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28 June 2021

Book Review: Whispers of the Runes by Christina Courtenay *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Whispers of the Runes by Christina Courtenay ahead of the blog tour.

I can't remember the last time I read a time-slip romance but now I all I want to do is read them. As soon as I finished Whispers of the Runes by Christina Courtenay I went out and bought the others... Oops? It was a fantastic book that had me aching for more.

Whispers of the Runes by Christina Courtenay book cover Choc Lit

She couldn’t be sure that she had travelled through time... but deep down she just knew.

And her only way back had just disappeared.

When jewellery designer Sara Mattsson is propelled back to the ninth century, after cutting herself on a Viking knife she uncovers at an archaeological dig, she is quick to accept what has happened to her. For this is not the first Sara has heard of time travel.

Although acutely aware of the danger she faces when she loses the knife – and with it her way to return to her own time – this is also the opportunity of a lifetime. What better way to add authenticity to the Viking and Anglo-Saxon motifs used in her designs?

As luck has it, the first person Sara encounters is Rurik Eskilsson, a fellow silversmith, who is also no stranger to the concept of time travel. Agreeing that Sara can accompany him to Jorvik, they embark on a journey even more perilous than one through time. But Fate has brought these two kindred spirits together across the ages for a reason…


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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

Content Warnings: Violence, blood, threat of sexual assault.

5 Word Review: History, jewellery, love, friendship, danger.


I didn't realise I needed a Viking time slip romance, but here we are. And I need more.

This is the second book in a kind of mini-series, the first is The Runes of Destiny. There are small spoilers if you haven't read the first (like me) but I don't think they ruined it, if anything I'm even more excited to go back and read Linnea's story.

Sara adjusted remarkably well to her time travel - and although it was understandable given what has happened to her friend (in a book I have not read but immediately bought when I finished this). Even if I knew what she did, I would have freaked out a lot more. Sara is so lucky with her knowledge of languages both modern and ancient and it definitely made her situation a lot more bearable.

Rurik has such a kind heart, but my gosh he's a bit of an oaf sometimes! He's caring, yet careless when it comes to communication, which of course leads to massive misunderstandings.

I loved the simmering tensions between Sara and Rurik, and the growing trust between them. This is a marvellous slowburn with moments of intense lust, longing for their pasts, and perhaps a few mistakes. I liked their scrutinisation of their own pasts, and how the realisations they came to shaped their relationship.

This isn't just a one way timeslip, either. There is a small amount of back and forth, and I liked seeing how Rurik and Sara reacted to each other's times. Both would be a lot to take in, but Rurik really took it in his stride and it took it all with an open mind (and stomach). I do kind of wish that Sara had prepared a bit more when she got the opportunity to, I would have been straight into recipe books and survival blogs, frantically googling what plants are safe to eat.

It is obvious that a huge amount of research has gone into this book. It even had me reaching for resources. There is a vast history in the area that the book begins, from prehistoric to modern times, so a cairn isn't beyond the realms of possibilities, especially as the landscape has changed so much. And yes, I took myself to Marsden Bay in the thick sea fret for a bookstagram photo.

The writing is beautiful too. I could picture everything so perfectly, so vividly. I could even smell it, the descriptions are so rich. From the weather to the landscape, the smells to the horror of a raiding army, this book had me there, in the past.

Whispers of the Runes is perfect for fans of Outlander and The Last Kingdom, it's a whirlpool of action and a slowburn romance in one and I loved it. There was a snippet of Tempted by the Runes at the back, and December has to hurry up so I can read Madison's story!
Whispers of the Runes by Christina Courtenay blog tour banner


Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014).  Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

Giveaway to Win a signed copy of Whispers of the Runes plus a pair of silver Viking style earrings
(Open INT)

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1 comment:

  1. You reviewed this beautifully, hun! And talk about a book that makes you want to reach for the previous which you've already read. Great storytelling!

    ReplyDelete

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