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Bloodlines. Book Review by Gillian and the Girls 📖🐾

Gillian and the girls reading Bloodlines

Today's review is Bloodlines, by Chris Bishop. This is the fourth book in the Shadow of the Raven Series. It follows Blood and Destiny, The Warrior with the Pierced Heart and The Final Reckoning. I've always enjoyed reading about history, whether fact or fiction. My first taste of historical fiction was the Dynasty series by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. Those books follow the Morland family through the ages, from the War of the Roses to the present day. I loved those books. I love imagining how life was back then, not just for the nobility but for everyone - rich or poor. To imagine what everyday life - the routine - was like in those days, not just key historical events. From reading the Dynasty series, I went on to read books by Phillipa Gregory, CJ Samson, Barbara Erskine, Alison Weir, Wilbur Smith (Egypt Series), Kate Mosse and Dan Jones. I've realised that the list of great historical authors goes on and on...

I recently spent a weekend in Winchester (King Alfred the Great's Capital City), and it's impossible to go there and not be fascinated by its rich history. So, when I heard about Bloodlines, I was keen to read this and see if it shared a place amongst my favourites in this genre.

Thank you, LiterallyPR, Chris Bishop and Red Door Press, for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Chris Bishop. .Author of the Shadow of the Raven Series


Chris Bishop was born in London in 1951. After a successful career as a Chartered Surveyor, he retired to concentrate on writing, combining this with his lifelong interest in history.

Chris is a member of the Historical Writers’ Association and the Historical Novel Society.

He is married with two children and four granddaughters and lives in London.

Bloodlines by Chris Bishop


Your bloodline flows not from your heart but from the very core of your existence.

WESSEX 893 King Alfred readies his defences against another Viking invasion.

Among his many concerns is the plight of Edward, his stable boy, who he believes to be the bastard son of Matthew, a renowned warrior who died fighting for the Saxon cause. If Edward’s heritage could be proved, he would stand to inherit a vast fortune which Alfred fears would attract every fraudster in the realm. Worse still, given his noble lineage, the boy could well be used to usurp him as King.

Alfred, therefore, sends Edward to the burh at Wareham on the pretext of having him train Fleet, a magnificent black stallion so spirited it’s thought to be unrideable. The boy soon proves his skill with horses but is considered too puny to be a warrior. However, when the fyrd find themselves outnumbered and confronting a Viking Warband, Edward’s quick thinking and extraordinary courage leave no doubt about his bloodline.


I enjoyed Bloodlines from the opening page. It gives the reader an insight into life during the reign of King Alfred in Anglo-Saxon England. The story flows at a good pace. There were no moments when I was tempted to skip a paragraph or two. Every scene, every character, mattered – and for me, that's a sign of a good book.

This was the first book I’d read in The Shadow of the Raven series, and yet Bloodlines is Book Four. However, it was easy to pick up who the characters were and where Book Three left off. After reading Bloodlines, I shall be reading Books One, Two and Three, before looking forward to reading the next in the series, Book Five: The Prodigal Son.

Thank you, Literally PR, Chris Bishop and Red Door Press, for my copy of Bloodlines. I enjoyed this book so much that I can see I’ll be reading it again.


My next review will be Book Two in SS O'Connor's The Secrets of Life Series: How Did We Get To Be So Different? This book covers questions such as: If mankind evolved from animals, then how come we're so different to everything else? and, Who was already on earth when Adam and Eve were supposed to be here alone?

If book two is anything like book one, then I'm sure I'm going to enjoy this, not to mention learn so much. You can read my review here on 16th May.

Until then, stay safe and happy reading 📖

Gill x

Twitter - @CBishop_author


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