Original novel based on the epic story of Beowulf, through the eyes of Hrethric, son of the king.
Seen through the eyes of Hrethric, son of the king and heir to the throne of the Scylding Kingdom, we learn that for twelve long years the monster Grendel has laid waste to the kingdom, devouring even the mightiest of its warriors. Tonight he will claim yet another victim. The blood debt is heavy, but few are left to avenge the dead in this bitterly one-sided feud.
Already much weakened by the marauder, the kingdom is also threatened from within. The King's nephew Hrothulf plans to seize the throne. Our hero, Hrethric, is young and has yet to prove his strength. The coming of the Geat hero, Beowulf, brings new hope but also new and terrifying dangers.
First published in 1979 by Abelard-Schuman Limited.
... notable for superbly evoked landscape and crushing atmosphere of menace ... - THE GUARDIAN
... frankly astonishing for the sheer force of June Oldham's imgination. The whole book is marvellous ... it's a real shocker, but it is also first rate literature. - YORKSHIRE REVIEW OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
Strange, mythical story set in the dim past that revolves around the epic tale of Beowulf. An unusual novel for dedicated lovers of fantasy. - MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS
marvellously atmospheric - GLASGOW HERALD
June Oldham attended her mother's village school, a grammar school in Lincoln, then took an honours degree in English and a diploma in education. After some years' teaching, she had children and began to write. Although her award winning novel, Flames, was for adults, most of her books have been for children and adolescents. Many of them reflect her love of the Yorkshire Dales where she has lived for the last thirty years.
She has directed Ilkley Literature Festival, tutored for the Arvon Foundation, been a judge for the Constable Trophy (now defunct), encouraged imaginative writing in a gaol, held fellowships in creative writing. Occasionally she leads workshops, visits adult groups and schools.