blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Promises of the Runes – Christina Courtenay

He travelled through time to capture her heart.
The amulet was still in the palm of his hand. Was it some sort of conduit to the past? The image of the anguished woman in his vision was seared into his mind. Perhaps it could help him find her?
Ivar Thoresson is desperate for adventure. As an archaeologist specialising in Viking times, he wants nothing more than to travel back to the ninth century as his loved ones have done, to learn everything
he can about the era which fascinates him. And whilst his adopted family have always made him feel loved, the chance to meet a true ancestor, the warrior Thorald, is a temptation he cannot resist.
But while Ivar is preparing to go, he uncovers an amulet which shows him a vision of an arresting woman with red-gold hair. Clearly in distress, she is pleading for help. Convinced of the power of the charm and its message, Ivar’s journey takes on a new purpose. He steps back in time determined to follow his destiny – and find the woman who has called to his heart.

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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) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Promises of the Runes (time travel romance published by Headline Review 13th April 2023) is her latest novel.
Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).

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My thoughts: this time we travel with Ivar to ninth century Norway, or what will become Norway. Ivar is related to the protagonists of this series’ other books and as both an archaeologist and a man passionate about tracing his roots, he’s determined to go back in time and meet his family’s ancestor – Thorald and his family.

Accepted tentatively by his relative, they embark on a trip to assist Thorald’s brother-in-law reclaim his heritage, and Ivar meets the girl of his dreams – quite literally.

Proving himself to be the Indiana Jones style of archaeologist, he’s willing to get stuck into the adventures, willing to fight even (having hung out and trained with re-enactors) and determined to protect the woman he’s falling hard for. Even though he doesn’t think he could spend forever in the past – unlike his foster sisters.

Having a male protagonist is interesting, seeing the adventure from a different perspective. Much like Linnea, Sara and Madison, he’s kind, clever and brave. I’m not sure how many of us would cope in such a different world 1000 years ago.

This story really reaffirms that family is found and made – it doesn’t have to be people you’re related to – unless they’re your many times great-grandfather!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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