Saints and Sinnners by John Broughton
Saxon times are not called the Dark Ages for nothing. It is a violent, unrecognisable world of kill or be killed…
In seventh century England, tribes and so-called kings vie for power and blood flows freely throughout the land.
Aethelred, ruler of Mercia, is being pressed from all sides – north, south, east and west. And his wife, Osthryth, daughter of a rival Northumbrian king, is murdered in unknown circumstances.
Osthryth’s ring falls into the hands of warrior noble Aethelbald who is accused of her murder and forced to leave Mercia by his conniving cousin Coeolred who has eyes on the throne. When Aethelred abdicates and the weakling Cenred assumes power, Coelred sees that his path has few obstacles.
How will Aethelbard survive attempts by the cunning Coelred to eliminate what he sees as his major threat? How can Aethelbrad’s sidekick Guthlac help him after he gives up worldly pursuits in favour of the harsh life of a monk? With a court rife with would-be successors can Aethelbald become a Bretwaldas – a ‘Britain-ruler’ – and sweep aside the underkings, uniting the land?
John Broughton’s fact-based Saints and Sinners shines a light on the murky Dark Ages, and recreates a Britain on the cusp of momentous change.
John Broughton was born in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, and studied Medieval and Modern History at the University of Nottingham. He also studied Archaeology, distinguishing himself with a Roman find on a dig at Ancaster. He taught History and English for a decade, becoming Head of Department of History in a Manchester grammar school. A restless period saw him experiment with writing children’s stories while working in a variety of jobs before moving in Italy to teach EFL at a southern university. Teaching and work as a translator of books kept him busy until he retired in January 2014. Since then he has taken up fiction writing once more – returning to his great love, the Anglo-Saxon period. His debut historical novel was The Purple Thread followed by Wyrd of the Wolf.