Arc Review: Ethandun (The Lost Dacomé Files #2) by Alexandra May

Published: March 8th 2017

Rating: 5 out of 5


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I am Stone. I am Iron. I am Oak.
Lord Tristan Dracanburh has a secret. A secret nobody knows except his family and his teacher, Halíka Dacomé. A secret he's kept hidden but one that could get him killed if discovered.
The year is A.D. 878. Danes rule the great Kingdoms of Northumbria, East Anglia and Mercia. The only great Kingdom left in the way of a new Scandinavian Empire—and ruled by Tristan’s father, is Wessex.
On the eve of the battle of Ethandun, Halíka Dacomé and Lord Tristan capture a Danish spy by using Tristan's unique gift. The spy discloses details of a plot to kill Halíka Dacomé and her unborn child. Nerído Xipilé and his army of nine hundred Kievan Rus' elves have joined the warlord Guthrum's armies to eliminate the Dacomé bloodline for eternity. Halíka Dacomé must die before the Danes can rule Britain.
Now Lord Tristan and Halíka Dacomé with the King's help have only a few hours before their dawn battle march to thwart their opponent’s plans. Lord Tristan must decide if he’s willing to expose his secret to secure the Danes defeat and win Wessex back.
The cost will be higher than anyone can imagine.
Ethandun is a thrilling tale of love, friendship and the joys and sorrow of war mixed with a glimmer of fae and druid intrigue. A must read for followers of the Lost Dacomé Files and the Primord series.



Oh. My. God. Or should I say 'Oh, crank!' If you've read Ms May's previous books you'll have a fair knowledge of the Elemental side of her stories. Her book The Battle for Arcanon Major filled in some of the backstory of Halika Dacomé but I've been waiting forever to read more.
It wasn't The Circle of Fire as I wanted but I knew this was Ms May's latest and I was lucky enough to get a review copy.
While the emphasis of this story is historical, it isn't the story itself.
Ethandun takes you on a human approach through the last 36 hours before the major battle between King Alfred and the Danes, led by a warlord called Guthrum.
The main character is Lord Tristan Dracanburh. Right from the beginning you know something is different about him. He's 17 and admits he's druid born but as you get into the story you realise he's not just a druid. He's something else too.

He, with Halika Dacomés human avatar, called Dee catch a danish boy who claims the Danes have enlisted Nerído Xipile and some horrible sounding elves, who call themselves the Nine Hundred. Their mission is to kill Halika Dacomé before the main battle because they think if she's dead the Danes will claim victory more easily. Wessex will be lost and King Alfred will fall.
The next hours, Lord Tristan uncovers the plot piece by piece and finds unlikely allies who help him and his close friends thwart (I love that word!) the threat.

What kept me fixated was the unravelling of Lord Tristan in the story. He's a good guy. A really good guy. Possibly swoonworthy. In some ways he's innocent, in others he's not innocent at all. He's killed people, he's a spycatcher, he's loyal to his father who is the King. He held his twin brother in his arms as he died. But he's got secrets too. Lots of them and slowly they come out and you realise that his burden is to carry all those secrets and to keep on going. Keep a brave face. Keep his men's confidence high. Make everyone on his side believe they will win the war. But it all has a price. Personally, I'm surprised he's still sane after all of it.

Any readers of YA fantasy will love this. If you like thrilling suspense, romance, fun and twists, then you'll love this. If you haven't read any of Ms May's previous books it doesn't matter (you can catch up later.) This book is a complete story and ends with a thread which will lead us to Elemental: The Circle of Fire (which I can't wait to read!)

A wonderfully written book!



About the Author

Alexandra May was destined to be an author or a musician. She wrote her first prose at 6 and learnt to read music by the age of 8. But coming from an army-style childhood, it was travelling that became her passion in her twenties. Having lived in 5 different countries she finally settled in Portugal and never left.
Ms May is an English young adult and sci-fi author of four books, bringing together the epic saga of a mythic mitochondrial Eve, Halíka Dacomé, and her modern day equivalent, Rose Frost.
Elemental: The First, Elemental: Origin, The Battle for Arcanon Major and Ethandun draw in Alexandra's love of strong women characters, sci-fi, history, romance and a little warmongering on the side!

You can find Alexandra May here:


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