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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
The Wolf and the Lion: A Medieval Novel is the first entry in The Chronicles of the Coin by Alaric Longward. It is a powerful tale with characters of substance, set against the backdrop of feudal Germany in the medieval era, a society characterized by civil strife. It is 1283 and war is brewing over who should take over the Duchy of Limburg, and it’s a time when scores are settled not by force of argument, but strength of arms — in battle. Konrad is an affable man, a simple knight who cares about his duties, but then a mysterious killer murders his wife, and everything changes. He commits himself to the sword, locked in a war against the killer. He is bent on hurting Adolf of Berg and his servants mortally. But can he succeed while facing the distractions of a lovely woman?
The writing is gorgeous with a sophistication that adds an air of elegance to the story. The turn of phrase is unique and it allows the humor to come out clearly, equally capturing vivid images of the setting, the intensity of the actions, and the depths of the characters. From the very opening pages of the narrative, the reader is greeted with the author's unique style. The confidence in the writing is remarkable, but it’s the author’s gift for storytelling that will surprise readers. Alaric Longward weaves elements of medieval Germany seamlessly into the narrative, exploring conflicts at different levels and exposing the intersection between religious hypocrisy and entrenched pagan beliefs. There is gore and bloodshed, the ire of clashing men, the stabbings-in-the-back, intrigue, and romance. These powerful themes, including family, are woven into the fabric of an age that fans of historical novels will want to revisit. The Wolf and the Lion: A Medieval Novel is deftly plotted and great entertainment for readers. I couldn’t stop following the compelling characters and waiting for the next twist in the story.