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Hereward [Hardcover]

James Wilde
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 Jun 2011

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. To stay alive - and a freeman - he must carve a bloody swathe from the frozen hills of Northumbria to Flanders' fields and the fenlands of East Anglia.

The tale of a man whose deeds will become the stuff of legend, this is also the story of two mismatched allies: Hereward the man of war, and Alric, a man of peace, a monk. One will risk everything to save the land he loves, the other to save his friend's soul...

James Wilde's thrilling, action-packed debut rescues a great English hero from the darkest of times and brings him to brutal and bloody life.



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: 23.4 x 15.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 162,021 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

Review

"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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Debut 21 Jun 2011
By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut 28 Jun 2011
By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER
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.
Read more ›
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The original outlaw 22 Aug 2011
By Nick Brett TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hereward! 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Much of a Good Thing
After the first few gory slaughters, it all gets a bit tedious. This is X-Man for the 11th century. I started flicking through the nvoel, read the last chapter, then passed it on... Read more
Published 1 day ago by JPC
5.0 out of 5 stars Fictionalised history
As long as one isn't expecting any historical accuracy this is an enjoyable read,blood thirsty in parts but then that's to be expected considering the subject. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Love to read
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down!
Great book. Very well written. The author puts you into the mindset of the man with wonderful clarity.
Onto the next in the series.
Published 29 days ago by Roy Peaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful account of a neglected English hero
Amazingly good book for a debut novel, full of action, gory in parts but that's to be expected given the subject. Read more
Published 1 month ago by www.forlang.com
5.0 out of 5 stars What a full book, so much going on such action so exciting, love it.
As a child we were taught briefly about Hereward the Wake but never paid that much notice, this is an amazing book and though fictitious reveals a great personality , larger than... Read more
Published 2 months ago by South Wales Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read
I have read this book twice as I find the story both fascinating and heart warming. This period of history to a Englishman is full of sorrow for a world lost to us and plenty of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by mikie2cans
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Last book I have read he keeps up a good pace on the narrative and gives a good account of the situation keep them coming
Published 3 months ago by Coleve
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
The book was delivered before time and is a good read. I had forgotten about Hereward (the Wake) who was a demi-hero in my school days but seems to have been eclipsed by Robin Hood... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Roger Dixie
5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble in East Anglia
A very good book which is full of adventure and historical interest. I have found it a very good read.
Published 5 months ago by Luck on the brightside
4.0 out of 5 stars A bloodthirsty yarn
A visceral take on the ageless tales of how man battles his own demons as well as those society imposes on him. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mr t martin
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