The year is 1016 and England burns while the Viking armies blockade the great city of London. King Ethelred lies dying and the England he knew dies with him; the warring kingdoms of Mercia, Wessex and Northymbria tremble on the brink of great change. One man lives to bear witness to the upheaval: Godwin, barely out of boyhood and destined to become one of his country's great warriors. When Ethelred's son Edmund takes the throne, determined to succeed where his father failed, he plucks Godwin from domestic peace to be right-hand man in his loyal shield wall. Godwin must traverse the meadows, wintry forests and fogbound marshes of Saxon England, raising armies of monks, ploughmen and shepherds against the Viking invader. With epic courage and ferocity, Godwin and Edmund repel the butchering Danes in three great battles. But an old enemy, the treacherous Earl Eadric, dogs Godwin's footsteps, and as the final battle approaches, around the valiant English the trap begins to close.
Justin Hill was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama Island in 1971 and was brought up in York. He was educated at England's oldest school - St Peter's, York (founded 627 AD), and studied Medieval Literature at St Cuthbert's Society, Durham University.
Justin worked for seven years as a volunteer with VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) in rural China and Eritrea, East Africa. Interviewers have likened him to George Orwell, a boxer, and Tolstoy.
The Independent on Sunday listed as one of the UK's Top Twenty Young British Writers in 2002. His vivid depictions of his experiences in fiction and travelogues have been acclaimed both at home and internationally, as well as being banned by the Chinese government. He has won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. His work has been shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award and the Encore Award.
He is currently writing the Conquest Series: which covers the events around the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Shieldwall, the first of these, was a Sunday Times Book of the Year.
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