On Tour with The Swan’s Road (The Atheling Chronicles # 1) by Garth Pettersen and My Review

If you want to take a stroll in the past with a bunch of Vikings, by all means read this book. You’ll be hooked.

The Swan’s Road (The Atheling Chronicles # 1) by Garth Pettersen released in 2017 in the Historical fiction, Vikings genre.

In the eleventh century, Cnute, the Viking king of England and Scandinavia, sails with his son Harald, and his shield brothers to Rome. Thrown off course by a storm, they follow the route up the Rhine.

When Harald hangs back to assist Selia, a beautiful Frisian woman, his path turns perilous. New found enemies, retainers of Robert the Devil, Duke of Normandy, pursue them. Harald, Selia, and their companions fail to rendezvous with King Cnute and are forced to travel cross country on horseback. If Duke Robert’s plan to assassinate Cnute succeeds, an invasion of England will follow. Can Harald and Selia reach Rome in time to warn the king?


King Cnute stood with one bracing hand on the rise of the longship’s bow, gazing on the rolling, forested hills they had been passing for a number of days. The day was clouded and cool and the wind followed them from the north.

Sigurd, his captain, spoke at the King’s back, “My King is concerned for his son?”

“Your King is concerned about a great many things. And why would I be worried about my son, Harald? You presume much, Sigurd.”

“It has been a sennight since you sent Alric to find him, and there has been no word.”

“And except for the time spent waiting, we have been on the river moving south. God willing, I’ll see Harald before I see the Alps.”

“The lad is reckless, Your Majesty. I would not see my King disappointed…”

Cnute turned. His eyes bored into those of his captain. “And yet you choose to trouble me with such statements? Keep your own counsel, Sigurd. Look to your ship and leave my son to me. Harald chooses his own path.”

It’s a 4-star, and a great start to the series.

The first thing that hit me about this book was how deeply immersed I was in the lives of the characters. I felt like I was experiencing history first hand, like I was living ‘the Viking way’ in person. The writing is that strong.

The story is an adventure and boy, you’ll find plenty of it. From storms to battles, you’ll see how these men bounce back from any setback.

I like the pace Herold’s and Selia’s feelings develop. It was slow, as it’s supposed to be given the circumstances. Cnute’s assassination twist was well thought, and carries the story forward in an interesting way.

This post is part of a Review Tour. The tour dates can be found here: https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2019/12/review-tour-swans-road-by-garth.html 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Garth Pettersen is a Canadian writer living in the Fraser Valley near Vancouver, BC. When he’s not writing, he is riding horses or working with young disabled riders. Garth’s short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies and in journals such as Blank Spaces, The Spadina Literary Review, and The Opening Line Literary ‘Zine. His story River’s Rising was awarded an Honourable Mention for the Short Story America 2017 Prize, and his fantasy novella River Born, was one of two runners-up for the Windsor Editions (UK) Short Fiction Prize. Garth Pettersen’s historical fiction series, The Atheling Chronicles is being published by Tirgearr Publishing and books one and two are available at most online outlets (The Swan’s Road and The Dane Law). Book three, The Cold Hearth, will be available for pre-order by February 2020.


Website: http://www.garthpettersen.com/Tirgearr

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/writeandride/

Twitter Account: https://twitter.com/garpet011


  • $10 Amazon/BN GC


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    • Thank you for commenting, Diana. The eleventh century is definitely an interesting time. Harald’s story takes place when a Danish king sat upon the throne of England, with Saxon claimants wanting to regain power and Normans across the Channel thinking of invading. I hope you read and enjoy the series. Book #3, The Cold Hearth will be released April 22 and is now available for pre-order ($.99). Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

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