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Reviewed by Trevor Otieno for Readers' Favorite
We read about Hastings’ pursuit of retaliation and reputation-building in The Kings of the Sea: The Saga of Hasting the Avenger by C.J. Adrien. Hastings learns the hard way that reputation, at whatever price, is everything. Because of his cunning and luck, Hastings gains a place in the skalds’ songs for successfully sacking Nantes. His actions have been reported to his relatives in the North. Later, Hastings’ opponent, Thor of Dublin, seeks him out and implores him to sign up for his recently established league of maritime lords. They launch together the most daring raids their tribe has ever attempted. Then, in an effort to gauge the strength of their union, they sail for the southern Moorish territory before focusing on the far riskier nation of France.
C.J. Adrien writes incredibly well about Hastings’ drive to excel in whatever way possible. Hastings’ abilities and capacity for overcoming the numerous obstacles that stood in his way of achievement are admirably illustrated in Kings of the Sea. I could picture every single one of the descriptions because they are so well written. I liked how Hastings’ stories, which occasionally relied on historical personalities, quickly introduced me to his universe. It’s easy to root for the lead character. I am in awe of Adrien’s skill in incorporating additional historical individuals from the time period into the plot to create a compelling narrative. Everyone should read this book, in my opinion, because it’s so fascinating. I bet nobody would want to miss the knowledge it provides. I will be anxiously waiting for the next release from C.J. Adrien.