It seems to me this book is well-timed for that audience that is demanding ""good stories, plenty of action, no current problems and not about the war"". For here's a Maurice Hewlett-Jeffrey Farnol 1941 style in a derring-do tale of mid-10th century France, written -- heaven be praised -- in present-day language. I loved it -- found myself carried along with the sweep of a grand tale of Finnian, Irish minstrel who was caught up in the fierce fighting for control of the lands, invaded by Danes, Franks and rapacious barons. There is a gangster crew, bent on swallowing all they could seize, there are abbeys housing untutored monks, now on one side, now on another, there are outlaws and foreigners, and there's Conan, eager to give his serfs a chance to till the land, and his vassals a chance to live in peace. There's romance, too, with an end outside the reader's expectation. A first novel which shows a trained pen and a sound scholarship and a live imagination. Good going.