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Sworn Sword (The Conquest)

Sworn Sword (The Conquest) [Kindle Edition]

James Aitcheson
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

Print List Price: 6.99
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Product Description


Vibrant and authentic. Rarely have I been so transported into the world of the medieval knight, and his environs. In short, Sworn Sword is an excellent read, full of intrigue and vivid, realistic battles. For new writers of historical fiction, this accomplished debut novel sets a high standard indeed. Ben Kane, author of the bestselling Forgotten Legion Chronicles Fans of the sword-swinging drama still mourning the end of HBO's epic Game of Thrones will find plenty to love in this uncompromising slice of historical fiction ... Breathlessly paced and packed with action, it's a mightily accomplished debut in a major new series ShortList A fantastic novel ... utterly convincing ... The plot is superb, clever and as true to the sources as is possible ... a brilliant achievement Dr Elisabeth van Houts, Emmauel College, Cambridge The setting and historical detail are superb and there is more than enough excitement to keep you hooked to the final page New Books Action packed, this is the first in a promising series, set in a fascinating period Mail on Sunday

Book Description

An ambitious young Norman soldier fights against desperate odds to consolidate the conquest of England in the years after the Battle of Hastings. Brilliant first novel in the mould of Requiem by Robyn Young.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 692 KB
  • Print Length: 401 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1402280769
  • Publisher: Preface Digital (4 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005G37TV4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,021 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James Aitcheson was born in Wiltshire in 1985 and studied History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where began his fascination with the medieval period and the Norman Conquest in particular.

"Sworn Sword" is his first novel, and the first in the Conquest series, featuring the knight Tancred and set in England during the tumultuous years that followed the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Tancred's adventures continue with "The Splintered Kingdom" and "Knights of the Hawk". James is currently working on his fourth novel.

Visit for all the latest news and information about James and his books, his official blog, and details of future signings and other events. Follow him on Twitter at @JamesAitcheson.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crushing the English 6 July 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a historical novel covering the counter-attacks by the northern English against the Normans in York and Durham. The skulking way of war practised by the "Northumbrians" (well covered in William Kapelle's "The Normans In The North") gives more success than the manly ways of Wessex. The author has gone to a great deal of trouble to fit the story in its historical background. The use of contemporary spellings was, I thought, very atmospheric. However, the careful positioning and historical background are undermined by a slow pace; in part this is to develop the characters but I felt it acted to the detriment of the plot. A little more Dumas is needed, I think. This book will be enjoyed by those who like the more languorous plots (the Jack Aubrey novels for example) rather than the short sharp "A Game Of Thrones" approach.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author James Aitcheson has not only written something pretty remarkable and captivating for his young age and in a difficult genre to crack which is often filled with middle-aged to old men/women, he has awakened and created a whole other aspect and slant on history and historical figures.
Most of the popular historical fiction is centred around Anglo-Saxons or Vikings or Civil Wars (in America and England) or royal courts from the sixteenth century onwards but yet I do believe James is the first writer to pick a part of history and not write it from the key event, and not write it from the point of view of those who's history it is; BUT He writes it in the first initial years AFTER the fateful year of 1066 where William, Duke of Normandy defeats the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold Godwinson; James writes it also from the point of view of the invading NORMAN KNIGHTS - NOT - the defeated Anglo-Saxon people/nobles.
What James has written is a new, refreshing and original stance on a very significant point of history - now some readers may think that what on earth could be interesting enough about the bullyish Normans conquering England? Well I won't say a lot apart from the secret that is riddled cunningly throughout the story is as original and as powerful as the entire story view point itself. Involving a little known part of the aftermath of 1066 which could indeed shake the foundations of the new Norman rulers.
The plot isn't just gripping but the characters too are powerful enough for any reader to come to care, admire and like them regardless of their Norman identity. As a reader you are put on a rollercoaster of a learning curve to come to terms and understand that the Norman knights and nobles who invaded England with Duke William had lives, loves and losses of their own too.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly excellent! 18 Sep 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am not often moved to give a book five stars. As it was, I deliberated for a long time over whether to give "Sworn Sword" five stars or not. But, to be honest, I couldn't find a reason *not* to.

First of all, it's a well-written, good story, with likeable and sympathetic characters who, while perhaps a little two-dimensional, are fully-formed enough to make you care about them. Secondly, the plot is good, and while the 'main' plot might seem rather inconsequential to a modern reader, one does begin to understand its importance (I can't really say anything about it, so as not to spoil it - those who know their medieval history will get its significance quickly; those who don't will learn of it when they read the book).

James Aitcheson, the author, knows his stuff, as well he should, as he read History at Cambridge. His knowledge and understanding of Anglo-Norman England comes across well in the book. There are a couple of times when it seems a bit forced, a bit "this is something I know, so I'm going to describe it to you in detail"; but that only happens once or twice. He made a good choice, I think, in placing the story in the years *after* the Norman invasion - not only does it get away from what people already know, or think they know; but it also allows him to develop his own plot lines around rather thinly-sourced history, giving him more scope to be inventive. But the background of the story is real history, and Aitcheson manages to weave his fiction around established events effortlessly.

I was a little bit irritated by the hyperbole of the publishers' comments on my review copy, but they might not appear on the final, bookshelf version. What we do have here, however, is a very good, exciting, and well-written historical novel that should certainly appeal to anyone who enjoys Bernard Cornwell or Giles Kristian. I look forward to the next in the series.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plodding Normans 28 Dec 2011
By H. T. Davies VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is probably a good book.

The author certainly knows his stuff and has done a lot of research into the period as part of his studies. And therein, for this reader, lies the problem. This reads too much like fleshed out thesis notes to me. All sorts of technical boxes are ticked regarding weaponry, horses, the complications of succession but the story suffers. The Norman band plods from York to London and sadly the narrative plods with them and I have to confess that I lost interest in what their quest was about, I just wanted them to get on with it. The vagaries of the Anglo-Saxon language are interesting but do not do a lot to pepper up the tale.

The post-Conquest period seems to be very popular at the moment and I imagine that this is the first in a series (trilogy?). I will definitely give the author's second offering a look because I think that if he can develop his narrative style and pace things should look up. This is a first novel which could have benefited from some more severe editing but those interested in the period will certainly get something from it. Those looking for a ripping yarn, however, will not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic debut novel
What hooked me to this novel was the clever idea of a Norman's point of view of the aftermath of 1066. I found myself liking this outsider on the Norman side. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Will
5.0 out of 5 stars A great debut novel from a very talented young writer.
I would have liked to have give this book 4.5 stars because although I loved it was not perfect and few books are anyway but amazon doesn't have a rating for "I was blown away by... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Paula
4.0 out of 5 stars sworn sword review
Decent story, enjoyable progression, good read. Would recommend to writers and readers of period fiction. Well worth the money thanks
Published 4 months ago by john mallinder
5.0 out of 5 stars yet to read
but no doubt it will be an interesting read following on from the Battle of Hastings as we only get told about when the battle was fought, but not enough about what really went on... Read more
Published 4 months ago by E Read
4.0 out of 5 stars The Conquest Series
Although I enjoyed this novel I am not sure I will continue with the other book out next year. I am a huge fan of the Tudor period but thought I would go back in history for a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs V M Storey
4.0 out of 5 stars Sworn sword
A gripping book once you start you are drawn in, enjoyed the detail described in the battles
Left me wanting to read more
Published 5 months ago by mike aston
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well written, gripping and relevant to the period
This is top class thrilling and gutsy writing- story telling which takes you right into the period, with excellent character development. On a par with Cornwell at his best
Published 5 months ago by Pete the Pixie
4.0 out of 5 stars a great read
Very readable, fast flowing and a great yarn, a completely different view on a little written about part of the conquest. Looking forward to the next one.
Published 7 months ago by Da Lambert
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read if you enjoy this period
I really enjoyed this book so much so that I have just bought the next one in the series. A great insight into the history of the era and the way battles were fought at that time.
Published 8 months ago by Sue Whitehead
3.0 out of 5 stars good yarn
very good story.
but is a penultamate book.
lots historic references right up my street.
but character predictable not enough twists
Published 8 months ago by Mr michael Parfitt
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