Paddy Kennington – Ph.D., LPC, NCC, EMDR Level II.

In a world and time more like our own than we would admit, Carole Anne Carr creates a story woven with child-understanding, Anglo-Saxon history, and mythical allusions. While full of adventure, action, and mystery, this hero-tale is anchored in a young boy’s rite of passage that involves the killing of his first wolf and his survival in the destructive adult world in which he lives. More evident in our early history, than in our present time of science and technology, are the boy’s otherworldly helpers who are everywhere around him, and central to this story is Toland’s dedication to fulfilling his promise to the monks of Lindisfarne, despite the threats to his life that this single-minded focus brings. From the beginning, the story holds readers both young and old and does not fail to surprise throughout. Left wanting more of this boy-man’s life, I would pose that readers will not let Carole rest until she returns to this period of history. Attempting to describe the lives of those who lived in Northumbria in the Dark Ages presents her with many difficulties, but in our return to the 8th century we are given glimpses of beliefs that have been passed down to us through the ages and that we still hold more deeply than we ever recognise.