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Edwin: High King of Britain

(The Northumbrian Thrones #1)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 21st 2014 by Lion Fiction
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Edoardo Albert 12, I should think. There's a fair amount of death and battle in the story (which could of course be portrayed in such a way as to earn a more…more12, I should think. There's a fair amount of death and battle in the story (which could of course be portrayed in such a way as to earn a more restrictive certificate) but 12 would be about right.(less)

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Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was thrilled to read such an excellent historical novel on Edwin, an unjustly obscure monarch in English history. Edwin lived in the 7th century. Following very closely the writings of the Venerable Bede, with not too much literary license, this novel relates how Edwin comes back from exile, regains his kingdom, his reign, conversion to Christianity, and eventual death at the hands of his enemies. It vividly portrayed that time period.

This novel was tightly plotted, and moved along quickly.
This skillfully constructed story resurrects Edwin, High King of Britain, from the 7th century. The reader is introduced to Edwin in a seemingly impossible situation. He is in exile at the court of a supposed friend when he learns that his life has been sold to the man who already stole his kingdom.

From this inauspicious beginning, Edwin goes on to reclaim his kingdom of Northumbria and become High King of all the English kings. This idea of a high king is one that most of those around him don't
Britain 604 AD.
Two centuries after departure of the legions Roman Britannia was gone- its cities abandoned, the land divided into petty kingdoms under barbarian warlords vying for wealth, glory and power. Christianity was a distant memory as the Britons were pushed out by the Anglo-Saxons from across the sea, men who served gods that only loved those that died in battle.

In this land a lonely royal exile, Edwin, heir to the Northern Kingdom of Deira hears of a plot to betray him to the King who
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am absolutely thrilled with this story! Outstanding read beyond any expectations I had for historical fiction. And that says a lot right there for just how good this book is. For a long time I have wanted to read about the rise of Christianity in certain parts of Britain and how it was brought about to the pagan people of its time. And in this story it is really interesting how paganism and Christianity mixed among the people, how the people who are pagan convert and their thought process in ...more
Doug Hibbard
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every now and again, I read a book that causes me anger. Not anger at the books contents or presentation. Anger that the author wrote what I should have thought of first.

Edwin, High King of Britain is one of those books. Edoardo Alberts work here fits, technically, under the definition of historical fiction, though I would recommend a category of imaginative history for works like this one.

Why? Albert presents us with seventh century Britain as a living place. This is a timeframe that we do not
Claire (Clairby11xxx)
(7/10) I'm a big historical fiction fan and this was very well written and researched. It tells the story of Edwin's rise to power in the 7th century and his conversion to Christianity, something I knew nothing about before. The author did a great job bringing the history to life and it was a very enjoyable read.

My only minor complaint is that is it heavily focused on Edwin's conversion to Christianity and it does skip over large time periods in his life. Don't get me wrong the religious aspect
Brett Markham
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: england-pre-1066
I won this book through first reads giveaway. I really enjoyed reading about this period in English history that I know little of. The author did a great job telling this very interesting story. I found this time period of England very exciting and was neat reading about the rise in Christianity in England. I look forward to reading the rest in this series.
Joy C.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
A second five star read for 2017 - yay!

This book. Oh my goodness, I've got "all the feels"!! *sobs* What an amazing, beautiful, touching story, and to think that its based on true events and a true king, and ohhh... *huddles in a corner and weeps*

But this book, the first in a trilogy, was such a solid read, and really well-written. Edoardo Albert captured the era beautifully, and I was often left breathless by how well he was able to describe the religious, moral and cultural understandings of
This is a First Reads for me - I won this as a Giveaway.

The story revolves around King Edwin and the struggles he faces both in consolidating small, petty kingdoms into one and also whether or not he wants to follow the new Christian God or remain true to the gods of his fathers. Whatever choices he makes affects the other kings and also all of his people.

The battle scenes were interesting, especially the major one toward the end of the book. There were also scenes in the book revolving around
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Edwin: High King of Britain is a well written and well researched book about early 7th century England. For Uhtred fans, Edwin was also king of Northumbria and lived at times in Bamburgh Castle. If you love Cornwell's Uhtred series then you'll love this, especially if you'd prefer less graphic battle scenes! Albert has written a real page turner. The action moves on through the years at a steady pace. The characters are strong and the writing is evocative. Edwin was persuaded to be baptised as a ...more
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a really exciting and immediate read. It tells the tale of how Edwin, the exiled King of Northumbia wins back his kingdom. The battles are brutal yet completely enthralling. I was rooting for Edwin from beginning to end. Albert has breathed life into this undeservedly forgotten King, this is partly because we are party to his inner thoughts as well as his outer actions and they ring true. Edwin: a warrior, wise and just yet also troubled when the promises of his gods fail to satisfy.
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The book Edwin by Edoardo Albert was a gift in more ways than one. I do not usually read historical fiction, but having been given this book I had to give it a go and I loved it. It has opened my eyes to what good historical fiction can be like. From the first page the world of the 600s AD comes alive with the lightest descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells. Scenes, characters and conversations are all completely believable. I felt that if I shut my eyes I might open them to find myself ...more
3.80 stars-A well-researched novel that successfully brings to life and gives personality Edwin:High King of Britain,(Edwin of Northumbria) from the 7th century. The story revolves around King Edwin and the struggles he faces to follow the new Christian God (rise Christianity in England-Two centuries after departure of the legions Roman Britannia-Britain is split into kingdoms) or remain true to the gods of his fathers. He struggles with fears, insecurities, courage, doubt, and betrayal...but he ...more
Rhys Griffiths
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I came across this book by accident. Having read and enjoyed the likes of Bernard Cornwell, Justin Hill & Giles Kristian over the past couple of years I was in the mood for something similar and discovered Edoardo's webpage and a "giveaway" for Edwin. Coincidentally my partner was also given a copy a week or so later as part of her retirement gift!
This is the story of one man, of how he became a king and the people who helped him shape his ambition to unite the people of Britain. Oftentimes
Debbi DuBose
Edwin: High King of Britain is an excellent historical novel and I ABSOLUTELY LOVED READING IT !! I commend the author, Edoardo Albert, for writing such a phenomenal, and engaging story. This is the first book in a trilogy. It is set in the 600's A. D. If you like the Saxon Chronicles by Bernard Cornwall, you'll love this book, too. It is set a couple hundred years earlier ran the Saxon Chronicles. As I write this, the third book is being published. Get reading! You don't want to miss this ...more
Whispering Stories
Jul 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
**I received a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review**

If, like me, youve ever wished you could travel back in time and observe society in another era, then this is certainly a book for you. Especially if you have ever wondered what life was like in Anglo-Saxon Britain.

"Edwin: High King of Britain" by Edoardo Albert is an extraordinary tour de force. Albert is a scholar whose imagination is deeply embedded in the turbulent life and times of the period.

While most of the hard
Aly Abell
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1_reviewed
Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo Albert is not the first historical novel focusing on this king from the first half of the seventh century. From the late 19th century, there is The Paladins of Edwin the Great by Clements Markham. More recent works include The Flight of the Sparrow by Fay Sampson and the Bretwalda: The Story of Outlaw-Prince Edwin, High King of England trilogy by David Burks, but Alberts contribution is the first recent work to draw the attention of a major press.

Albert is
Vera Godley
Jun 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I enjoy reading books based on real history and written with historical authority. Edwin High King of Britain is authored by Edoardo Albert who has taken the early history of England (Britain) in the 6th century as recorded by historian Bede, who lived during the period and is accepted as authority in his writing, and fleshed it out to give us Edwin, the first High King of Britain.

When I agreed to read Edwin, I did so with some feelings of fear that I would not enjoy it. Frankly, I do not like
Jun 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Source: Free copy from Kregel Book Tours in exchange for a review.
AD 625
Edwin, King of Deira and Bernicia (Northumbria), Anglo-Saxon kingdoms in northern England, has been in exile for twelve long years. He is a widow, and has two grown sons, Osfrith and Eadfrith. At the age of forty, he marries a second time to a bride younger than his sons, AEthelburh of Kent.
Edwin: High King of Britain, is a personal study of the first king of Northumbria who became a Christian. The book explores his
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-books
The mountains, these unforgiving teeth of rock and scree that gnawed the west of the country and ran down its spine, were different. In them the day could turn from summer to winter in the time it took to spark a fire and huddle against the storm. Upon them were the wraith-haunted tombs of old, tombs that were already old during the days of the emperors, and their cold presence had terrified the soul of a young man, little more than a boy, learning the ways of warriors beneath their unblinking
Tricia Preston
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, 5 *'s and then some!
I have recently read several excellent novels, fully deserving a 5-star rating but this is the second book I have read this year that is truly exceptional. Ironically, the first captivated me with its sheer brutality whilst I found this one beautifully atmospheric and gentle, although it is depicting life in a barbaric age.
Not surprisingly, this is the tale of Edwin, eventual High King of Briton, from just prior to his return from exile to his death. It is clear that
So far, Im only about 1/2 way through the book Ive enjoyed reading this tale of Edwin and the exile, battles and his wedding to Aethelburh even though getting to where I am was slow its does not begin at a fast clip so you must stay with it if you want to get to the good parts of the book. However, since my review was due by Friday and today is Saturday Im writing the review based on what Ive read so far and as you see from the book description Ive provided above this is outside of my usual ...more
Bob Hayton
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Arthur and his knights of the round table, are phantoms from a long gone era. Their story is a myth, and they are warriors only in imaginative retellings of their deeds. But the story told in Edwin, High King of Britain is a legend of a different kind. Edwin is a figure from history. And early seventh century England, where Edwin arose as a dominant king, is every bit as mythic and alien to our minds as the legendary kingdom of Camelot.

Edoardo Albert, writer and historian in his own right, tells
Greg at 2 Book Lovers Reviews
I would rate this book 3.5 Stars!

Edwin takes place during one the darkest of all English historical periods; the time between the Roman withdrawal and the Norman Conquest. This is a period where myth and history collide, a time of Arthur, a time of Alfred and a time of Edwin.

The story revolves around Edwin, one of many Anglo-Saxon kings, he became High King of Britain. Using this role, Edwin was a key character in introducing Christianity to the warrior / ruler class that was in power during the
Jennifer Marshburn
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a lot of fun! I have recently become obsessed with the British History Podcast (BHP), which I highly recommend to anyone at all interested in any of this. The host of the BHP is a great storyteller, and does a wonderful job of bringing the stories to life, but ultimately he is a narrator of history. He is also a former lawyer, which means he still has "lawyer brain" so, while he is not afraid to speculate, he doesn't stray far from the primary resources that are available. So, I've ...more
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
The Roman legions left Britain many years ago, prompting many small kingdoms to rise and fall in their wake. Edwin, the exiled king of Northumbria, has spent nearly a dozen years traveling from court to court, but when his current protector considers selling him out to his enemy, he sets out to flee again. He is stopped by a mysterious stranger, who prophesies that Edwin will ascend to greater power than any king in the land and learn of a new god.
The story of Edwin and his subsequent rise is
The Idle Woman
Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. There's a bit of a thrill in reading a story whose exact dates are lost in the mists of time. In this first novel of Albert's series, we are in the early years of the 7th century, perhaps in 616 or thereabouts. The Romans are long gone, leaving their ruins and their roads behind them; the raiders from the east have yet to come over the grey whale-road. Britain is split into kingdoms, roughly following the lines of the old tribal lands from the days of Boudica. But times are changing. ...more
Amanda Stephan
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Villains, heroes, heroines, the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms make this an adventure-filled tromp through some of history's darkest and bloodiest times. I'm rather thankful that we live in the time we do - maidens were little more than chattel that were bartered and traded for political reasons, villains were brutish and vile, and kings' lives seemed to be a mere blink at times. Not having read The History of English People by Bede, I found it a compelling, interesting book that I very ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
My Thoughts
Albert crafts an absorbing tale of vicious battles and shrewd political alliances allowing Edwins ascent to power. Reading of the conversion of Anglo-Saxons as they let go of their ancestors worshiping ways as they grasp their new found religion is exciting.

The narrative is full of excitement and contains plenty of drama as we read of the birth of England as a nation, the dawn of the English language, and the acceptance of Christianity as the faith of England.

A turning point is when
Sarah Wagner
*I received this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers.*

After spending years in exile, Edwin of Northumbria reclaims his throne and rises to become the High King of Britain, with other kingdoms owing him allegiance. He bring stability to his lands, reigns longer than most kings, and converts to Christianity. However, enemies he made during his youth and others who wish to rise up to kingship plot against him and Edwin unwittingly falls into a trap. I have to admit, I could not really get
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Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian extraction based in London. He writes about history and archaeology, particularly of the early Medieval period, as well as writing historical and speculative fiction.

Find out more about him and his work at Follow him on Twitter @EdoardoAlbert or like him on Facebook.

Other books in the series

The Northumbrian Thrones (3 books)
  • Oswald: Return of the King (The Northumbrian Thrones, #2)
  • Oswiu: King of Kings (The Northumbrian Thrones #3)

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