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An Endless Exile [Paperback]

Mary Lancaster
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

4 Oct 2005
The love story of Hereward the Wake and the mystery and tragedy behind his brutal murder. An Endless Exile is the story of the eleventh century hero, Hereward "the Wake", the only Englishman to have defied and defeated William the Conqueror. Torfrida is thirty-two years old, cynical, secretive, confident of her own wisdom and learning. Yet even she is taken by surprise when Hereward is brutally killed by his Norman guests. Lonely and embittered, it is with reluctance that she remembers the past, from her first childhood meeting with the tumultuous Hereward, through their stormy courtship and Hereward's military adventures as mercenary and as patriot - which she shared - up to the unforgivable betrayal which parted them. Even more reluctantly does Torfrida begin to question Hereward's murder, eventually seeking the elusive truth with a desperation that mirrors her own unacknowledged need to believe in him and the value of their marriage. But the truth only leads her into greater danger, threatening her unexpected new happiness in the very moment of its discovery.

Product details

  • Paperback: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Bladud Books (4 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843192721
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843192725
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 21.3 x 13.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,679,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Lancaster's first love was historical fiction. Since then she has also grown to love coffee, chocolate, red wine and black and white films - simultaneously where possible. She hates housework.

As a direct consequence of the first love, she studied history at St. Andrews University, after which she worked variously as editorial assistant, researcher and librarian. Although she has always written stories for her own entertainment, she began to make serious efforts toward publication in order to distract herself from a job she disliked. She now writes full time at her seaside home in Scotland, which she shares with her husband and three children.

Mary is the author of three historical novels:
An Endless Exile - the story of Hereward, 11th century outlaw hero
A World to Win - a Scottish governess finds love in revolutionary Hungary
A Prince to be Feared: the love story of Vlad Dracula

Read more on her website: www.MaryLancaster.com.
Be friends on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mary.lancaster.1656

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Endless Exile is a really excellent 'meaty' read. An historical who did what, when and with Hereward, the Eleventh century rebel who defied William the Conqueror and won. As well as being a fascinating portrayal of the divisions between the Saxons and their Norman invaders it also centres on Hereward's wife, a Flemish lady who had an extraordinarily independent life for that time. Torfrida is the real hero of the story; smart, sassy and rather sharp tongued because of the suffering she endures being the wife of a man so involved in the violence and politics of the time. This is an historical romance that does not get bogged down in the history as it is also a story of love, murder and betrayal, bringing the past vividly to life through Torfrida's experiences. This is a love story which any modern woman can relate to as Hereward is not inclined to communicate about his feelings! Torfrida, hurt and lonely is determined to find out who murdered him, as well as trying to understand what their relationship meant to her and why it went wrong. She learns that nothing is so simple - but you'll have to read the book to find that out!

This is an excellent first book from an author we will undoubtedly see more of in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is the story of Hereward the Wake, 11th century legendary hero, that defied and defeated William the Conqueror of England and/or William the Bastard of Normandy. His is a turbulent life, constantly testing his boundaries with his family and friends. The story is told from his wife's, Torfrida's, point of view and she gives a through account of her life before, during and after Hereward comes on the scene.
She meets him as a young girl who is betrothed to Hereward's Godfather's son, Robert. That doesn't work out and Torfrida returns to her native Flanders where several years later Hereward and she fatefully meet again. As Torfrida remembers her life with Hereward, the good times and many times the bad, she questions Hereward's murder and tries to get to the bottom of it.
This is an action packed story following Torfrida & Hereward's stormy but passionate relationship. There is never a dull moment and the pages seem to fly by! Hereward was/is an enigmatic figure and he is brought back to life vividly in this novel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, beautiful, mesmerising, powerful 17 Oct 2004
By Deborah MacGillivray HALL OF FAME VINE VOICE
The Endless Exile by Mary Lancaster opens with the death of Hereward. Somewhere around 1032, Hereward the Wake was born at Bourne. He inherited extensive lands in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. Later he was the leader to the English resistance against William the Conqueror. He is believed to have died around 1072. It is in this period of bloody Britain history Lancaster pens her tale.
It's a first person, very personal view of a Flemish woman, Torfrida, who later marries Hereward, in a time that was turbulent in British History. Lancaster has an easy voice, quickly pulling you into the saga. She strongly evokes the senses, to make you "see" the story as it unfolds. After the opening of Hereward's death, we move with a flashback to when Hereward and she were much younger. Sent as a 12-year-old child bride to Robert de Ghent, she is a shock to his family. Her parents set the betrothal by misrepresenting Torfrida's youth. Robert is in love with Lucy, Hereward's sister, and slowly Torfrida comes to love Hereward, though at time he exasperates her, even makes her hate him for his unbending rebellious streak.
It's richly researched, with a strong eye to historical details, the sort of historical saga you see so rarely today. You still see smaller presses putting out these sort of strong dramas in Britain, but US seems to think these are not popular. Well, the rise of e-books sales is telling a different story. The readers are there, just they have a hard time finding the sort of books they want. E-book publishers are cleaning up on NYC publishers' shortsightedness. And that Lancaster is not in print is most definitely shortsighted!
Lancaster gives an amazing tale, that totally fascinated me, spellbound me. The young Hereward and Torfrida were amazing; they were so vivid, alive.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hereward the Wake Kept Me Awake Many Late Nights! 4 Feb 2006
By Kimberly Gelderman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the story of Hereward the Wake, 11th century legendary hero, that defied and defeated William the Conqueror of England and/or William the Bastard of Normandy. His is a turbulent life, constantly testing his boundaries with his family and friends. The story is told from his wife's, Torfrida's, point of view and she gives a through account of her life before, during and after Hereward comes on the scene.

She meets him as a young girl who is betrothed to Hereward's Godfather's son, Robert. That doesn't work out and Torfrida returns to her native Flanders where several years later Hereward and she fatefully meet again. As Torfrida remembers her life with Hereward, the good times and many times the bad, she questions Hereward's murder and tries to get to the bottom of it.

This is an action packed story following Torfrida & Hereward's stormy but passionate relationship. There is never a dull moment and the pages seem to fly by! Hereward was/is an enigmatic figure and he is brought back to life vividly in this novel!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing historical! 22 Oct 2005
By Deborah MacGillivray - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Endless Exile by Mary Lancaster opens with the death of Hereward. Somewhere around 1032, Hereward the Wake was born at Bourne. He inherited extensive lands in Lincolnshire and Warwickshire. Later he was the leader to the English resistance against William the Conqueror. He is believed to have died around 1072. It is in this period of bloody Britain history Lancaster pens her tale.

It's a first person, very personal view of a Flemish woman, Torfrida, who later marries Hereward, in a time that was turbulent in British History. Lancaster has an easy voice, quickly pulling you into the saga. She strongly evokes the senses, to make you "see" the story as it unfolds. After the opening of Hereward's death, we move with a flashback to when Hereward and she were much younger. Sent as a 12-year-old child bride to Robert de Ghent, she is a shock to his family. Her parents set the betrothal by misrepresenting Torfrida's youth. Robert is in love with Lucy, Hereward's sister, and slowly Torfrida comes to love Hereward, though at time he exasperates her, even makes her hate him for his unbending rebellious streak.

It's richly researched, with a strong eye to historical details, the sort of historical saga you see so rarely today. You still see smaller presses putting out these sort of strong dramas in Britain, but US seems to think these are not popular. Well, the rise of e-books sales is telling a different story. The readers are there, just they have a hard time finding the sort of books they want. E-book publishers are cleaning up on NYC publishers' shortsightedness. And that Lancaster is not in print is most definitely shortsighted!

Lancaster gives an amazing tale, that totally fascinated me, spellbound me. The young Hereward and Torfrida were amazing; they were so vivid, alive. Lancaster proves a marvellous talent bring to life these complex characters. Torfrida is first angry with the brash young man. Her emotions morph slowly into friendship, admiration, empathy, even protectiveness of first love - though still at times is furious with his brashness. All these emotions are so well portrayed. Her jealousy is felt as she comes to understand Hereward is carrying on with the married beauty, Edith.

The story is fascinating, thrilling, brilliant, weaving between Torfrida's life upon Hereward's death and the flashbacks to their stormy love. Simply, Lancaster is a talent to behold, the tale amazing.

Reviewers International Organization Award of Excellent Finalists 2005
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice read 18 Jan 2007
By Illg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Mary Lancaster has obviously put a lot of effort into her book. It is interesting because it is told from the point of view of Torfrida, who was Hereward's wife. At least Torfrida was Hereward's wife according to the principal tales of Hereward's activities. In the originals, she supposedly entered a monastery after parting company with Hereward for some unknown reason. Here, she does no such thing, though she does part company with Hereward for a while. Otherwise, Ms. Lancaster does follow the chronicles of Hereward's life fairly closely. This may or may not be historically accurate, but the way Mary Lancaster handles the material, it makes a pretty good read. Of course, she has had to use her imagination a lot, but the result of her efforts is certainly quite plausible. Given that very little is known about most of the characters in her story(and some may be entirely fictional), this is quite an accomplishment. Mary Lancaster is to be commended for making this effort, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
5.0 out of 5 stars FUN 11 July 2014
By kjanus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Such a fun book to read! It kept me turning the pages late into the night because I couldn't wait to get to the end of the great story!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Number one 13 May 2014
By avid eye - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lancaster has become my favorite new author. Excellent prose. I particularly liked the way the story line bounced back and forth in time, and the opening sentance hooked me in, I could not put this book down. As in her book about Dracula, the male lead is the shining, bigger then life bad boy that holds my attention.
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