For a first novel, this book is wonderful. Of course, anything forty years in the making should be wonderful. It has a flowing love story with side flirtations, but total loyalty up to the chivalrous standards and ideals associated with the high middle ages rather than Saxon England when this story is set. The supporting characters, especially Rory and Shannon the bards, are as well fleshed out as the protagonists and antagonists, and perhaps even more lovable. You do not want to miss lovable little Godgifu who is only two as she saves the king at his lowest point. This is not another from here to there and back again book, although much of the tale is about how Queen Josephine and King Lawrence follow entwining but separate paths back to their children and each other when the vile usurper holds the children hostage during a total war for two kingdoms. Will either of them get there in time to save the family and each other? You will enjoy reading to the end to find out.
I was given a copy of the Belerion Odyssey by William Russeth and asked to give an honest review of his book. I can honestly say that the Belerion Odyssey is the best historical novel I have read during the past year. I read several dozen historically based novels annually. Mr. Russeth has masterfully taken the situation in the Mediterranean of about 480 BC to spin a wonderful tale of a run away slave-shepherd bastard of the Spartan king, his legitimate brother who was sent to kill him, the pirate that saved them when they were Shanghaied and bound to an oar of a war galley on the way to the battle of Salamis, a witch they saved, a prince of Carthage they kidnapped, and a couple of ships and crews they lost during their adventure in search of the Golden Fleece guarded by a dragon in Cornwall. While I usually have an aversion to first person narrative stories, this one is so well written that I did not mind its point of view. It felt like a tale one would hear sitting with cronies around an old oaken table in the local sailor's inn while quaffing a few brews, about 2400 years ago.