Book Review: Wolf of Mercia, The Eagle of Mercia Chronicles, Book 2, by MJ Porter

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Boldwood Books
Pub date: 7 June 2022

As a lone wolf inside a Wessex stronghold, Icel must ensure his own and Mercia’s triumph.

Icel is becoming a warrior of Mercia, but King Ecgberht of Wessex still holds the Mercian settlement of Londonia and its valuable mint.

King Wiglaf of Mercia is determined that the last bulwark be reclaimed from his sworn enemy to complete his rehabilitation as Mercia’s rightful ruler.

In the heart of the shield wall, Icel suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the battle and thrust into the retreating enemy stronghold where he must take on the pretence of a Wessex warrior to survive and exact a cunning plan to bring down the Wessex force cowering behind the ancient walls.

His allegiances are tested and the temptation to make new allies is overwhelming but Icel must succeed if he’s ever to see Tamworth again and bring about King Wiglaf’s victory, or will he be forced to join the enemy?

The second book of the series sees Icel continue his reluctant journey as a warrior of Mercia. Icel is one of many ready to face off against the Wessex King and his men in an attempt to reclaim London back into Mercia hands.

Icel is still finding his feet as a warrior but has been taken under the wing of Wulfheard, a warrior of reputation and experience, and one of the only men who appear friendly to Icel.
Events don’t go as planned as Icel finds himself alone, behind the walls of London. Surrounded by the enemy with no way out Icel must take his chances to survive until he can be reunited with his comrades.

The suspense in this book is immense, I lost count of the amount of times I held my breath wondering if Icel was about to find himself in a very difficult situation. This is definitely a dramatic sequel that had me absorbed from page one.

Icel begins to understand his uncle’s loyalty to Mercia but also finds himself unable to hate all Wessex men, especially where some offer him help and protection.

This book kept me up into the early hours as I was so eager to find out what happens. MJ has continued Icel’s story in a dramatic, bloody and action packed story where we see the return of an old friend as well as the introduction of some new brilliant characters. It’s not all serious though as MJ manages to weave in some humour along the way through the banter of the characters and of course it wouldn’t be an MJ Porter book about Mercia without some bad behaviour from horses along the way.

For those who enjoy the Coelwulf series it is brilliant to see Icel begin to grow into the warrior we know he becomes but also the events that influenced his life and made him the man he later became as one of Coelwulf’s closest companions.

For those who would like to read about the first instalment, you can find my review here

Wolf of Mercia publishes today and is available in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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