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Head of Zeus
Smile of the Wolf
12 Jul 2018 * EBOOK * £3.49 * 9781788544092

Tenth-century Iceland. One night in the darkness of winter, two friends set out on an adventure but end up killing a man.

Fiction / FV (Historical Fiction)
Extent: 416 pages
Exclusive: GB CA AU NZ IN ZA SG US
Also by Tim Leach
Smile of the Wolfby Tim Leach

A SUNDAY TIMES HISTORICAL NOVEL OF THE YEAR.

Tenth-century Iceland. In the midwinter darkness, on the lifeless black soils of a newly settled land, two friends kill a man. Kjaran, an itinerant storyteller, and Gunnar, a once-feared warrior, must make a choice: conceal the deed or confess to it and pay the blood price to the dead man's brothers.

For the right reasons, they make the wrong choice.

Kjaran and Gunnar's fateful decision will leave them fighting for their lives, fighting to retain their humanity as Iceland's unyielding code of honour ignites a remorseless blood feud that will consume all it touches.

'Smile of the Wolf bares its fangs from the first page. Like a medieval tapestry, the storytelling is rich with imagery. Readers will be lured spellbound into this lyrical and evocative Icelandic saga. It deserves huge success' DAVID GILMAN.

Tim Leach is a graduate of the Warwick Writing Programme, where he now teaches as an Assistant Professor. His first novel, The Last King of Lydia, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Selected by The Times as a historical novel of the year.

Fantastic evocation of 10th-century Icelandic life and law.

Leach's first novel, The Last King of Lydia, was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

MARKET: The North Water; Shield of Achilles; Hannah Kent/Burial Rites.


'Smile of the Wolf bares its fangs from the first page. Like a medieval tapestry, the storytelling is rich with imagery. Readers will be lured spellbound into this lyrical and evocative Icelandic saga. It deserves huge success' David Gilman

'A thoughtful, literary take on a world that is more often depicted in a boy's adventure way. The focus in Leach's book is not on the fighting, but on the strange, inescapable logic that makes the fighting inevitable' The Times

'An epic story of exile and revenge set in the snows of Iceland' Sheffield Telegraph

'A poetic, absorbing narrative with many of the same qualities as the medieval Icelandic sagas that it echoes and reimagines' Sunday Times

'Through him we understand the pitiless code of honour which drives almost everyone in the story to destruction – we understand, and we care' Historical Novel Society

'Leach's gift for conjuring up the past is underappreciated' Sunday Times, Books of the Year

'Tim Leach is good at ratcheting up the tension' Times, Books of the Year

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