Today is my stop on the blog tour for Eagle of Mercia the fourth book in the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, an early historical series I have loved reading so far.  You can read my review for this fourth installment of the series below, as well as see more about the author and some buy links below, but first I’d just like to say a thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources and the publisher for a chance to be a part of this tour and for a copy of the book. 🙂  Now, let’s see what I thought of this…

Title: Eagle of Mercia (Eagle of Mercia #4)
Author: M J Porter
Map illustration: Flintlock Covers
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Genre: Historical fiction
Book format: Pre-publication digital copy
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Description:  A mercy mission in the heart of Wessex is beset with deadly, bloody dangers.
Tamworth AD831
Icel’s profile continues to rise. Lord of Budworth and warrior of Mercia, he’s acknowledged by King Wiglaf and his comrades to keep Mercia safe from the ravages of Wessex, the king-slayer of the East Angles, and the Viking raiders.
But, danger looms. Alongside Spring’s arrival comes the almost certain threat of the Viking raiders return.
When Lord Coenwulf of Kingsholm is apprehended by a Viking and held captive on the Isle of Sheppey in Wessex held Kent, Icel is implored by Lady Cynehild to rescue her husband.
To rescue Lord Coenwulf, Icel and his fellow warriors must risk themselves twice over, for not only must they overpower the Viking raiders, they must also counter the threat of Mercia’s ancient enemy, the kingdom of Wessex as they travel through their lands.
Far from home and threatened on all sides, have Icel and his fellow warriors sworn to carry out an impossible duty?

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  Wow, what a brilliant book and continuation of the adventures of Icel! After the events in the Kingdom of the East Angles Icel isn’t ready to hear what Godwulf the former Mercian warrior has to say to him about his birthright. After an altercation occurs at his estate of Budworth, Icel returns to Tammworth but not without problems as Godwulf just won’t leave Icel alone and is determined to stir up trouble.

Eagle of Mercia map image

This is the fourth book in the Eagle of Mercia Chronicles and picks up literally after the last book finished with Icel standing at the gravesite of his uncle while the warrior Godwulf tries to get him to accept his birthright. What Godwulf tells Icel isn’t what we expect and is something Icel doesn’t want to hear and he tries to ignore what he’s been told. Returning to Tammworth, Icel and the rest of the town face one of the harshest winters for a long time, made worse by the looming threats of a Viking invasion on Mercian land. I have so far enjoyed every single book in this series and this one is no different with Icel learning more about his uncle and past. The harsh winter affects everyone in Tammworth and this book moves the story along eventually through to the further year of 833, when Vikings are rumoured to be looking to possibly attack Mercian shores.

I like what happens in this story which feels as though it’s almost in two parts, first with the news that Icel hears from Godwulf and the harsh winter affecting him and later what happens when he and the other warriors are stationed to look out for Viking raiders. The story is interesting throughout, as usual and I like the fact there’s the odd moment that made me laugh, especially some of the banter of Icel’s warband or his ignorance to some of the young women at Tammworth. Although a lot happens at Tammworth during the winter and beyond, the story soon moves on as Icel is asked to help rescue Lord Coenwulf who has been captured by the Vikings and taken to the Isle of Sheppy which is in enemy territory. I love how exciting this story became and what happesn to Icel and the others as they find a way of making it into Wessex to try and rescue Coenwulf.

The book has a section explaining the story so far which doesn’t give away too much detail from the past books but enough to help jog the memory for some who can’t remember the story or who haven’t read the series before. There is also more about the Mercian register, a list of characters as well as some author’s notes at the end. My digital arc (advanced reading copy) oddly has no map which was a shame but the finished copy does have a map which I’ve shown in this review which does help you to place in your mind where the action is happening. The book does have a few uses of the s swear words and some milder curses and does have some violence too including some deaths and mentions of injuries, blood and other bodily fluids.

The build up towards the ending is good with more battles in this story than I was expecting. The story is not only interesting but very exciting throughout and I found myself unable to stop reading this book, almost reading the whole book in one day – I was that engrossed! The ending is a good and satisfying one and I like what Icel discovers at the end which now makes me me eager to find out what will happen in the next book which there will be.

I really recommend this book and the whole Eagle of Mercia Chronicles series to anyone who loves a good historical ficiton set in the early medieval period and with a main character who is so interesting and a little different being a healer with a mysterious past. Although this has been listed as a standalone novel, and it can work as that, I would definitely recommend everyone to begin reading from the first book though if you can as some of the revelations about Icel are much more interesting to find out if you read from the start and you learn more about how Icel came to be the way he is. A brilliant fourth book in this series which I thoroughly recommend! 🙂

-Read review of book 1 – Son of Mercia by M J Porter
-Read review of book 2 – Wolf of Mercia by M J Porter
-Read review of book 3 – Warrior of Mercia by M J Porter

Buy the Book

Eagle of Mercia book cover

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About the Author

M J Porter updated author pic

MJ Porter is the author of many historical novels set predominantly in Seventh to Eleventh-Century England, and in Viking Age Denmark. They were raised in the shadow of a building that they believed housed the bones of long-dead Kings of Mercia –so their writing destiny was set. The first novel in their new Anglo-Saxon series for Boldwood Son of Mercia was published in February 2022.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my stop on the blog tour for this brilliant book. 🙂  Please do check out the other stops on the tour by seeing them in the banner below, or search for #EagleOfMercia on social media. 🙂

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What do you think of this book?  Do you like historical fiction?  Have you read any books by M J Porter?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂