Raef stood up in the prow, his face wet with spray. He had not sailed these seas in fifteen years. He had tasted the salt tang on his lips now the first time he left the shore, at the far side of this ocean. The harsh edge in the wind made his blood race.I had expected this to be a non-genre historical novel; in fact although it's based fairly closely on the historical events of the 1014-1016 period in and near England, the central character, Raef, has magical powers and is contending also with dark forces attempting to seize control of whoever is on the throne that month. I have to say I did not enjoy it much. It is the third book in a trilogy, and I think it may work much better as a climax to the other two; I found it difficult to remember which feuding dynast was which (George R.R. Martin has done that much better) or indeed to care particularly which of them would win (spoiler: Knut). I was struggling with other unengaging books at the time and it really cut into my reading rate.
This was one of the remaining books recommended to me by you guys at the end of last year, and I'm afraid you did not guide me well on this occasion. Next on that particular list is The Habit of Loving, by Doris Lessing, but the whole list is likely to be rejigged by my end-of-year survey.