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The Atheling Chronicles

Garth Pettersen

Category: Action/adventure
Three book series

Harald, the middle son of King Cnute, attempts to carve a life for himself and his wife Selia in the English Midlands, but faces threats from his brothers and other claimants to the English throne. Harald lacks a lust for power but fears for his family’s safety if his half-brother inherits the throne. And Cnute is getting of an age…

The Atheling Chronicles

Book 1 – The Swan’s Road
In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of Engla-lond and Scandinavia, sails with his son, Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine. When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. New found enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute, and are forced to travel cross-country on horseback. If Duke Robert’s plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of Engla-lond will follow. Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the King?

Book 2 – The Dane Law
After a peaceful year running their Frisian estate, Harald and Selia are called to Engla-lond. Their return is marked by violence and intrigue. The king has vowed to Queen Emma that their son Harthacnute will inherit the throne, but the atheling is cruel and reckless. Many view Harald as the better choice, which makes him a target for the ruthless supporters of his half-brother. King Cnute urges Harald to be prepared to assume the throne should Harthacnute prove unfit. Harald resists being swept up by forces beyond his control, but doubts he and Selia will survive the reign of King Hartha. And what of his older brother, Sweyn?

Book 3 – The Cold Hearth
“The sons of Cnute are dead men.” The dying words of his brother’s assailant travel across the North Sea to the English Midlands. Harald, the king’s second son, receives the warning while rebuilding a hall where he hopes to farm and lead a peaceful life with Selia, his Frisian wife. But as the hall nears completion, they learn the family who lived there before them all perished in a single night of bloodshed. Could the grounds be cursed? Now the threat of unknown enemies casts a long shadow. Should they distrust the brooding Saxon neighbor or the two weapon-bearers they hired for protection? Should they suspect either of the two women they have taken on with the other hirelings? Only their Jewish warrior friend, Ravya ben Naaman, seems above suspicion.

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“Pettersen writes about this period of history with not only an elegant turn of phrase but also with authority. As I had come to expect from this series, the historical setting has been thoroughly researched. Pettersen is one of those talented authors that can make history come alive, and he has also successfully breathed new life into historical characters that have been dead for centuries. Such an achievement is no easy feat, and I commend Pettersen not only for his exceptional skills as a historian but also as an author.” (Mary Anne Yarde, Editorial Review)

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