The author comes up with some arresting insights. He's not afraid to step back and comment on the action or general aspects of human nature. The strongest part of the story arises from his recreation of the British Isles of around 950 or so. But he doesn't set it in the British Isles. He renames places and shifts things, presumably because he wants to introduce elements of fantasy and magic. But those elements are fairly lightly done. In other words, this is more a work of historical fiction with fantasy elements than a fantasy with historical parallels. To me, the fantasy elements underscored the historical elements, since people in medieval times believed so strongly in the supernatural.
In a world akin to the England of 950 BC, the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Welsh fight and co-operate to survive their encounters with each other and the fairy people who occupied the land long before any of their ancestors showed up.
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