next!!
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. Well narrated throughout. 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.
Thank you for NetGalley, the publisher Imbrifex Audio and the author Andrew Varga for my advanced copy of the last saxon king audiobook.
The book starts in recent times with Dan our main character wandering the mall. Dan is 16 years old, home schooled and living with his dad. As the story continues, we are left with a cliffhanger for the entire book as to what happened to Dan's father before Dan time jumps to the past at 1066 AD to be specific.
The story is beautifully written and the world build was good. I would have loved to know more history wise but not complaining here. The book does keep you on your toes to what happens next so you're immersed in the story and cannot put this down.
I loved the relationship between Dan and Sam (whom we meet in 1066 AD).
This is a historical fiction with time jump. for all the time jump fantasy books out there, this is for you.
In general, I really liked the book and would definitely read the second one and cannot wait to find out what happens next.
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.
The narrator was pretty brilliant in potraying the conflicting feelings of a teenager thrust into an unknown world, set out to complete an impossible task.
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
deff not my favorite. I was hoping for a bit more suspense. I did finish it but I am not sure I would recommend it to anyone. it fell a little flat for me.
I LOVE time travel books, and this series will now be at the top of my "search for the next one" list. I cannot wait to see what is in store for Dan!
Dan, the main character, returns home to find his father is being attacked. Little does he know when he chants the words to the bedtime ritual verse he has been saying since he was a small child do when he grabs a mysterious object from the floor near his father's attacker.
The history followed in this novel is wonderful. There are so many events (which have been highly researched for accuracy based on the Historical Notes at the end of the book) of which I was unaware. The details of the interaction Dan has with the various individuals is not only interesting but exciting.
Varga has created the start of a wonderful series I look forward to reading.
I really enjoyed the book. Although a time travel novel, the authors main focus is on the two plots instead of going into all of the technical knowledge of time travel. We still learn a bit about it, but instead of in-your-face here’s everything about time travel, we learn the simple mechanics along with the main character.
Along with this, the author does a good job balancing the two plots, the glitch that Dan has to fix in 1066 and the rogue time jumpers. We move though the book without being over come by both plots but also, both plots are not lost to one another and work off of each other.
I am looking forward to the next book to see where and when the story takes us.
A great first book for a promising new series.
The Last Saxon King delivered all the time travel series bells and whistles for me. Even more exciting, it just may be a new YA that boys can get into. And with a strong set up for multiple layers of ongoing intrigue, it will keep YA readers coming back for more.
The set up is that Dan is a teen who’s been home schooled in old-school things, like history and sword wielding mastery. Then his Dad is attacked before his eyes, and with a few whispered words and a hot stick (my name for it), Dan finds himself whisked back to another time and place. And he finds, as he goes, that his Dad is a time-traveler who’s possibly involved int both setting time right and a time war. Regardless, Dan’s task, if he wants to go home, is to reset the Saxon disaster on 1066, and keep it coming.
Dan’s voice is pitch-perfect, and the world is easy to get involved in, as are the friends and enemies he makes along the way. A very promising Book 1, and definitely on my short 2023 highly anticipated list. Narration is quite good, too, if occasionally stilted.
Thank you for a copy of the audio in exchange for an honest review.
Following his father’s (probably) dying advice, Dan Renfrew finds himself transported to England in 1066. Dan is a time jumper, a lineage of people who jump back in time to correct glitches and breaks in the time stream to keep the present as it should be. To get home alive, he must restore history and stay one step ahead of another group of time jumpers intent on changing the future.
I absolutely devoured this book! I can’t wait to find out what happens next in the series. Mark Sanderlin did a great job narrating the audiobook. I really liked that they addressed that the language difference that would exist between the year 1066 and today; that is a detail that so many time-travel books overlook. If you like history and/or time travel novels, I highly recommend checking out this YA book!
Many thanks to NetGalley for providing me an audio ARC of this book.
During my early teens there were two TV shows that I remember our local English channel aired for adolescent/teenage viewers: Myth Quest and Spell Binder. These shows were basically about teenagers who somehow find they are able to transport themselves to different events in ancient/early history with the help of an object that assists them in time travelling. They weren't groundbreaking shows but were fun to watch while they lasted and it was the same case with listening to the audiobook version of this book. During their time travelling adventures, the teenagers on these shows show a gradual growth in their maturity levels and survival skills when they are faced with certain situations and hopefully we will get to see the same for Dan Renfrew as the series progresses.
My thanks to NetGalley, the audiobook publisher Imbifrex Audio and the author Andrew Varga for the audio Arc of the book. The book has been narrated by Mark Sanderlin.
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.
It’s so refreshing to read an exciting, age appropriate YA fiction. This book had me hooked from the start and was a quick and easy read. Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with an audio version of this book. I look forward to book number 2.
The audiobook of this one is super enticing!
The story is enjoyable and the journey unforgettable!
It was very intriguing to me as a time travel story lover, and it's really YA, so if that's not to your liking, you may not enjoy it as much.. The history in this one is as accurate as cam be to my knowledge, which is humble.
I loved the theme of this book, the unique concept and the pace of this story!
I’m intrigued to read the next book in the series, I found the writing moderate but the action of the two battles interesting!
I had the chance to listen to the audiobook, so I won't be typing any names because they're quite a mouthfull and I suspect I will butcher them completely, lol.
I recommend the audiobook for sure!
Thanks to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books, and Andrew Varga for an ARC-audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
This book gave me Outlander and Vikings vibes all the way through. The imagery was amazing, I could see every confrontation, every battlefield. The narration was great! I absolutely loved it. I can't wait for Book 2!
Thank you to NetGalley, Andrew Varga, and Imbrifex Audio for this advanced audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
Five stars all the way!!! I got an advanced reader copy from NetGalley and loved it. Dan is a typical 16 year old, and he acts like how a teenager would act, and that made him wonderful. So many books try to take a teenager and make them act like an adult, but Dan was a naive kid and had to figure out how to live in Saxon England. Cannot wait to read more books about Dan.
This is a great book. It pulls you in right away. I love time traveling books. I also love how the time traveling works. It's a different take on it and I really enjoyed it. I love the love interest and hope that in the next book, the relationship will be more developed. This honestly was an interesting book, and I like that this is based on real history. That is something I always enjoy. The ending was both really sad and very happy. I can't wait till the next book. I want to know what happens next. This book has history, war, murder, mystery, and time traveling.
Well, this was a fun novel! You've got a modern teen whose family has time traveling powers and he accidentally travels to Anglo-Saxon England. The novel is written for a YA (or even middle grade) audience but if you like a mix of fantasy and historical fiction (which has always been my jam) then I don't think you'll regret picking this up. I'd definitely recommend it to teens and younger who are looking for something similar in tone to Rick Riordan's novels.
I have no idea how historically accurate the book is, but I really liked Dan's adventure through Anglo-Saxon. The descriptions of village life vs. city life, Harold's large army with the different roles that people play (such as housecarls vs. mercenaries vs. servants, etc.), the types of weapons used by the Anglo-Saxons vs. Vikings, and the description of the Battle of Hastings was action-packed enough that I couldn't stop reading.
I liked Dan's relationships with the Anglo-Saxon warriors, especially the older warrior who takes him on as a servant boy. (I listened to the audiobook so I honestly have no idea how to spell his name.) It was the kind of tough love that Dan needed to help develop his character.
At times though, I wish it wasn't so YA. It would've been great for certain scenes and details to have been expanded on (like Sam's previous experiences with time traveling, actual interactions with Dan and his father so it'd make the relationship much more poignant, etc.)
But overall, this was a great and quick read/listen!
Thank you to Imbrifex Audio and NetGalley for this audio arc.
I very much enjoyed this book, I was instantly thrown into Dan's world and was rooting for him the whole time. I was pleasantly surprised by the detail and the adherence to 1066 England. A delightful read and a successful series to come I hope!
This audiobook was fun to listen to although I did get tired of the snarky comments and attitude of the main character. The books historical references were accurate and the story held my interest. I would recommend this book to boys more than girls.
I'll only review the narration here; I'll leave my comments about the actual story to my review of the ebook.
The narrator does a good job of accomplishing different voices/ tones, etc. for different characters; that made it easy to follow along with who was talking. The pronunciation of some names and cities could not have been easy, but he pulled it off brilliantly! He also performed with emotion and realism, helping immersion in the story.
The narrator sounded like a believable teenager, which may have been part of the reasoning behind choosing him. Something I didn't like was the overly-emotive reading of a lot of parts, like when they could have just been narrated flat but he brought urgency or emotion into it. I'm not sure if I"m describing it properly. It's something that irks me about some particular narrators, who do it in abundance and I can't stand to listen to their works. With this one, it was tolerable, especially listening at a faster pace. I wouldn't avoid listening to the audiobook because of it, but would have preferred the superfluously excited tones be calmed down a bit.
I read parts of the book, and listened to parts on audio, depending on whether I could hold my phone to stare at it or if listening was more practical at the time. Having both options available was fantastic, and I recommend it to all readers unless the narrator is awful (not the case here). I was able to get through the book faster, having the flexibility to either listen or read as it suited my day.
I really appreciated getting to listen to this and have the pronunciations that were not at all what I had in my mind from reading the words, and having the different character voices enhances the experience. I am grateful to the publisher for approving me for both the ebook and audiobook, and to the narrator for clearly defining each character's sound and bringing them to life.
This my second ever time jump book and I have to say I enjoyed it far more than i expected.
I do love history and this is one of the main reasons why I applied for this ARC and I wasn't disappointed by the amount of information and accuracy.
It was a very easy book to listen to with nothing confusing or feeling the need to go back and listen something again. Though that brings the issue that not that many exciting things happen.
The writing was good and consistent with no needless information BUT I would definitely enjoy some more information about the main character as well as how and why those time glitches happen and how they have come to know how to fix them.
A thing that I did love was how the MC doesn't instantly becomes a hero and is okay with everything. He acts appropriately. He is scared, confused and extremely cautious.
Those are the reasons why it isn't a 5 star for me but still a 4 one.
Do I recommend it? If you wish an easy read with lots of history yes. If you are a fan of a lot of action the no.
Thank you to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books and Andrew Varga for providing me the ebook for my honest review.
(My review is up on Goodreads, will be posting on Instagram soon. Amazon.de doesn't allow me to write a review for the book but I shall try again after the publication)
i really like time traveling books but this one is just different an open mind and a good imagination it has both love it!!
This was a fun ride. There was action, history, some romance. It kept me gripped all the way through. I can’t wait for the next book.
3.5, rounded down. This was a cool concept, but it felt very middle grade to me. It was simplistic and had very basic writing and characterization. I was entertained, but I was always aware of the deficits while I was reading. It got completely stuck in a loop of “I don’t want this responsibility, but I have no choice” and little to no action was happening during that part. Good for younger readers who need historical fiction, but like science fiction/suspense.
Interesting! Fun! Historical! Page tuner! Ready for the next book!
This book is a fun combination of fantasy and historical fiction.
The way the story and characters are developed in this book help you experience so many emotions - sadness, humor, suspense, regret, fear, celebration, hope. The main characters are young adults that are easy to relate to. I love the way the characters share what they are thinking and then say something totally different, because what they are feeling is an unacceptable response. You learn so much about them thru their thoughts. They think things that all of us have thought, whether young or old.
The action in the book has a nice pace and it seems like there is always something new going on. There is an epilogue that gently ends the book and sets you up for the next book. I listened to the audiobook and the first chapter of the next book was included. Just to make sure you got hooked. And I did. The narrator did a good job.
A fun story for younger readers/listeners. I did enjoy the fantasy elements despite feeling a little overplayed.
The best thing that came out of this read is I'm a bit educated regarding the last era of anglo saxon rulers given I had no knowledge about the particular history before this at all. I believe the history related to the story should be accurate with the research interest that the author had. (But I'm not the best person to confirm it)
- What did I like about the story?
The story was a fast phase and had an intriguing promise to it with a time travelling element. That alone peak my interest. And the historical aspect was well laid out. And the ending of the cute love interest was adorable.
- Not a fan of,
The main issue I saw here was the law stakes and I didn't see any interesting efforts through struggle from the main character who was well-versed with all required skills prior to the events that changed the course and was so naive and cowardly, yet tried to place as the hero of the story. He didn't stand out to me more than a village peasant and every time I thought this might be an exciting incident, he got a free pass even from the highest authorities which made them look like fools.
- Time Travelling element
I have read some fascinating time travel books and compared to them there was no clear explanation of the mechanism of time travelling element neither in scientifically nor from a fantasy aspect. In my opinion, it was too simple and had the potential to add some history to itself.
I am intrigued enough to continue the series at some point due to the cliffhanger at the end of the book. And I see some potential in the author that might improve the character development in the rest of the series. We saw history and the related event in the history enough in this first book. I am looking forward to diving into more character aspects and a thickening plot.
#TheLastSaxonKing #NetGalley #Audiobook
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to review this audiobook!
This book follows Dan Renfrew, a sixteen year old boy who gets thrown into the world of time traveling without any preparation due to his father getting attacked. Unbeknownst to him, he comes from a family of time travelers whose job it is to fix any circumstances that could mess with the future. Dan is transported to 1066 where he runs into a fellow time traveler, Sam, who was also thrown into this without much prior knowledge. Dan learns through Sam that there is a dispute for how time traveling should be used and together they have to fix the timeline problem, avoid the bad guys and make it back home safe.
The Last Saxon King is an easy, fast paced and fun read. My biggest issue was that this book read very YA and being in the mind of a 16 year old boy is not something that grabbed me. The rules of time travel were simple, the side characters were fun, but there was nothing overly special about this book for me.
I think if you are or know a young reader who has any interest in time travel, they would adore this book!
I love historical fiction and a good time travel just hits the spot! The Last Saxon King: A Jump in Time Novel, Book One by Andrew Varga is well written, with an engaging plot. A homeschooled protagonist, a family of historian time travelers, rogue time jumpers and a plot to change history! It may start out slow but the pace grows and you won't be able to put it down!
After coming home early from the mall Daniel finds his dad in a fight for his life when Daniel intervenes his dad throws him a metal rod and tells him to say the nighttime prayer and to fix what’s wrong. Daniel has no clue what his dad is talking about but that’s what he says and find himself in medieval England being held at the point of a Bow by someone Daniel thinks is a mad man, who says his name is Sam. He claims to be a time jumper as well and after a few tips in a quick change of clothes he says Daniel is free to go something he quickly takes advantage of and will soon learn to regret his hasty retreat. If he thought his encounter with Sam was life or death Daniel hasn’t seen anything yet he is in medieval England and is about to be in the Saxton army fighting against Vikings. If only he can figure out what he is supposed to fix and although when he reunites with Sam he finds out more about the Time jumpers he can’t help but to wonder why didn’t his dad tell him about this organization and even though he did teach him a lot about medieval England there’s still so much Daniel doesn’t know but medieval England isn’t the only thing Daniel will learn before he can make the jump back home. I love time travel stories and I think Daniel had the most authentic reaction to being put in a different time and place that I have never read in any time travel book. This is the first book in a Siri‘s and I will definitely be looking for the next book. I listen to the audio and thought the narrator did such a stellar job with the narration. He had great character distinction he did great speaking the Saxton language in the beginning I just think with the great narration in the awesome story it makes for a perfect audiobook listen.. I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher but I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.
The Last Saxon King is the first book in a historical fiction series following Dan, on his first jump through time. Dan slowly discovers that he is the descendent of a long line of 'Time Jumpers', who travel back in time to fix glitches in the time stream.
Honestly, absolutely loved this book it had a great mix of history, mystery, and fantasy. It also gave me a wonderful wife of nostalgia, reading the Magic Tree House books as a kid.
Loved the characters, the plot, and the greater storyline. I'm really excited to read the next installment of this series.
Thank you to NetGalley, Imbrifex Books, and to Andrew Varga for letting me read this ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Published by Imbrifex Books in March of 2023.
Read by Mark Sanderlin.
Duration: 8 hours, 49 minutes.
Dan Renfrew is a self-described homeschooled nerd and his life has been turned upside down. He watched his father get stabbed by a stranger who invaded their house and he has no idea if he is even alive.
Now, thanks to a magical device, Dan is in Medieval England and caught up in an army on the move. He learns that his father is a "time jumper" - men tasked to fix glitches in time and make sure the timeline plays out the way it is supposed to.
The year is 1066 - just a few days before King Harold Godwinson meets and defeats one of the last Viking invasions of England at the Battle of Stamford Bridge. Even more importantly, King Harold will be forced to meet the forces of William, the Duke of Normandy in just a few days and will be defeated at the Battle of Hastings.
But, something is wrong and even though Dan has almost no idea what to do, he has to make sure that history isn't manipulated by sinister forces that can also travel in time...
I liked this book quite a bit. The history is gritty and full of gore thanks to Dan being plunked in the middle of (arguably) the two most important battles of the English medieval era. Limbs get hacked off, blood sprays in people's faces and intestines spill out onto the ground. None of this glorified in the book - in fact, Dan is horrified over and over again at the brutality of it all.
The addition of the evil "time jumpers" adds a level of danger and intensity to the experience, especially when the reader finds out more about them in the last part of the book. And, it turns out that Dan is not the only good "time jumper" back in 1066, which lets the reader learn more about what is going on bit by bit as Dan learns.
The epilogue at the end of the story fleshes out the history that Dan just went through a bit more to give the reader some additional context.
Since this book is the start of a series, the most important questions is "Would you read book 2 in the series?"
The answer is yes, I think this series looks like it could be quite strong.
I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.
An interesting time traveling medieval times tale. I really wanted to like this more than I did... the narrator didn't fit the tone of the character he was reading for and it threw things off for me. A good book overall.
I liked the history and mostly enjoyed this story (although there are young teen "flaws" IMHO).
Sixteen-year-old Dan is home schooled by his professor father who has him studying all sorts of history. Dan has been sent out of the house so his father could have a private meeting at home. When Dan returns home a little earlier than expected, he finds his father in a physical sword fight. Dan stands in shock as his father tosses him a strange metal baton and tells him to “Run!” And then tells him to “say the rhyme” he has been taught since childhood. Dan doesn’t understand but will obey his father rather than give the device to this threatening man.
Dan is whisked off and finds himself in a strange land where his phone has no service. He is shouting for help when a young ‘Robin Hood’ steps out of the woods and tells him to be quiet. Sam tells Dan that he is in England in the year 1066. Sam explains that they are rare descendants of time jumpers. Sam had a brother trained for the task but Dan’s father didn’t tell him anything about the process and duties. Apparently, the time jumpers have to fix the time glitch and then can return home.
Dan isn’t physically trained but he has the historical knowledge to know the glitch when he realizes the situation. Now he has to step out and find a way to reach an Anglo Saxon king to give him battle advise. He doesn’t even have Sam to help although Sam will be hiding in the woods nearby.
I enjoyed the detailed setting and battle history and the adventures that Dan muddles through. I wasn’t crazy about the teen hormones acting up but I suppose that is realistic, especially for a boy who is probably considered a brainiac and has little social interaction at home. This also fits for the young teen target audience. On the other hand, I loved how Dan made friends along his journey and was loyal to fight for and with them. This is a fun listen and I recommend it to young teens and fans of history.
Audio Notes: Mark Sanderlin does a wonderful job with the narration. He is able to provide clear voices with distinct accents. I was glad to have the opportunity to listen to this in audio.
Source: 2022 NetGalley choice.
Thank you NetGalley for this copy.
I"m a high school librarian, so I read a lot. I loved this book, it was like the YA version of Timeline.
Dan is a homeschooled kid, whose dad has taught him so very odd things for a 16 year old. How to fight with swords and hammers and tons of British history. Dan has always wondered when he will ever need these tools, but soon he finds out when he is transported back to 1066 England. How will he get back. He meets Sam, who is also a time traveler and together they work to get back home. Will it be in time to save his dad?
This is the first book in this series and I"m seriously down for the second one. I loved this book.
Dan is a sixteen-year-old who witnesses a brutal attack on his father by an unknown man. At the same time he is transported back in time to England in the year 1066. As he figures out how to survive in this brutal time he learns why his father forced learning history and combat on him growing up. Dan befriends another time jumper and eventually learns that it his duty to fix time glitches, a task typically passed down between father and son. Dan needs to learn how to fix the time glitch in order to make it back to his own time.
Overall, I absolutely loved the concept of this story and was looking forward to historical themes shining through in this fantasy. I will say that the execution was too simple. I had high expectations for a historically accurate packed plot that was not there. The story had two major action scenes that were well written, but the rest of the story seemed sluggish. Also, the writing was quite bland and simple. I also think there could have been a much better maturity arc for the main character, but perhaps that is in the next book? I am interested enough in seeing where this tale goes and will be reading the sequel.
Thanks to Netgalley for providing the audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
3.25/5 rounded down.
As an educator of middle school students, I really enjoyed this book. The author did a great job of presenting how teenagers act and respond in various situations. I also enjoyed the fantasy element of time travel that was used in the story and the fact that youth were being used to repair glitches in history. Finally, I enjoyed all of the historical elements of history presented as well as the notes at the end of the book explaining the factual information. I think to receive 5 stars for a youth perspective, the author needs to try presenting the facts in a more engaging way. A solid 4.5 stars from me!
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
I thought this was a fun and exciting time travel novel. I enjoyed how it jumped right into the action and the reader learned about time travel along side Dan. The use of history in the creation of the book was fascinating and I cannot wait for the next novel.
This is a really fun YA time travel story. I would have probably been really obsessed with these books in high school!
Dan is homeschooled and dealing with a very particular curriculum set by his father. When he returns home one day to his father being attacked, he finds himself suddenly in 1066 AD England. Dan and his father are part of an ancient society of time travellers that protect humanity’s timeline. Something has been changed in history and now it’s up to Dan and his new friend Sam to fix what has been broken.
There were definitely some YA tropes in here, but it was done without being forced. There were some really interesting characters and the setting of medieval England was a lot of fun. You could tell Andrew Varga did his research. I really loved Sam as a character and would love to see more of them.
Read this if you like:
- A reluctant hero
- Knights! Kings! Squires!
- Glitches in time
I will post a review on goodreads as well.
In general the book was ok. Definitely not my favorite. But I do think it’s more in down because I’m not a young adult. I found parts of the book interesting, and there was always something going on which I appreciate in a story.
The first in a planned series, Andrew Varga’s ‘The Last Saxon King’ is a wild middle grade ride I would have absolutely eaten up at about twelve or thirteen. Historically accurate, a young narrative voice, authentic-feeling characters, fast paced action sequences, and an overall fun vibe without sugar coating the violence of the time. This feels like the kind of series that could launch thousands of pre-teen history obsessions.
The targeted age range means it wasn’t really my bag, but I can see the appeal for a more age appropriate audience.
Thanks much to Netgalley, Andrew Varga, and Imbrifex Audio for the opportunity to listen to an advanced audio copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you Net Galley for an audio ARC of The Last Saxon King by Andrew Varga. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was short and to the point. The plot was good and not a complex YA read. I did find Dan and his male gaze to be relatively "cringy". The characters are somewhat lacking but it does not hinder the overall story.
I’m enjoying this book. I especially liked how it began. It was a short exposition with good details. The storyline is good. There are unique aspects and a seems like there’s a decent amount of research done and embedded into the piece. The characters are well developed. I can see how the series is set up and it definitely workable.
I am disappointed it does appear they’ve inserted a love interest. I get why but I feel like it would’ve been better if the two characters were just friends. It just feels way too cliche.
That being said I’m still planning to read book two.
*Here's your warning: This review contains spoilers!*
'm not sure what to think about this book OR how to describe it. It was... interesting. Ha. Let me start by saying it was enjoyable. That much is certainly true, but beyond that, it was --- hard to describe.
At first, everything about it made me think it was mid-grade fiction. Not young adult - but geared towards an even younger audience. The somewhat cheesiness of the story, the jumping immediately into the action from like PAGE ONE, the narrator's voice - EVERYTHING.
I thought it was going to be a slightly predictable but fun kid's book take on history. (a la Percy Jackson, albeit that was mythology, not history.)
And after finishing it, 95% of me STILL thinks that. As I said, the heavily action-driven plot, the dialogue, and the narrator (both the audio book narrator and the story's voice narrator) make the book seem entirely middle-grade. However, there are other things about it that don't fit with that assessment.
For one, there are several deaths. I mean, don't get me wrong. People aren't dying left and right in horribly gruesome ways, but there are definitely deaths. There are also a few more complex themes and plot points that I wouldn't expect to find in a middle-grade fantasy novel. These include:
- allusions to sex
- a scene in which a 16=year-old girl strips completely nude and another character is clearly excited by this fact
- discussions of abuse and sexual assault (though not in-depth or graphic ones)
- inner conflict over saving history or sacrificing one's friends
There were also a few cuss words, which - while not any of the bad ones - are not things I expect to find in a mid-grade book.
So yeah, I'm honestly not sure if this was supposed to be middle-grade fiction or not.
If so, it was obviously written by an adult who may not have a firm grasp on the kinds of things one can include in fiction for that age level and still expect it to sell. And if not, then it was written by an author who obviously isn't super experienced yet and still writes somewhat immaturely. (Or, I suppose, it could have been written by an actual child, in which case the author's voice is spot-on for their age level. But if that's the case, then kudos to you, kid, because despite the childish voice and immature writing, that's one hell of an impressive book to write before adulthood.)
Still, I liked the book. And though my review may seem a bit critical, I want to reiterate that point. I actually did enjoy it. It had a good story, and it was action-packed. True, it was a little cheesy in places but not so cheesy that it was unpleasant to read. I liked the characters, and I liked that the events stuck pretty close to the real events that happened in history. It took a good storyteller to make that happen in a believable way.
It was a solid 3- to 3.5-star book. I'm not sure I loved it enough to want to follow up with the next installment to see what happens next, but I'm definitely not angry or disappointed about having read it. It was time well spent.
I have to admit I was not sure if I would like The Last Saxon King or not. I was quickly assured within the first couple of chapters. I thought it was a great book to read. I loved it and hope to continue the story in the next installment from the series. Five stars.