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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Friday, January 3, 2014

I'm addicted!

The King's Hounds (The King's Hounds #1) by Martin Jensen 

Ok, I'm addicted already to this series. Certainly I hope for more translations to follow.
King Cnut is in Oxford to hold a Witenagemot (a National council assembly of the King, nobles and bishops) trying to bring the various English peoples now under his command (Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Danes, most recently, Vikings) together as one people. Kin Cnut wants this to move forward. But a well known South Saxon thane, Osfrid, has been murdered. A man who was known to be Cnut's enemy. King Cnut Cnut wants the murder solved so that his plans for unity, peace and kingship aren't thwarted.


Winston the Illuminator has been commissioned by the King's consort, Lady Aelfgifu, to paint Cnut's  portrait.
Halfdan an ex half Danish nobleman (his father chose the wrong side) is here to seek a living or more certainly, the main chance. The two met on the road and travelled to Oxford together having a couple of adventures enroute.
Cnut choses Winston and Halfdan to conduct the murder investigation. He gives them three days to find the guilty party.
As the two move forward with their investigation the singular murder is suddenly crowded with bodies and potential suspects...and the list just keeps growing.
There's betrayed wives, hints of treason, angered landholders and more.
The action moves smartly along aided by an excellent translation from Danish into English by Tara Chace. She is to be applauded in enabling the smooth flowing and very readable dialogue.
The novel gives a credible insight into the life and times of this period in English History.
A very enjoyable and often humorous read. Bring on the next in the series.
How quickly can a translator translate?

A NetGalley ARC

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