Cover Image: Son of Mercia

Son of Mercia

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this book! It was different for me. I have been on a historical fiction kick lately and this was the first time I've read a book from this time period with a younger main character. It's well written and entertaining! The action scenes are descriptive. It was a nice change seeing wessex through the eyes of someone other than its royalty!

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While I saw much promise and well written I just couldn’t get into the story. That has most likely more to do with where I am at but wasn’t able to finish. That being said I will keep an eye out for more by porter in the future

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From the start of this well written and extremely (IMO) researched story I found what I was looking for . The times of Saxon England are often discussed and their are other books that describe them. This stry takes the reader through an adventure that explores cultures and the melding of the characters that did exist and may have existed. Extremely interesting in details about the characters and settings made so real I felt I was there! This book by MJ Porter eas a page turner for me.

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“I could drip my last into this ground, and still, I would stand. For Mercia.”

This heart felt Anglo-Saxon coming of age story, of young Icel’s unique upbringing was very well written. Icel is raised as an orphan by the village healer (one of my favorite characters) and his honorable uncle Cenfrith. Instead of wanting to become a legendary warrior like most young boys, Icel would rather heal people. While learning the healing arts, he witnesses the rise and fall of Mercia’s many kings in a short period of time. It’s so intriguing to capture this time period through this young perspective! I really enjoyed the authors writing style, the amount of emotion he evoked through these characters and the frustration with the monarchs was excellent! Although a little slow paced at times, this read like a great historical epic and I couldn’t help but root for our main characters the entire time. If you love the Anglo-Saxon time period, I HIGHLY recommend reading this book.

Thank you to MJ Porter and Boldwood Books for the opportunity to read this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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Son of Mercia by MJ Porter is the first book of a new series, set in the first half of the ninth century. It centres on the kingdom of Mercia which – just a generation after the halcyon days of King Offa – finds itself beset by enemies on all sides. From the west, there are the Welsh kingdoms, to the east there is East Anglia (not long since itself subject to Mercian rule) and – most alarmingly of all – to the south by the resurgent kingdom of Wessex under King Ecgbert.
Against this background, the novel follows the Icel, a young man growing up in the Mercian royal court in Tamworth. At a time when Mercia has dire need of warriors to hold its borders, Icel prefers the company of Wynflaed from whom he yearns to learn the ways of the healer. His great desire is to preserve life rather than take it.
But when Mercia is invaded by the West Saxons, Icel must flee in the company of his only living relative, Cenfrith a doughty warrior in the service of the king, and his foster brother, Edwin, who longs to join the ranks of the shieldwall.
Recounting the events in ninth century Mercia is a less well-travelled route than most, but I was engaged from the first chapter. Not only was it interesting for me to learn more about this turbulent period in that kingdom’s history (especially when considering they were the dominant power in the land only thirty to forty years before), the characters are well developed and sympathetically drawn. I had no difficulty empathising with their plight.
This was a new author to me, but Porter’s style is easy to read, so much so that I found the pages flying by (always the sign of a good book for me). I particularly liked the battle scenes; it was not hard to imagine yourself in the midst of that horrific maelstrom.
A great book. I look forward to the next in the series.

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First in a new series from MJ Porter though the main character, Icel, is not new. This is the story of his early years, and as such the build up is slow and steady, Any action taking place in the last quarter of the narrative. There story itself was far from what I was expecting and wondered at times, if it would eventually get there.

Will be interested in seeing how the second in the series progresses - have not read the existing tome where a much older Icel appears.

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Having read MJ Porter series The Last King,I was aware of the character Icel.

I enjoyed the book looking at the early life of a youth apprenticed to an old woman to learn medicine.

Great title 👏
Great characters
Great history of the turbulent years of the kings of Mercia.
Wonderful idea to focus on the early life of Icel
His Uncle a true warrior who would inspire you.
Torn between his loyalty to the weak kings and that of his sole relative Icel.
Wonderful to read of the struggles the fights for land between the kings.
The story flows well, the characters have depth which makes you feel for them.
Of course I knew, Icel would make some great gesture to highlight his hidden talent of fighting.
I found the historic side really interesting as I’ve not read anything around era.
I enjoyed the read as generally most authors write about Wessex & her kingships this was a great refreshing change to the norm.
Wonderfully Written live-action scene you feel you could be stood in the shieldwall., Sweating heart pounding & short of breath.
Icel & his uncle Cenrith true noble warriors putting all to protect Mercia .

For me yet another great book from you. Wonderful to read and hard to put down , I can’t wait for more of Icel.

Kind regards

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