Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Rob Reviews: Varangian - King of the Norse: Volume 2 by Stuart G. Yates



The author of this book has kindly offered a copy of the book to one lucky reader. To be in with a chance to win, just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page






"Hardrada aided me in Scicily, don't forget that."
"And still you put him behind bars. There is no love lost between you, that is certain."
"The man has ambitions. he has grown tired of Byzantium and needs to find his own way, have songs sung about him, not us. He cannot be trusted."
"Yet he did vanquish the Scythians. Without his influence, the Varangians would never have come and crushed those heathen dogs, and Michael would still rule."
Mankiakes studied the dregs of his wine, declining to answer or lend support to the holy man's words.



Stuart Yates’ brilliant Varangian left us at a crossroads regarding the Byzantine throne; the perverse and tyrannical Michael V had been deposed and Harald Sigurdsson and his Varangians had proved their usefulness in helping oust the incumbent and defeat his Scythian Bodyguards. If Harald thought for a moment that this has improved his position at court he was sadly mistaken.

Nature abhors a vacuum and with Michael blinded and exiled and his backers removed, those with the mutual cause of plotting his downfall begin to pick at the bonds that tied each to the other. This is Byzantium – New Rome - a city of political intrigue and deceit. Those who once were useful tools now become threats to be disposed of, while those once ignored become pawns to be moved on the shadowed chess board.

Layer upon layer of plots, deceit and double dealings abound, as different factions scheme; allowing us (the readers) to reacquaint ourselves with characters met in Varangian including the Patriarch Alexius, General Maniakes and his ex-lover and hand maiden to Zoe – Leoni.  Those who deposed Emperor Michael now are the subject of plots against themselves, as others attempt to pull the strings of the would be puppet masters. Despite her best efforts Leoni is denied a semblance of a normal life as she is dragged back into the intrigue – but she has guile and weapons of her own honed during her time at court. The attractions of sex, wealth and power, are an intoxicating brew for all the characters and will lead once more to betrayal and murder.




Meanwhile as Byzantium looks within itself threats grow on the borders of the Empire as Bulgars and Normans grow increasingly bold in their hunger for Imperial lands. But even these incursions could prove useful to those with thoughts of ambition or revenge.

Harald has grown tired of the constant plotting of the Byzantine court; he now wishes to secure his treasure, earned during his time as commander of the Varangian guard, and head homeward to secure the throne of Norway for himself. To get his treasure he has to get past the machinations of his one-time lover, the vengeful Empress Zoe. To succeed he will have to become as sly as those he despises and play along with those who would underestimate both his intelligence and his ruthlessness…




About the Author
Originally from Wallasey, Merseyside, Stuart waited 35 years before getting a degree at university
and embarking on a career in teaching. He's been writing since the age of 12 and was finally published in 2009. Not wishing to be pigeon-holed, Stuart writes the kind of stories he would wish to read himself, in a variety of genres including historical fiction, thrillers, horror and westerns.








Rob Bayliss is a reviewer at The Review and is currently writing his own fantasy series. Information on his writing projects can be found at Flint & Steel, Fire & Shadow.

13 comments:

  1. Great review. This book is already on my TBR list, I think I'll move it up the pile a wee bit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like a fascinating book

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fab review! Sounds like a great read

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm in on this one....of course now I'll have to read volume 1 :-)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would so love to win this book. Looks fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sharon Bennett Connolly23 December 2015 at 19:41

    Great review Rob. Can't wait to read this

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Review is interesting. A must read for me.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Huff puff....sorry I'm late. Just flew in from Finland in time to read this review about this fantastic sounding book.
    On my wish list and counting... is it 362 days til Christmas?

    ReplyDelete
  10. Huff puff....sorry I'm late. Just flew in from Finland in time to read this review about this fantastic sounding book.
    On my wish list and counting... is it 362 days til Christmas?

    ReplyDelete
  11. This definitely goes on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  12. This definitely goes on my TBR list.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Intruiging write up would be interesting to test it for myself

    ReplyDelete