The concluding book in the series.

After three years in the service of the emperor of the Greeks, Ahl and his Viking friends have become very rich. Now the crew longs to return home with their wealth, their problem is that the emperor will not permit them to leave. They make a daring plan to escape.

The route home is perilous as they navigate uncharted seas. They must overcome robbers, storms and hostile strangers as they seek their way back to the Northlands with the riches which they have earned. 

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Reader Reviews

By Jaffareadstoo, March 2019

After three years in the service of the emperor of the Greeks, Ahl and his Viking friends have become very rich. Now the crew longs to return home with their wealth, their problem is that the emperor will not permit them to leave. They make a daring plan to escape. The route home is perilous as they navigate uncharted seas. They must overcome robbers, storms and hostile strangers as they seek their way back to the Northlands with the riches which they have earned.

My thoughts..

In Bound for Home we meet up with our intrepid adventurers some three years into their sojourn with the emperor of the Greeks. During their time away they have accumulated riches which now allows them the opportunity to return home to the Northlands, and so after meticulous planning they make their escape. However, the sea journey in their ship the Eagle is filled with danger and Ahl and his friends must use their considerable wits to survive in dangerous and uncharted seas.

Right from the start, Bound For Home reads like a splendid adventure and I think in this closing story there is also a real sense of accomplishment as their time in exile shows that the characters have grown from boys to young men who have seen and experienced far more than they could ever have imagined.

On their hazardous return journey to the north the close camaraderie they share is tested to the limit when they take on new passengers and come into contact with the Norwegian Jarl Tryggvason who is a cold and calculating warrior. I especially liked the references to Aenglandi as the crew sail along the great tidal river to meet with King Ethelred in the place known as London.

Bound for Home is imaginatively told to appeal to young readers and there is never a moment when the action doesn’t deliver a real sense of exploration and intrigue. I’ve now been following this story from its beginning in 2015, and to see how the both the story and the characters have evolved over the course of this grand historical adventure has been a real pleasure to observe.


By Mary Anne Yarde, The Coffee Pot Book Club, 16th March 2019

After three years in the service of the emperor of the Greeks, Ahl and his Viking friends have become very rich. Now the crew longs to return home with their wealth, their problem is that the emperor will not permit them to leave. They make a daring plan to escape. The route home is perilous as they navigate uncharted seas. They must overcome robbers, storms and hostile strangers as they seek their way back to the Northlands with the riches which they have earned.

“Man the oars,” shouted Ahl. “We are bound for home.”

The Varangians have been in the service of the emperor of the Greeks for three years, and in that time they have earned a fortune. But the men are restless and they want to take their treasure and return to the colder climate of their homeland. Alas, the Greeks are reluctant to part with their Varangian allies. Ahl, the leader of the Varangian’s, has come up with a way to escape the hold of their Greek masters. It will be dangerous, and if they fail, they may well end up as slaves, but it is a risk worth taking. Nothing was going to stop the Varangians from going home — not even a Greek galley.

From the heat of the Mediterranean sun to the dangers of the open sea, Children of the Chieftain: Bound for Home, by Michael E Wills is a wonderfully engaging historical fiction story for children.

Children of the Chieftain: Bound For home begins with a delightful narrative hook, which draws the reader into the world of Ahl and his men. Wills’ keeps the language of the story simple for his younger audience, and he is careful not to overload his readers with large paragraphs of descriptive text. Instead, Wills gives just enough detail to set the scene and lets the narration of his characters drive the story forward. I thought this worked very well, and it is sure to keep the attention of his intended audience.

The journey the characters go on is fraught with danger, especially in the open sea, but Wills does not make the story too frightening. Wills mindfulness of his audience is apparent throughout this book. Wills does touch on the conflicting religious beliefs of the time, but again, he is very sensitive in his approach to this.

I thought this book was a fabulous introduction to historical fiction for a younger audience. It is just the right length for even the most reluctant readers, but rich enough in the story for those children who like to lose themselves in a good book.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.

The Coffee Pot Book Club.