Izar, The Amesbury Archer
The story of a man who died nearly a thousand miles from where he was born. He lived at the end of an era, when human curiosity was pushing the boundaries into a new age. It was an exciting time when dependence on stone gave way to a new, more versatile material – metal.
The numerous items buried with the man give tantalising clues as to his ability as an archer, but also to his role as a pioneer metal worker.
How did this man come to be so far from his homeland, and who, or what, brought him into contact with his apparent trade? What secrets of metallurgy, locked into simple stone, did he learn and how did he use the power that these secrets bestowed upon him? Utilising real-life detail of the burial site and remains, Michael Wills weaves a story that could represent what life was like for him, how he lived and how he died. It is an exploration of a time when technology took a great leap forward and helped us to get to where we are today.
Available here on Amazon in paperback, Kindle edition and audiobook..
A Jaffareadstoo Book Review, July 2021
A ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 June 2021
I must begin by saying that, nowadays, I spend a lot of my time enjoying modern thrillers; oh, and the odd YS novel full of weeping teenagers who finally find love and then discover the hot boy’s a werewolf and wants to devour them. But I don’t spend much time curled up with an historical novel based on a skeleton discovered not far from Stonehenge and thought to be thousands of years old. But, here I am, laptop open, enjoying Michael E Wills’ superbly plotted story of that very man; how he lived, what he fought for, and the problems he battled to overcome.
This is a very atmospheric story, filled with interesting characters and plenty of plot twists. The author seems to know his historical setting well and wants the reader, like the characters, to be immersed in it. But, thankfully, not overly so; it’s never tedious, the author keeping a good balance between descriptive prose, character development and speech which is very much in keeping with the time of the story. I must also comment on the ending; it was very sad – although, in a way, it had to be – but it did bring the story to a satisfying end. There’s also a list of ‘Items in the Grave’ which I thought was interesting and helped me to understand what sparked this story.
So, who’s this book for? Well, I think you if you have an interest in how the world progressed from Stone Age to the age of metal, you will find this of interest. Also, if you enjoy historical novels with a twisting plot and larger than life characters, you’ll get a kick out of reading this. I have a hobby; I love doing up old cars and bringing them back to life. In a way, this is what this author’s done with this character. He’s brought him back to life, allowing him to live that little bit longer.
A job well done!