Strange Horizons, 3 July – 10 July 2006

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“The Welsh Squadron” by Margaret Ronald
The time is WWII, and the Nazi’s are bombing England in

“The Welsh Squadron” by Margaret Ronald. Nate is in charge of the RAF 188 Squadron which is now down to three men. Nine Welsh recruits arrive who turn out to be some of the best fighter pilots Nate has ever known. But on occasion he catches them talking in a language older than Welsh or referring to ancient battles. Who are these nine warriors, and have they really come from the distant past to save England’s future?

Ronald delivers a story full of action, mystery, and wonder. The characters are believable and sympathetic, and she handles the interactions between Nate, Idris, and the others very well. Though there are many characters, the author focuses on the two main ones, leaving the rest as minor characters to use as plot devices. Personally, I would’ve enjoyed seeing this story developed as a novel, thus allowing all the characters a bit of the spotlight. While the answer to the mystery of the identity of the Welsh pilots is somewhat predictable, she weaves in a twist of historical accuracy with Pagan legends.

This story is well worth a read.