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The Splintered Kingdom (The Conquest Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Length: 420 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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"This is a vigorously written, well researched tale of post-conquest England told through Norman eyes, with a rich, detailed setting, plenty of exciting battles, and a protagonist/narrator who is a real pleasure to read." (Historical Novel Society)

"This is a truly astonishing sequel to Sworn Sword, more packed with battles, enemies, blood-shed, trauma and of course shock and horror as events unfold to a climactic ending which no one will see coming and leaves us all gasping not just for breath but the adventures to continue in the next book. 5 stars" (Soul Chaser)

Book Description

The brilliant second novel featuring the hero of SWORN SWORD - Tancred.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1749 KB
  • Print Length: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Digital (13 Sept. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0088478NM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #110,317 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 http://www.jamesaitcheson.com 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.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The Splintered Kingdom is superbly and aptly named. The Norman Conquest of 1066 ripped the fabric of England to shreds - aristocrats became rebels, conquering warriors were now owners of hostile land newly divided and the ordinary men and women of England, speakers of a foreign language, were little more than property. They were also caught in the middle as William the Conqueror and his barons strove to keep their winnings safe in their iron fists.

Our hero, if he can be called that, is Tancred a Dinant, a Breton and Norman knight who, after impressing with his bravery at Hastings and in the streets of York (as told in the preceding novel Sworn Sword) is now lord of an estate in the Welsh borders in Shropshire (as it would be called now). Possibly unusually, but perhaps not, Tancred takes his duties as lord seriously and when his tenants are attacked and stolen by Welsh raiders he feels honour bound to protect them. The news comes that his great enemy, Eadger the Aetheling, the hope of the English, has joined with the Welsh to harass the invaders and so Tancred is among the many who follow their sworn lord, in his case Robert, to join up with William the Conqueror's fearsome armies.

Tancred is not just an anonymous knight in armour, the bloody hand of Norman oppression. He is, one would like to believe, a caring man who has made a career out of fighting and, despite the pull of peace offered by his new property, his relationship with a local girl, pregnant with his child, he is unable to resist the call of his oath to lord Robert and so he steps into the unknown - in this case, the wild, beautiful and hostile landscape of Wales.
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By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the second volume of the adventures of Tancred a Dinan, a Breton knight who fought in William of Normandy's army at Hastings, and continued as a sworn sword (the title of the first volume) of one of the Duke's leading barons. This time, the initial setting are on the Marches with Wales as Tancred has become the lord of a manor close to the border and therefore very much exposed to Welsh raids. I will stop here to avoid paraphrasing the story and coming up with spoilers.

There is a lot to like in this book, starting with the topic itself and the way the author presents it. This second volume, just like the first, shows that the Conquest of England was by no way finished with the victory at Hastings and that the subsequent uprisings and campaigns that the Normans and their King had to launch were much more than just "mopping up" operations. This is perhaps one of the main strongpoints of this book: it shows how precarious the Normand hold on England was in 1070 and how, all of a sudden, the whole kingdom seemed to erupt in flames, with attacks coming from the North (Edgar the Atheling and the Northumbrians), the East (the Danes) and the West (the Welsh and exiled Saxon thegns).

Another great feature is to make the "rank-and-file" knights, starting with Tancred, rather believable in their behaviours and in their aspirations. I rather liked the rivalry between Berengar and Tancred, both striving to enhance their reputation and sometimes rather careless of the consequences. I also liked the depiction of the similar tensions among Norman lords, in particular those between William FitzOsbern, William the Conqueror's childhood friend, and the "wolf", Hugh of Avranches who would become the earl of Chester as Roger of Mongomerri would become that of Shrewsbury.
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Format: Hardcover
Having fallen for James' brutal writing style with his first book I couldn't wait to see how Tancred would develop for the reader in this outing. As with the first the combat is high octane, the character a joy to hang around and when you face other titles that deal with the same timeline with similar sorts of heroes (like Hereward for example) it is a surprise that the Normans did a well as they did after Hastings.

Add to this some double dealing, potential backstabbing along with a story where honour is worth more than gold and for any reader this is a title that will be devoured in a very short time, Finally add to the mix that James has kicked his writing up a notch with lessons learned from his first book and all in its definitely a book that I know will be pilfered from my collection by a certain relative for his pure enjoyment.
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Format: Hardcover

This for me was a highly anticipated second book. Book 1 Sworn Sword was a real eye opener of a book, something a little different, a different perspective on a bloody time in English history. (i love a good few battles with plenty of fighting).

Splintered Kingdom doesn't disappoint in that respect, and how could it! A time of what we would now call genocidal attacks and death/ murder and mayhem on a national scale. But don't be fooled into thinking there were any good guys in this scenario. Every-side had its share of killers.

Why would you want to read this?

Maybe the excellent prose!

Or the first rate characterisation!

The incessant pace of the plot that means you cannot put the book down!

Or just because it is out and out a fantastic book, something that even with the amazingly high quality of this years novels, goes straight into my top 10 of 2012.

This falls firmly into my desire for each book from an author to be better than the last, and if this book was this impressive i wait with bated breath for James Aitcheson's next novel.

Thank you Sir for such an impressive book

Highly recommended



The story begins on the Welsh Marches, where Tancred has been given land by his new lord, Robert Malet, in return for his services in the battle for York. Now a lord in his own right, he has knights of his own to command and a manor to call home. But all is far from peaceful. The Welsh are joining forces with the English against the Normans and when skirmishes turn into a full scale battle at Shrewsbury, Tancred is betrayed by a rival border lord and taken prisoner by the Welsh. Meanwhile the woman he loves is taken hostage by enemy English forces and the Vikings invade the east coast. Never has Tancred faced a more impossible situation
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