Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
Swords of Ansgar is a novella in the Windflower Saga series of novels by Aleksandra Layland. It is short and to the point, only 86 pages, but fans of this series will love it because you get to see major and minor characters from different times in the saga. I like stories set in a medieval type setting. I like the focus on family and duty. I also am a fan of warfare in these time periods. Life seems more intense and to acquire a skill takes more time and dedication. In other words, a book like Swords of Ansgar is made for a guy like me.
I liked Swords of Ansgar for a lot of reasons, but two things especially stand out. The first is the focus on family. So many stories about feudal families end up pitting father against son, brother against brother, brother against sister, etc. This is kind of sad to me, but I get that it is totally realistic and that is how it is sometimes. It was pleasant to read the opposite side of the story. A tale where the entire family pulls together. A tale where people end up accepting and being happy doing the job that fits their personality, regardless of whether or not they might lose rank. This can make a big difference in whether a family is happy or not and Aleksandra Layland makes it seem like a natural thing. A good plot, great characters, and a rich background to draw from make this a good novella.