Greetings, Mr. Conrwell.
I hope you are doing well!
I believe I have sent you a message before, but I am unsure if this is the case. At any rate, I would like to say great praises to your stories. I was introduced to your works back in Mid 2011, my senior year at school. I read the first book of the Arthur Series, The Winter King, and was overjoyed to read a very gripping tale of fiction. I wasn't an avid reader at that point (having read only J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books until then). But thanks to you, I was able to get great inspiration as well as a good motivation to read more. My grandfather, being an avid book reader himself, recommended more of your works, and that's when I bought the remaining Arthur books, The Enemy of Good and Excalibur, and read them. I have only good things to say, and it is a great book that mixes lots of themes well, being Leadership, Compromise, Friendship, Allegiances and so much more. By 2014, I began reading The Saxon Chronicles, and dare I say, it is my favorite series of ALL time. The story is forged with blood, battles, betrayal and non-stop action, and I truly love it! I have all the 10 books so far, and I plan on getting the first 5 ones in hardcover (I am not sure, I am a great fan of hardcover books, and I consider it a sign of... "respect" to a series I like so much?). I truly love many characters in it, Uhtred, Gisela, Finan, Alfred, Aethelflaed, Ragnar, Leofric, Steapa, and so many others. I believe one of the best antagonists you have done (with the exception of the 10th book, as I have not read it so far!) is Skade, Cnut Longsword, Erik Thurglisson, and Kjartan. Skade and Kjartan for being cruel villains, who wouldn't think twice to torture their victims before death (Hell, Skade is seen flaying Edwulf, and it was a very striking scene to me. I am not sure why, but I see flaying/skinning as one of the worst tortures ever to exist, and I can't help but to love and hate the characters who do that.). As for Cnut and Erik, while not related, they seemed more like the anti-villains, two characters you can get used to and like their ideals, despite being on the "opposing team", and this is very nice for a story, as it is possible get behind the Saxons as well as the Danes, not being a "Black and White" moral fiction.
With all that said, I truly look forward to reading the Sharpe novels, as well as the Starbuck Chronicles, as the Napoleonic Wars and the American Civil War seem like great periods of time, and sadly, two that I don't know much of!
I have a few questions for you:
1 - The Arthur Series had not only a map detailing every location included on the series, but also a character list. I noticed the absence of that in The Saxon Chronicles, and wanted to know if you do plan on bringing this back on the newer releases? I say that because at times, we can't help to remember every character's name, and having a list of characters on an appendix really does help to memorize the ones present within the story. With that, see this as a personal "request" of sorts, as I believe a release of an appendix would be very much welcome to many readers!
2 - In the later books of The Saxon Chronicles, there is an "absence" of the year the story is set. It must be due to Uhtred getting old (can't blame him! haha) but I confess I am a person that particularly likes to pinpoint the years in which the story is set. With that being said, I would like to know if we could consider the dates the historical characters being on the series? For example: Ragnall Ivarson, that died on year 921 last I saw, and pinpoint that to being where the story is set in The Warriors of the Storm, or not quite?
Also, this is a nice little disclaimer: Your stories has motivated me into getting a new hobby: writing. I will of course, not request you to read the script, as my stories will be set in the present time, and it will be a much different focus as your stories take place, but rather, this is a way of saying "Thank you" for writing such amazing stories and motivating many youngsters to get the taste of literature, and bringing many veterans to appreciate the historical fiction.