The Last Saxon King

  • Type: Books
  • By: Andrew Varga
  • Age Category: Teens
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Recommended by: Tom S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781945501821
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A 21st century teen at the Battle of Hastings

Time travel is a common plot device in fantasy literature for young people (just think of Mary Pope Osborne’s colossally popular Magic Tree House series!) and in the best time travel books, the reader learns something about another historical era while enjoying an exciting adventure.

This story admirably satisfies those criteria in this story about Dan, a lonely, modern-day American teenager who finds himself transported to Anglo-Saxon England in the late summer of 1066.  As Dan literally struggles to find his footing in this unfamiliar world, he is lucky enough to encounter a mysterious archer who informs him that they are both time travelers, and to return home, they must correct a historical glitch that would drastically alter the flow of history.  Specifically, Dan and the archer must see to it that King Harold of England loses the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest can proceed.  Dan, however, finds this an increasingly difficult proposition, because the band of warriors he has joined for merely practical reasons (fixing history and getting home!) gradually become his treasured friends.  How can he condemn them to almost certain death at the hands of the Normans?

Packed with gritty historical detail and enlivened by a sweetly romantic subplot, this book is a good choice for readers who enjoy stories about early Medieval warrior cultures.  It is, for example, a natural companion for Nancy Farmer’s "Sea of Trolls".

This is the first book in a planned series "Jump in Time".