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Hereward Hardcover – 23 Jun 2011

105 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (23 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593064887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593064887
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 218,088 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Wilde is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, the author studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure. Unable to forget a childhood encounter - in the pages of a comic - with the great English warrior, Hereward, Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Hereward's ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legendary hero should be the subject of his first novel. Wilde now indulges his love of history and the high life in the home his family have owned for several generations in the heart of a Mercian forest.

Product Description


"A novel about brutal and bloody times and not for for the squeamish but Wilde has succeeded in giving new and convincing life to a half-forgotten English hero" BBC HISTORY magazine "Moves at a wonderful pace... great swathes of blood-letting and an overall kickass arc... great stuff" FALCATATIMES.COM "Fantastically realised... strong, believable characters, lashings of fast-paced action" ELOQUENTPAGE.COM

Book Description

Thrilling, action-packed historical debut that rescues one of England's forgotten heroes from the mists of early medieval history and brings him to brutal and bloody life...

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
There are periods of English history I am ashamed to say I have had to learn through fact based fiction. So thank you to the likes of Bernard Cornwell and now James Wilde.

I had never heard of Hereward, but he did exist and fought against the Normans after their invasion of 1066. In many ways he reminded me of Robin Hood, but his existence is fact compared to the legend of Robin Hood, in addition to preceding him by 150 years.

We see Hereward as a young man forced to leave the emerging English court because of his unruly behaviour and then allegations of murder. His character is wild, intense and unpredictable (reminded me of the sort of character then late, great David Gemmell produced) with a dark side kept barely in check. Hooking up with a young priest, also on the run, Hereward is struggling to discover a goal and self value, but once the Normans invade, he sees his duty to defend England against the Norman tyranny.

The Normans occupied England (not Scotland or Wales) and pretty much dominated it all, Hereward was based in the Isle of Ely and the Fens, an inhospitable area that the Normans struggled to gain control over. The original outlaw he ran a running campaign against the Normans. This book deals with his early years from exile to the start of his campaign against the Normans and it is interesting, page turning stuff.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
With a huge amount of historical fiction titles currently being set around the 1066 mark, an author has to find something new to bring to the mix in order to generate memorable characters as well giving the reader a plot to keep them not only engrossed but thrilled and entertained throughout. Such is the volume of these titles to date that it's a wonder that none of the characters have charged headlong into each other on the battlefield.

Currently in this muddied and historically rich period James Wilde strides with his debut title which takes the reader onto the battlefield with Hereward which, is a tale for the modern audience with a tip of the hat and homage to the 1963 Victor Comic (Hereward the Wake, Saxon Chief) as well as Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake published in 1865. Whilst the title is all of the authors devising it's one that will thrill the modern audience from its hard-line bloodthirsty opening that sets the tone of the story (which incidentally has a very Gemmellesque feeling due to its Waylander type opening.)

All in the story moves at a wonderful pace, the combat is clearly thought out and with Howardesque touches, great swathes of bloodletting and overall kickass arc; it's a title that for a debut will make one hell of an impact to the Historical Fiction audience which makes Wilde an author to keep an eye on and one to pick up now prior to the hype and for me would have been ideal holiday reading and if you happy to be in Hereward country one that would generate an exploration of the surrounding area in closer detail. Great stuff.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
There have been a fair few novels set around this period of history lately, some have met mixed reviews. It really depends on what you are looking for from a historical fiction book?
EG: Conquest by Stewart Binns is a rousing tale that roars along with loads of blood and thunder action and has a heavy tilt towards nationality. While Shieldwall by Justin Hill is a slower more historically rich title that really educates the reader.

Hereward for me falls somewhere in-between, it has a fair bit of historical detail (i cant vouch for the accuracy its not my area of expertise) and also lashings of action. As another reviewer (Gareth) has written there is a very Gemmellesque flavour to certain scenes and also characters, and there is in my opinion no higher accolade for a writer.
This is a great book and the fact that its a debut title means that we potentially have great things to come from this writer.

Highly recommended (Parm)

Product Description (From the back of the book)
1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood.

The ravens of war are gathering. But as the king's closest advisors scheme and squabble amongst themselves, hopes of resisting the naked ambition of the Norman duke come to rest with just one man: Hereward...

To some a ruthless warrior and master tactician, to others a devil in human form, Hereward is as adept in the art of slaughter as the foes that gather to claim England's throne. But in his country's hour of greatest need, his enemies at Court have made him outlaw.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Je Salter on 12 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the start. James Wilde doesn't mess about setting the scene by going into over indulgent passages about where the characters are instead from page one the action starts and there's rarely a pause. It isn't all clashing swords however, as he has created some wonderful characters especially Hereward who is interwoven with the people around him.

The story starts a few years before the events of 1066 and Mr Wilde sets the overall historical context brilliantly as Hereward is forced to fight for justice against the people and organisations who have tried to ruin his life. The book is packed full of superb characterisations and fight scenes that really have you wanting the main character to take vengeance on the bad guys.

Herward is a fantastic debut novel about a character I knew nothing about. It's a great read and I look forward to book two, easily worth five stars.
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