‘Defender of the Realm: Dark Age,’ by Mark Huckerby & Nick Ostler.

A traitor revealed.

An invasion unleashed.

A kingdom in peril.

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I was very excited to be asked to participate in the blog tour for this second instalment in the Defender of the Realm series.

Following the shocking events which occurred at his coronation, the young King Alfred II (or Alfie, as he prefers to be called) believes he’s finally thwarted his greatest foe, the Black Dragon.  The greatest battle Alfie can see ahead of him is to win the hearts and minds of his unconvinced subjects. However, this is all set to change when a rampaging hoard of undead Viking  berserkers appear, causing havoc across the kingdom.

It soon becomes clear that these gold- (and meat) hungry ghouls may not be acting alone. Dark and mysterious powers appear to be controlling them for their own evil ends. An epic battle against a formidable opponent looms large on the horizon for King Alfie.

But Alfie has some tough decisions ahead – will blood prove thicker than water? Can the Defender save Britain once again?

I was certainly not disappointed by this sequel. Just as action-packed as its predecessor, Dark Age turns the history of the United Kingdom as we know it on its head. It turns out the Henry Eighth didn’t destroy the monasteries for religious reasons; he was just trying to hunt down a pack of hibernating werewolves who’d been lulled to sleep by the music!

Full of clever references to modern life and the pressures young royals might face when on parade in public. I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Alfie who would much rather be doing almost anything than trying to uphold his public image or defending us all from various murderous creatures.

The cliff-hanging ending has me on tenterhooks, wanting to know precisely what’s going to happen next.  Will the Defender live to fight another day?

Library Girl aka The Book Defender.

Check out other stops on the tour for interviews and  giveaways:

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*Many thanks to Scholastic for inviting me to be part of the tour and sending me a copy to review*

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