A man of ability and ambition, Tuirgeis Erlingrson has nurtured the desire to carve a place of leadership for himself on the Green Island, Éire, that he has raided multiple times. After the death of his wife in Nordweg, he takes his surviving son to Éire. Having connections with his adopted brother, Cowan, and Agnarr, his former countryman, Tuirgeis feels he has the support he needs to make his claims strong.
Agnarr is torn. His promise to Aislinn to remain with her on Éire is still in force, and he resists Tuirgeis’s requests to join the conquering forces from Nordweg. He desires above all things to maintain a safe home for his wife and children in Dal Fíatach. Charis encourages Cowan to do the same, though this makes for tense moments between them.
After initial disastrous attempts to achieve his ambition, Tuirgeis comes to learn that there is more to claiming a kingship than merely overpowering the locals. Tuirgeis finds himself at odds with the very people he had hoped would reinforce him. In addition, he wants to establish his father-line. He has one son; he wants another to be born of Éire. Will the woman of his choice accept and support him?
At length, Agnarr and Aislinn—though she is heavy with child—sail with Cowan and Charis to join Tuirgeis as he battles over one final summer to attain the High Kingship of the island.
Tuirgeis knows he doesn’t have long to make his claims; the Danes are coming in greater numbers than before. As he wins men of Éire to his cause, he has to maintain the relationships he has already fostered with Agnarr and Cowan. Charis finds that her Otherworldly gifts are needed by a man she considers her enemy.
Sandi Layne has been writing for more than twenty years, publishing works of contemporary Christian romance, historical fiction, and posting columns on writing and publishing for various sites at one time or another. Her stories are noted for their attention to detail and striking heroines, and she enjoys bringing her readers through stories that surprise, entertain, and edify.
Married for more than a quarter of a century, she, her husband, and their two sons currently reside in Maryland. She was born and raised in California, where she worked as an educator, a minister, and a secretary, as well as in retail and department store security. Writing was never her planned vocation, but with varied experiences to draw from, she brings authenticity to her words and worlds.
Her interests include reading, autism, theology, reading, medieval history, and daydreaming. Did she mention reading? She is also the sheepish subscriber to at least three streaming services at home for entertainment and is a fan of podcasts on a variety of subjects. Her favorite hours are before the sun rises and her favorite day of the week is Monday. Yes, she’s serious.
I have been anxiously awaiting this final chapter in Sandi Layne's Eire Series. I have to say, this was worth the wait. Tuirgeis wants Eire for his own. It surprises him to find there are many kings, but he wants to be the ONLY king. He certainly had plenty of ambition, and a strong sword arm. Ms. Layne did her research, and her descriptive words made me feel like I was there as fights were fought and land overtaken.
Charis remains a mystery. Just where did she come from? Is she fae? Does she have magic? Hard to tell. I do know that I'd want her on my side in a fight. She and her spear are deadly.
The second book in the series, Eire's Viking, was the romance. This one most definitely centers on the warrior aspect of Eire's Vikings. There are lots skirmishes, battles, and wars. This is the bloodiest of the three books and it read real. There are some tender moments and I'll admit to shedding a few tears as the series wound up. The epilogue was brilliant. When I finally make it to the Emerald Isle, I am going to search out some of these sites. I want to experience standing where this history was made that Ms. Layne brought to life with her words. I will be keeping an eye out for a pale haired healer when I'm there.
If you are looking for a read that makes history read real, this is the series for you.
Thank you, NetGalley and TWCS, for the opportunity to read this book.
[Full disclosure: I requested and received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]
I’m always a little nervous starting the last book in a series that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed. Why? It’s usually because I’m worried that the author isn’t able to wrap things up in a satisfying manner, answering most (if not all) questions that arose throughout the series. Sometimes my nervousness is justified and other times it’s not. Éire’s Devil King is most definitely the latter. I didn’t need to be nervous at all when it comes to the last Éire’s Viking book.
In the first book I always favoured Turgeis above Agnarr, maybe in part because Turgeis was not the one actively raping Charis and humiliating her. Agnarr reformed himself in the second book but I still was generally more interested in Turgeis’ story. In the beginning I’ll admit I was a little disappointed in how slow the book started out but once things got going, they really did get going. Turgeis is a man who is already quite mature but throughout the story he does come to see things in a much different light. Instead of burning and pillaging he wants to assimilate to a certain extent and rule over the locals. He won’t give up his precious Norse gods and convert to Christianity like Cowan and Agnarr but he at least tolerates Christianity and doesn’t impose religion on anyone. As you can probably guess, his hands are far from clean but I definitely like this new Turgeis better than the old one.
Turgeis is definitely the main focus of this last story but we also see some incredible glimpses into the lives of Charis, Cowan, Agnarr and Aislinn on occasion. Charis and Cowan aren’t getting any younger (well, Cowan sure isn’t whereas Charis is her same ageless self) and Aislinn and Agnarr are still working on having some more children. Things don’t always go smoothly in the village because the Danes are coming to raid their land but overall there’s much more peace on the island than there was when we first met Charis. This is in part due to Cowan being Turgeis’ adopted brother but also because the men from Nordweg are more interested in immigration and assimilate than conquest. They want to be a part of the great island instead of just plundering its riches. I really liked how Sandi Layne showed that gradual change that comes over decades while at the same time introducing the new threat of the Danes to help move the plot along.
Charis, as always, stole the story for me. She’s an incredible woman with possibly Otherworldly powers but she also doesn’t have her head in the clouds like you’d expect from someone like her. There are times she can be very stubborn but she’s at heart a pragmatic woman and will ally with people she dislikes, such as Turgeis, in order to achieve her own ends. In this book it’s peace on her island and a home from her adopted daughter’s children and grandchildren. There’s an interesting little epilogue that brings her incredible story to an end and it’s really quite satisfying even if we don’t know exactly what she is and where her powers truly come from. It’s sort of left to the reader to figure things out and draw their own conclusions.
So while the plot wasn’t fast-paced in the beginning things quickly got exciting and through it all the incredible characters Sandi Layne has created over three books really shone through. Charis in particular stands out to me but all of the characters were very well developed; there’s a character for everyone here. From the author’s note I believe the little historical details within the story are true as are the broader strokes like the migration of the Danes but Sandi Layne does admit to changing around Turgeis’ story just a little bit. And that’s fine because it really works well for this story. I’m sad to see the trilogy end but it was done in a way that really satisfied me as a reader so I have no problem with that. It’s a great ending to a good trilogy.
This is the final installment in the trilogy and I have reveled in the stories of these characters. It's been fascinating, and enlightening, honestly, getting the perspective of the Viking invaders as well as seeing the blending of pagan and Christian beliefs of the Irish people as their island changes. Ms. Layne's attention to detail in the history, customs, language, and even the brutality of battle only heightened the experience. Add to that the complexity of the characters, Agnarr, Charis, Cowan, Aislinn, and Tuirgeis...
Ah, Tuirgeis...we met him in Eire's Captive Moon and he's appeared throughout the story. In Eire's Devil King, he is a more central character and I didn't find him as compelling as the others. Tuirgeis is a charismatic man--he has to be to inspire men to follow him. He showed his more compassionate side at times. But his behavior otherwise rather negated any connection I may have felt, and I found myself feeling animosity and mistrust towards him as Charis and Aislinn did. Unlike Agnarr, who was willing to assimilate into life in Ireland, Tuirgeis wanted to rule the Irish and impose his beliefs on them. That difference in his character made him less likable for me. Of course, he still evoked intense emotion, so maybe that was the point.
Despite my lack of empathy for Tuirgeis, Eire's Devil King did deliver what I've come to expect from Ms. Layne: a well-crafted story, rich in detail and characters. I was moved by the characters' lives--their triumphs and trials. I feel like I not only read a fabulous story but I also received a history lesson. Both were greatly appreciated.
The timeline changes were somewhat confusing for me at times. I had to pay attention or I was lost. I did like the switching of POVs. It enhanced the feeling of really knowing the characters when I know the thoughts behind their actions.
I'm very pleased with how this trilogy wrapped up. It is an incredible, sweeping historical tale with danger, romance, and a wee bit of supernatural. It provided insight into they history of Ireland and I fell in love with Ireland a little more, as well as with a Viking.
Sandi Layne returns us to the Green Isle, where Charis and her family have settled. It's a beautifully rich portrait of life in the 830s, when Christianity was just gaining a foothold in the area, and there was a vibrant mix of cultures. Meticulously researched and carefully detailed, you can practically smell the smoke from the fires, and the pungent aroma of Charis's drying herbs.
Charis and her family are happy in their little village, and save from the occasional incursion of the Danes, they have a peaceful, prosperous life. Until the dreaded word "Sails!" Is heard.
Tuirgeis has come to visit the man he sees as a brother, and like Cowan, he wants to settle in Eire, but not as a simple farmer. No, his ambitions are far grander than that. Whether they like it or not, Charis and her family will be pulled back into battle, and they will pay a terrible price for it. Even Charis's skills as a healer and her powerful magic are not always enough to protect those she loves.
Though this book didn't have the romantic storyline included in the others, love was a deep and abiding theme, as was loyalty to family and leaders. Bonds will be tested and hearts will be broken.
Aside from the well-detailed setting, the characters think, speak, and act as people of their times, which can be slightly discomfiting for modern readers at times. But it is a beautifully drawn portrait of ninth century life, brutal edges and all.
Eire’s is the last book in the Eire Viking Trilogy. I am beyond sad that this series is has come to an end, but I like the fact that this series opened me up to a new genre and type of character to enjoy. I never read Viking stories before this and I now cannot wait to read more about them and may even try to find a movie about them.
The third book brings us back to Green Isle where all of our favorite characters are living. I love seeing how life has turned out for Cowen, Charis, Aislinn, and Angarr, as a whole their lives have been peaceful and full of love. Then Cowan’s adoptive brother, Tuirgeis, come back and wishes to come and settle on the island, but his intention are not to settle down and farm, I feel that he still wants riches!
I do really enjoy that even though this book is focused around Tuirgeis, but since the POV changes through out the book, we still get to hear from our favorite characters. I think this was such a great way to end this series and I will be recommending it to many people.
This is a departure from the previous two books because it has a greater connection to historical fact and no new romance, but it's still a good story and a nice end to the series. Tuirgeis isn’t a very sympathetic character, but he’s meant to be like that, and he gets what he deserves in a particularly spectacular fashion. I’m fascinated by Charis and her fairy “bubble,” and there’s a nice epilogue which made me smile.
The familiar figures of Charis, Cowan, Agnarr, Aislinn and Tuirgeis are back for the final installment of the Eire's Viking Trilogy. Looking to emulate Agnarr's success in settling in Ireland, Tuirgeis wants to go one step further and fully conquer the Emerald Isle for his own. Of course, things never go smoothly, and with the Danes and other problems to deal with, is a happy ending in store for our friends, or will they fall foul of forces greater even than Charis' skills?
As always, there is a superb continuation from the first two books in the series. As already mentioned in my previous review, I'd recommend any newcomers to the series read the first two books in this series before this one. The first half of the story is a little slower in pace than the previous books, but the pace definitely picked up greatly towards the end.
Layne wrapped up the story very well, tidying up the loose ends and leaving the reader feeling satisfied with the way things ended. The different perspective of Tuirgeis was a very interesting read, and the changes of perspective between all the key characters was well written, adding extra dimension to the tale.
This installment was full of poignant moments which really tugged at the heartstrings and left me feeling quite emotional at times. I won't spoil them, but it might be prudent to have a tissue or two to hand occasionally.
As I've said throughout this series, the history is superb. I adore this time period and I must really give credit to Layne for the wonderful way she has told this story, using the history to constantly enhance it. it has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, and one I will be recommending to anyone who enjoys a well told, developed piece of historical fiction. Congratulations on the completion of a fabulous series.
*This book was first reviewed on Lily Loves Indie as part of a blog tour, for which an ARC was received in return for an honest review*
I have to admit, I was very, very, slow in starting and finishing EDV, because I missed the middle book in this trilogy. I also lost two relatives during this time and getting back to something so interesting and well researched was a challenge because I wanted to enjoy it.
Recently, I returned to the space where I could finally catch up with most of the characters from the first book and a few new characters.
I am willing to go out on a limb and say that the entire trilogy is worth the effort. You will go away to a place that is no more, in reality never was and you can leave, for awhile, when things get a bit too rough (as they really used to!).