Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Pub date: 7 July 2022
Styrkar the warrior sails to dangerous lands in this thrilling new historical adventure from Richard Cullen. The sequel to Oath Bound, longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2022.
England, 1068: a land gripped in the iron fist of Frankish invaders. But the Conqueror does not sit easily on his fledgling throne. Rebellion is rife, and the flames of uprising have been ignited in every corner of the kingdom.
Thrown back into this crucible is Styrkar the Dane, former housecarl of the slain King Harold. Forced to travel to Ireland by his deadliest enemy, he must risk the fates of his brothers-in-arms in order to protect the one thing he loves.
So begins a journey that will take Styrkar to the royal court of Dublin, and the frigid climes of the north of England, for loyalty, love and vengeance. He will be tested, beaten and broken, but can any man keep the Red Wolf chained for long?
Shield Breaker is the sequel to Oath Bound, I was a little worried I may miss out by not reading the first one prior to this but I can honestly say this is brilliant on its own although after reading this I’ll certainly be going back to the first one.
Shield Breaker starts in Ireland with Styrkar feeling mixed emotions about betraying the boys he has come to think of as his brothers but has no alternative, the love of his life, Gisela, is being held captive.
Over in England, William the Conqueror and his men are busy putting down rebellions. This includes Ronan, the man who holds Gisela hostage. Gisela is a determined woman who through her will and actions improves her own conditions but is it enough to keep her and her secret safe, at least until Styrkar can return to her.
Styrkar is a brilliant character and the book is full of battles, betrayal and loyalty.
The battle scenes are fantastic, you can almost hear the clash of Styrkar’s axe as the he let’s the Red Wolf out to fight. It really makes you think how people must have felt at that time and how they adapted to a whole new regime and monarch.
I also really liked the development in the relationship between Ronan and Gisela, I wasn’t expecting it to develop in the way it did.
Edgar was a favourite of mine too, particularly in his actions towards Styrkar and how he matured through the book.
If you are looking for something that keeps you turning the pages, has incredible battle scenes and descriptives and will leave you waiting for more when you finish then this is for you. I’m certainly looking forward to the next instalment.
Richard Cullen originally hails from Leeds in the heartland of Yorkshire. Oath Bound, his debut historical adventure novel, was longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize 2022. As well as being a writer of historical adventure, he has also written a number of epic fantasy series as R.S. Ford. If you’d like to learn more about Richard’s books, and read free exclusive content, you can visit his website at follow him on Twitter at, or join him on Instagram.
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Thank you to Richard and Aries Fiction for the opportunity of being part of the blog tour.