1062: While the ailing King Edward, known as the Confessor, wastes his final days building monuments to God, across the Channel the brutal William the Bastard of Normandy plots to swamp all England in a tide of blood. The war drums are beating, the ravens are gathering. But with the king’s closest advisors scheming and squabbling, any hope of resistance to the Norman duke lies with just one man. Hereward is the King of Terror. Hereward is a warrior, trained in the lethal art of spear, axe and sword, a master tactician, a mercenary, and, to both ally and enemy, the devil in human form – as adept at slaughter as the foes gathering to claim Edward’s throne. Yet the men who need him most have made him outlaw, and Hereward must carve a bloody swathe from the frozen hills of Northumbria to the war-torn fields of Flanders just to stay alive. Here, during the darkest age in history, are the early days of the man who would be forged into one of England’s greatest heroes. It is the story of two mismatched allies, Hereward the Warrior and Alric the Monk, one fighting to save the land he loves, the other to save his friend’s soul. This is the story of the last Englishman, the first terrorist…the forgotten hero.
I really enjoyed this book. the character’s of Hereward, and his wife Turfrida had such great chemistry and their love and strength gave so much to the book. My favourite character was Balthar, and even though he was torn between the sides of the English and the Vikings , he was a very enjoyable part of the book.
I learnt so much of this historical period thanks to the author James Wilde , I knew very little of the story and was surprised to see the added plot of witchery and the tormenting of witches in the book. This part of the storyline added so much to the plot and made me more sympathetic to the vikings and especially Turfrida.
The way the author described the battle kept me really enthralled and though it was aggressive in places, this was inline with the plot all the way through.
The characters were well written and both sides of the Vikings and English battles and determination to win were equally told in a satisfactory way. I had no clear favourite side at the beginning, but by the end I was glad to see Hereward triumphant. The surprise betrayal of Redwald and his conspiring with the enemy was a brilliant twist and I think my favourite part of the book.
I know this book was a great read, as the time when Balthar was killed was so heartfelt and had me close to tearful at his demise. I can’t thank the author enough for writing a great historical novel and for introducing me to a whole new set of books that I would like to read.