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The Splintered Kingdom (The Conquest) [Hardcover]

James Aitcheson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

13 Sep 2012 The Conquest (Book 2)
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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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing (13 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848093233
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848093232
  • Product Dimensions: 0.1 x 18.6 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 228,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Review

"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

This brilliant second novel, featuring the hero of SWORN SWORD, begins in

1070 on the war-torn Welsh Marches and reaches its climax with William the Conqueror's brutal campaign known as the Harrying of the North.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Kate TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Desperate struggles 24 Sep 2012
By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Read 29 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good sequel to the first, and continues with the saga which I am sure is bound to continue, a very good story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faction based in true Histories 24 Dec 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, its strong characters and story-line made it fascinating- certainly an author and series I'll look for in the future. Excellent! I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in historical adventurous novels
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Well, if you think Tancred got into enough trouble with his lord being murdered by a hoarde of anglo-saxons and then getting involved with a traitorous cleric who was trying to salvage the body of the 'usurper' Harold Godwineson - think again! James Aitcheson brings back the scary revelation of how troublesome the years after 1066 were and in Splintered Kingdom he reveals that it wasn't just the English wanting to get rid of the Normans, the Welsh also were quite good at kicking up a fuss. Such attacks by the Welsh were like pesky mosquito bites to the fragile Norman regime William was trying to enforce and Tancred becomes not just personally devestated by such attacks but also embroiled in an attempt to crush the Welsh rebellions once and for all.
But James doesn't leave the plot line as tidy as that for the strategy fails and backfires horribly on Tancred's honour creating new enemies and estranging his closest comrades in arms. But if you think that is the worse Tancred has to face well dear reader each stage of this battle-full saga will break your heart for our dearest Norman knight as much worse is yet to come and Tancred will have to somehow survive if he is to keep his name intact let alone a head on his shoulders.
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.
As a firm viking fan I must admitt, James Aitcheson has shown that the Vikings didn't have all the fun adventures and battles, for Normans invading and conquering a foreign land, every day was a new adventure and a new battle to be fought and won.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Read
Really enjoyed this second book in the conquest trilogy. Good read and lots of action.
Published 23 hours ago by J. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing story
If you thought that the Norman invasion was all about one battle in Haestinges then think again. This trilogy tracks the difficult years following the initials invasion of 1066. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ANDY
5.0 out of 5 stars 1066 Aftermath
Just like being there, i was completely transported. Story woven around some true facts also makes it all the more enjoyable.
Published 4 months ago by dingbattq9
4.0 out of 5 stars Splintered Kingdom
Splintered Kingdom is a worthy follow on in the Conquest series and a very absorbing read - I perhaps would have liked a translation of some of the place names in the UK I look f... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Tony edney
4.0 out of 5 stars From the Norman perspective
What interested me about this novel is that it tells the story from the invader's perspective. England has been conquered by invading Frenchmen and the North has rebelled. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Peter Carty
5.0 out of 5 stars splintered kingdom
James Aitcheson is up there with some of the best. I love this book as I did his other one and probably all the one's he does write in the future.
Published 6 months ago by babs
5.0 out of 5 stars great
excellent story of the times after the invasion of 1066, which I had not really considered or been taught about at school.
Published 7 months ago by l j Summerfield
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Great book. One of those books you just can't put down. Good characters and discriptions giving you a small insight into how life was in 1067+
Published 7 months ago by Jason Fogg
5.0 out of 5 stars not read it yet
but it the next in line to be read, but it is interesting what authors have gleaned from our history books to come up with these books on the Dark Ages and the Norman period that... Read more
Published 7 months ago by E Read
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 very readable books.
Enjoyed this follow up to Sworn Sword - enough to carry on and read the next book - ,Black Hawk Had never really read any fiction about this part of history,, so can't comment on... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Pamela Andrews
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