The Lion of Skye (The Bronze Sword Cycles Book 2) Author J. T. T. Ryder

Book Review

4 out of 5 stars!

First and foremost! These books go in order, if you haven't read "Hag of the Hills" read it first otherwise this review will contain spoilers!

Secondly! These books are set around the time of 200 B.C. the Iron Age of Britain. The author is an archaeologist who specializes in the period he has written about. He's of course taken creative liberties and license to spin a fantastic read. However, there's a lot of historical accuracy with how people are treated and seen. So, while reading this adventure leave the modern mind set behind to fully submerge into the book!

"Sing, because there could only be one lion of Skye." - Vidav

Vidav (Brennus) has finally become a man! With a title, men who are oath sworn to him, possible lands, and a potential woman. Not to mention his sword he can claim as his own along with the name! Only Vidav will have to prove he is worthy of it all and more.

Welcome to Vidav's Odyssey as he embarks on a long road to gain the respect and acknowledgement he so deserves. But at the end of this journey, he knows he will have to defeat the Queen of the Hillmen. The biggest challenge lies with his brother. . .Fennigus. Will Vidav be able to go through his brother to get to his end goal? Or will the man Vidav lose it all and turn back into the timid boy Brennus?

"I can't imagine my brother as my enemy. I can never imagine feeling that Fennigus is my enemy." - Vidav

Just like as in book one, Vidav is relaying his story to the Bard Luceo! Telling about the trials and tribulations that surround his past on the Isle of Skye. The story certainly not being for one faint of heart! Vidav's tale will have you feeling a whole array of emotions as you read. The author has an amazing writing style, and you will be submerged into the read!

I loved that the author included short little recaps from the prior book within this one. Helping to refresh the mind and remember all the cast. With Vidav I cannot fully relate to him on several things, but I enjoyed watching his growth and coming to grips with matters. He had to wake up and realize that not everyone was going to take his word on things. They needed to see his actions and what he could accomplish with his sword and mind.

Exactly as Vidav had warned this book was focused on the war of Skye from Samhain (Halloween) to Beltane (May 1st), roughly six months. And let me tell you, this was a very bloody and trying six months almost seven. . .

I enjoyed the epic adventures with several twists that happened within this book and how the author added paranormal flares. Sticking with mostly the Celtic Mythology and the crazy happenings that transpire with the deities. This book contained low to mid-range fantasy, majority of it being centered around sidhe and their antics. Not to mention we get to see how Samhain is celebrated and feared on the Isle!

The Queen of the Hillmen is a very. . .interesting character. She also enjoys extremely bloody forms of entertainment that have the participants either walking away luckily to breath for another day or none of them walking away. . . Her punishments are very cruel and brutal as well and the scenes surrounding her may be a little disturbing for some.

I enjoyed seeing the group of sellswords again and all their chaotic antics. Though in this book you will be crying, cheering, and gritting your teeth on several occasions. Loved how they all continued to train and teach Vidav different things to help him grow into the strong man and leader. Also liked how they weren't just instantly fawning all over Vidav and his sudden title of leadership.

This is 200 B.C.; women are not seen as equals other than being life barriers and creators. They're seen more as property to have and covet. The Queen is a female and a leader, but she has gained so by becoming someone everyone fears, including the subjects surrounding her. There's raw brutality around women and how they are viewed. Again, leave the modern mindset behind.

Just crazy to think how far we have come since the times of the Bronze Age! No longer having to fight or agree to become a slave just to have a meal and shelter. The author does a great job bringing to life the past and how it truly was, of course the author states and stresses several times this is a work of Fiction!

The author included a list of Placenames, Non-English words and how to pronounce them, and the four Gaelic seasonal festivals at the beginning of the book! Not to mention an Appendix, personal names, and historical figures list at the end of the book. 

There's heavy violence and gore throughout the entire book. Language is prominent as well as heavy themes and subjects. Torture and cruelty, animals being killed, SA, and mention of or acts of "grape". None of the SA scenes or scenes with MF action are heavily detailed out, simply implied. War and the aftermaths of what comes about with such drastic acts along with raids. The author did an amazing job writing and showing movement with battle scenes and one on one combat.

History is a rather brutal thing when you get past the fluffy readings that schools have "allowed" into their systems. True history is very gritty, stomach twisting, and wondering just how humanity still walks this planet! This was a great read, and the author did an amazing job! There's a semi happy ending though I don't see Vidav's story ending "happily". Resolved and the end, yes. Though the author did leave openings for more of Vidav's tale and past to unfold!

Enjoy this crazy, brutal read with sidhe! Don't forget to give the author some stars and beware the Hag of the hills! The Lion of Skye: A Celtic Historical Fantasy Duology (The Bronze Sword Cycles Duology Book 2) eBook : Ryder, JTT: Kindle Store

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