Book Review: Coelwulf’s Company by MJ Porter

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: MJ Publishing
Pub date: 20 December 2021

Coelwulf’s Company, Tales From Before The Last King is a collection of five short stories featuring characters from The Ninth Century series.

Come and meet Icel, Edmund, Coelwulf, Pybba and Rudolf in the years before the events of The Last King.

Also including, A Meeting of Equals, the short story that laid the foundation for The Ninth Century series of books.

MJ’s First Viking Age Series has become one of my favourite historical fiction series of all time. The characters are brilliant and I’m a huge fan of MJ’s writing style.

I have recently read Son of Mercia which is the first in the series of Icel, one of Coelwulf’s most trusted warriors and found myself wanting to stick in 9th century Mercia for a bit longer. On learning this book is a short story collection from the view points of some of my favourite members of Coelwulf’s warband I was pretty excited!

Each story is around 3000 words but they all still manage to grab your attention. The stories are based prior to the first book in the First Viking Age Series, The Last King and give insight into some of Coelwulf’s closest companions. Rudolf, Pybba, Icel and Edmund all have their own story and I really enjoyed their side of the story, especially Rudolf, he can’t help but make me smile, his interactions with Haden (Coelwulf’s horse) being highly amusing!

This was a delightful read, I’ve come to like short story collections over the last year as I find them very easy to pick up when time is limited and this is perfect for that.

I am now waiting patiently for the next in the First Viking Age Series and also the second instalment of The Eagle of Mercia series.

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