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Oswald: Return of the King

(The Northumbrian Thrones #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  100 ratings  ·  37 reviews
The exiled family of King Aethelfrith of Northumbria arrive, after much hardship, on the island of Iona, where the monastery founded by St Columba has become a centre of worship and learning. Young Oswald becomes firm friends with a novice, Aidan. When Aidan professes his final vows, Oswald and his little brother Oswy are received into the church. As befits a young prince, ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published July 27th 2015 by Lion Fiction (first published May 15th 2015)
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Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  100 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was, hands down, one of the best novels I've read this year-- enthralling, stirring, poignant and with gentle humor in spots. From a short mention in Bede and with other facts the author garnered from elsewhere--and, a certain amount of dramatic license--he has crafted a well-written life of Oswald, a 7th century king of Northumbria. From boyhood with his brother Oswiu, he rises from exile in Dal Riada and the monastic island of Iona to become king of a united Northumbria. Always desiring t ...more
Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oswald is a tremendously good read.

Having read and enjoyed Edoardo Albert’s book Edwin: High King of Britain I am delighted to say that, Oswald: Return of the King (Book 2 in The Northumbrian Thrones series) is just as good. These beautifully written stories bring to life a period of history of which I knew nothing in a most convincing manner. I feel enriched by reading these books and am left wanting to know more of the time and the area.
As Oswald is the second in the series i
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oswald: Return of the King is the second book in Edoardo Albert's planned Northumbrian Thrones trilogy. The first book, Edwin: High King of Britain, demonstrated how early Christianity and kingship came together for Edwin to win greater territories and followers than those who had come before him. Oswald is the nephew of Edwin encouraged to take up the kingship after Edwin's fall.

Though it is subtitled Return of the King, Oswald takes his time claiming his uncle's throne and never seems much to want it.
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Having just finished reading 'Oswald: Return of the King', I am emotionally exhausted: I cried at the end, (slightly embarrassing as I was reading it on the tube)! This book is the second in the 'Northumbrian Thrones' series. I really enjoyed 'Edwin' but this book is even better. The story itself is completely gripping and the writing so good that I barely realised I was reading a book, for as the story unfolds, the characters are so finely drawn that they seem very real - hence the emotional wr ...more
For me, this is a disappointing sequel to Edwin. While the characters have real depth and I find the history very interesting, the pace is very slow. Early monastic life on Iona is an interesting subject but I feel the background detail of Oswald's early life is laboured and conversations unnecessarily long. The action, i.e. Oswald's battles to regain the Northumbrian throne, doesn't really begin until halfway through and it lacks the excitement and suspense of the previous book. It's well writt ...more
The sequel to the first book in this trilogy 'Edwin: High King of Britain' was for me, long awaited. I remembered a little of Oswald’s story- for which the sources are sparse- but the wait was well worth it. The title is a conscious nod to Tolkien, of which it is, I believe legitimate to draw at least some comparison.

King Oswald of Northumbria, a seventh century Saxon King, was the inspiration for Aragorn- and Middle Earth was what Oswald’s people the Anglo-Saxons, called the earth. For once ag
Edoardo Albert
Nov 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I might be slightly biased but I think this book is really good.
Whispering Stories
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is the second in Albert’s series of Northumbrian kings, and it’s a cracker. From the first paragraph to the last, I was totally hooked. It’s one of those books you race through, and then have to slow down, because you don’t want it to end.

The novel opens on the island of Iona where Oswald, a thoughtful young prince, is living peaceably in the monastery with his impetuous young brother Oswiu. A quietly spiritual man, Oswald is drawn to the monastic life, but his hopes of staying
Tricia Preston
Oct 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Continuing brilliance
After reading 'Edwin', the first book in this trilogy, I invented a new rule for my 'tbr' pile, 'If you feel a book is worth more than ***** and you already have the next book in the series you can read it straight away', so I did and 'Oswald' is another brilliant novel. Again, Edoardo manages to achieve the depiction of life in a barbaric age through atmosphere and tension rather than with blood and gore.
This book carries on with life in Northumbria following th
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
This cover has got to be one of the most amazing covers of all times. The print choice and style of the raven fit perfectly with the book's time period. The coloring is a metallic red and gold which give hint to Oswald's royalty and pure gold character.

Oswald is actually the second in a trilogy, the first of which I had not read. The author did a stellar job of offering a very helpful summary of the main events in the first book that effectively explained the backdrop and influences
Hazel Waite
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I would recommend this to history lovers as the story is fantastic and I cannot wait to read the third book as the other two were fabulous.
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I lived for a long time in the north of England, in the area that is covered by Northumbria in the book. The land scape with its ruined castles, expansive stretches of coastline bounded by iron grey waves and wild hills is one I am familiar with, and in this book they come to life as the story of one of history's legends unfurls. The pace of the story telling keeps you involved, the emotions of the characters who touch on the king's life add depth and colour to his motives as his reign heads res ...more
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm never too sure about historical fiction if I'm familiar with the actual history behind it. After all, how tense and dramatic can it be when you know how it's going to pan out? Who's gets to live and who gets to die. Who gets the throne and the glory, who gets left for the carrion crows.

Thankfully, despite my reservations, I really enjoyed this book. The author was able to create enough of a sense of rivalry between the main character Oswald, aspiring King of Northumbria, and his younger bro
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this book if you like adventure stories packed with heroic characters. Read this book if you love historical fiction that brings history to life in unforgettable ways. Read this book is you're looking for inspirational characters. This is an excellent book and adds a lot to the early history of Great Britain in a time period where we have little information outside of the archaeological record. Albert is a very talented author and is able to bring his characters to life brilliantly. I can h ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An incredible specimen of popular fiction that succeeds admirably in deploying a gamut of literary devices without bogging down or coming across as pretentious. Setting, characters, pace, foreshadowing, suspense, historical plausibility, and human verisimilitude are here in droves. Just as good as the trilogy's first volume, "Edwin." Onto Oswiu, the third volume. Well done, Mr Albert.
Lora Carney
Jun 02, 2019 rated it liked it
The book begins with lists of difficult names I'll never remember, but clarifies pronunciation and historic context. It also explains the importance of names to Anglo-Saxons and why no two will have exactly the same name, although descendants might get an adaptation of an ancestor's name.

After the cast of characters, we get an overview of what happened in the previous book, Edwin. This is very useful for people like myself who haven't read the first one, and also starts to give us th
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Ok, the first book was good. Though this was interesting, made me research names of saints, etc...there was a heavy feeling as I read it. There was a definite "Back to the furtive part 2" about it...ya know, when the middle story HAD to exist strictly to get to part 3. I now awaite part 3 as it may be a late Christmas present.
In a strictly technical aspect, this book ROCKS! Saints names that come up during the year are in the book. Which makes me want to know more of them (reference librarian b
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Lot easier to read than #1-Edwin.
Love the story and the characterisation is amazing so I'm already onto #3!
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I received a free E-Arc from Netgalley.

Oswald, Return of the King is the first book I've read by the author.

Oswald is, unfortunately, a dense read that suffers with some pacing issues, but more than anything, is plagued by unnecessary and near constant Bible quotations. It would perhaps, have been better if the novel had been named after the monks of Lindisfarne or Iona, because the focus of the novel is not actually Oswald. The author has made great use of the work of Bede's Eccles
The Idle Woman
Having warmed to Albert’s Edwin in its second half, I was keen to follow the struggle for Northumbria into its next generation. Oswald opens in 633, with High King Edwin’s death in battle against Penda of Mercia, and Cadwallon of Gwynned. His fall throws his kingdom’s future into the balance as predators circle the vacant throne. Cadwallon would have Northumbria as a client kingdom, but there are still men living who have the right to rule as independent kings. These come from two rival families ...more
Vera Godley
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read the first book in this series, Edwin High King of Britain, and you can read my review by clicking here. In Oswald Return of the King Edoardo Albert writes about the early shaping of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. The land was peopled by clans and kingdoms constantly contending through conspiracies and war to maintain control. Families of high rank called forth loyal men to follow them into war to claim or reclaim lands previously belonging to their own kings or lords.

Oswald, eldest son of a de
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Source: Free paperback copy from Kregel in exchange for a review.
Rating: 4 stars for very good.
Oswald, Return of the King, is book two, in The Northumbrian Throne series. In book one, Edwin is king of Northumbria (kingdoms of Bernicia and Deira.) He is killed in battle. After a battle with Cadwallon, Oswald becomes the King of Northumbria, reuniting the two kingdoms. Oswald's brother is Oswiu. Their mother is Acha, the sister of Edwin.
The time period of Oswald's l
Mazzou B
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Oswald: Return of the King is Edoardo Albert's second book and follows his previous work Edwin: High King of Britain. Both are historical fiction works which are packed with historical details which the learned author discovered in the writings of the historian Bede.

At first, since it had been over a year that I had read the prequel to this book, I was a little confused by the characters and settings. However once I discovered the historic notes at the end of the book and the list of character
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Oswald: Return of the King
By Edoardo Albert

Upon the death of his Uncle Edwin Oswald is deemed throne-worthy. But Oswald doesn't desire or seek the throne that his uncle took from his father. For in Oswald's opinion there are others who are equally throne-worthy, including his older half-brothers. The life of a monk appeals to him, a simple life serving on the Holy Island.

But the life Oswald wants is not the life he is destined to live. Cadwallon, not content to rule
Victor Gentile
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Edoardo Albert in his new book “Oswald: Return of the King” Book Two in The Northumbrian Thrones series published by Lion Hudson recreates the rise of the Christian kings of Northumbria, England.
From the back cover: Oswald had found peace. But now he must fight for the throne.

The kingdom lies undefended. Cadwallon and Penda, the kings of Gwynedd and Mercia, ravage the land. Oswald has a rightful claim to the throne, but he is sick of the bloodshed: in his heart he longs to lay
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in The Northumbrian Thrones Trilogy. I had not read the first book in this trilogy, but I had no difficulty following the plot. There is an excellent summary at the beginning of the book that explains the major events of the previous book. I am now looking forward to reading both the first and the third books.

I found this to be an intriguing story based of a fascinating time in history. Using Bede's History as an inspiration, Albert writes a convincing story about Oswald
VERDICT: Fascinating evocation of the life of Oswald, in the violent times and conflicts that gave birth to the England we know today.

my full review is here:
Leila Bowers
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a solid follow-up to Edwin, and elaborated on the basic story of Oswald presented in Bede with depth and interest. In fact, if you were teaching Bede (or anything around the Anglo-Saxons), I would recommend this series as an excellent supplement. I didn't find this book as engaging or interesting as Edwin - perhaps because Edwin chronicled the coming of Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons and uniting of a kingdom, whereas this was more focused on individuals and relationships, but it was s ...more
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Jumps about a bit, but the twists and turns lead to some really great character moments with an emotional punch that almost sneaks up on you.
There's also a great sense in the narrative of the wider political machinations of 'dark age' Britain, that really communicates that this is just a snapshot focusing on Oswald.
Anne Showering
Oct 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book partly as an introduction to some other books I am planning to read about the period of British history known as 'the Dark Ages', especially with reference to the Celtic church during this period. This is partly for an essay I am planning to write for a course I am on, and partly because I love what I have seen of the Northumbrian coast and especially Lindisfarne
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The Northumbrian Thrones (3 books)
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