Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller and chair of the British Book Awards judges, said: “From Shuggie Bain to The Thursday Murder Club, from All the Lonely People to The Danger Gang, from Hamnet to Black and British, these were the books that answered the call during this period of turmoil, debate and hope.”
After reading this prequel, in what is now a four-book sequence, I know about pre-1066 political relations with the Normans and the Vikings. I know about the delicate social rules in a time when England was polygamous and slavery was legal. I know, as one would expect from a series that focuses on builders, a fair bit about 10th-century construction methods. And I know all this while also having my education leavened by hissable baddies, noble heroes and pox-ridden bishops receiving hand jobs from prostitutes while watching other prostitutes getting spanked.