The Sea's Edge: The Atheling Chronicles: #4


1030 C.E. The king of Engla-lond, Cnute, has ordered his son, Harald Harefoot, to travel to Erui-lond to unseat the current king, as he is too strong. King Cnute wishes to replace Rhydderch ap Iestyn with a weak, malleable king, Iago. Harald would prefer to stay with his wife, Selia, who has recently had a miscarriage. They have their own property they work and tenants who depend upon them. Reluctantly, Harald takes his best friend, Gwyn, and a contingent of soldiers along with him to visit King Iago. There he finds Iago’s wife, Madwen, is the true ruler. She directs Iago in what he should do, and he appears to be even weaker than described. Iago agrees to form an alliance with King Cnute to overthrow Rhydderch.  From here, the seductive Madwen insists on traveling with Harald. Madwen is a master seducer of men. Will Harald be able to resist her and be successful in his quest?

“The Sea’s Edge” is a brilliantly crafted epic immediately immersing the reader in the medieval world of Harald Harefoot. Authenticity is lent to the story by using Old English, Welsh, and Latin.  This novel is mostly based on true stories of the time, and it is obvious Mr. Pettersen has done his research. Several stories merge in this ambitious account: Selia’s story, Harold’s quest, and Rhydderch’s fall. The main characters in each story have a depth of character and emotion seldom seen. This fourth novel in a series is an excellent stand-alone story, but to get the full experience, one should read the previous three books first. Truly, Garth Pettersen at his best!

Belinda Wilson