Warrior King dramatises the life of King Alfred the Great as he plans to free England from the Vikings. It’s a tale of sweeping history, cleverly boiled down to a family saga. Purkiss eschews the ‘story threaded with history’ approach. The history in Warrior King is less self-conscious and has more of a human touch, making it more soap than saga – and the kids who will read this are the kids who watch soaps. Given the fact that history can be such a well researched turn-off, Purkiss has played a deft game here, and I really welcomed the soap. However, the book does maintain a solid historical thread. It also engages with spirituality and the ideas of the time.
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