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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great story
When I started to read this book I was amazed at how quickly I was drawn into the medaeval world, the writing is so good I could almost smell it! By the time I was half way through I could not put it down, and fairly galloped through to the end. This author knows her subject, but has the added advantage of being able to bring alive the detail of life in the 11th century...
Published on 17 Dec. 2009 by Poppy

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
It's not often I put a book down but I couldn't finish this at all. No clue about the protagonist except the fact that she's fat. No concept of how she develops as a person. To really enjoy a book one has to identify and be immersed in that world and this just didn't seem authentic to me. Historical accuracy very shaky.
Published 14 months ago by C L Wardle


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great story, 17 Dec. 2009
By 
Poppy (Wirral, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peaceweaver (Paperback)
When I started to read this book I was amazed at how quickly I was drawn into the medaeval world, the writing is so good I could almost smell it! By the time I was half way through I could not put it down, and fairly galloped through to the end. This author knows her subject, but has the added advantage of being able to bring alive the detail of life in the 11th century. We are with Eadgyth step by step through her tumultous life, and she and her family stay with us long after the book is finished.
If you want an enthralling read and love history - get this!

Laura H Smith
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peaceweaver, 7 Nov. 2012
By 
This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
Judith Arnopp's historical fiction novel Peaceweaver commences in the troubled years leading up to 1066, a pivotal year in English history.

Eadgyth's childhood is a happy one, with memories of family, warm luxurious homes, obedient servants and plentiful food. This all comes to an abrupt end when her father offends King Edward by expressing his opinions regarding the infiltration of Normans into Edward's Court and is exiled to Ireland.

Eadgyth, her servant, Anwen, and family flee to King Diarmaid's Court. Ireland is a dreary place, weather and accommodations in particular, and Eadgyth has difficulties adjusting. Her father bonds with his old enemy, the Welsh, against Edward. The price for this alliance? Eadgyth.

Eadgyth is swiftly married to Gruffydd ap Llewelyn and dropped on the shores of Wales, along with her faithful servant Anwen, never to see her father or mother again. She is 13 and her husband 50. The Welsh language is foreign, as are their customs.

Gruffydd is a tyrant, disliked by his wife, servants and subjects alike. A once congenial man, he is embittered by the death of his first wife in childbirth. He shuns his youngest son. Gruffydd spends the majority of his time in field campaigning, for which his wife and household is grateful.

Eadgyth gradually learns the native tongue and makes the best of her situation, integrating herself into the Welsh way of life. She bears Gruffydd two sons, who become the focus of her life.

She is grieved to discover her husband's infidelities. A illicit love of her own grows, one which torments her soul but proves irresistible. An affair doomed to end in tragedy and Eadyth's confinement, her life granted only due to Gruffydd's need of her father's support. Upon her father's death, Gruffydd derives great joy in detailing her forthcoming death.

Deliverance from Gruffydd comes via Harold of Wessex who attacks Gruffydd's stronghold. Eadyth is brought to Harold's palace, but she yearns for her Welsh friends and country she came to love.

Much lies ahead for Eadyth: uncertainty, love, terror, grief, loss and survival post-Battle of Hastings. More than most women experience in a lifetime, yet alone a decade.

Arnopp's novel Peaceweaver is set in a time in history when very little is known about the lives of women. Few extant records remain and women, seldom more than chattels, rarely merit inclusion.

Arnopp had the challenge, as well as the freedom, of working from few facts to create the possible world of Eadgyth. She has done an admirable job of creating a woman who sought what was almost impossible: the basic needs of safety, shelter, food, the ability to nurture children and reciprocal love. In many ways, Peaceweaver mirrors a lack of these necessities still present in today's world.

Peaceweaver is a richly written historical fiction novel where the reader steps into a strange, but faintly familiar world. Characters are realistic and draw you into their stories.

Peaceweaver is a historical fiction novel I recommend for its authentic feel, excellent writing and well-paced plot.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sex and the Saxons, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
This is the Battle of Hastings and the years leading up to it from a woman's point of view. I've always had a soft spot for King Harold, so out of curiosity I downloaded this book. It's written in the first person as Eadgyth, the woman who married Harold and bore his posthumous twins.
The author, Judith Arnopp has woven a story from scant historical threads, and it works well. I enjoyed it; my title is more or less accurate in that Eadgyth is a Saxon and is married and widowed twice and has had a lover and borne five children by the time she is twenty-one. There is both sex and romance in the book, as well as childbirth, war and death.
Towards the end the misplaced apostrophes increase a little, and the verb "pour" is for liquids; you "pore" over books!
I was glad to read that Harold was seldom to be seen without his hawk on his hand, which in my book is a quote from Stanley Holloway (I put the aitches in)!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars bolder, 26 Jan. 2010
By 
Mrs. B. Old "bolder" (u.k.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Peaceweaver (Paperback)
Every time I picked Peaceweaver up I was reluctant to put it down, often reading until 2a.m.It is my habit to skim, at least the first time, most books, but with this one I read every word, drawn in from the first to last page. Reading about our history has never been so enthralling and I recommend Peaceweaver to anyone who enjoys historical novels.i. May we have more like it Judith Arnopp
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story on Harold's queen, 9 Feb. 2011
By 
Lisa Yarde (Brooklyn, New York United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peaceweaver (Paperback)
History often recalls the hand-fasted wife of Harold Godwinson, last King of the Saxons, but little is known about his queen, Eadgyth, daughter of Earl Aelfgar of Mercia. She was a descendant of the Lady Godiva of Coventry legend, and the child-bride of a Welsh King before becoming Harold's queen. Author Judith Arnopp has weaved a wonderful tale of Eadgyth's life, interspersing fact, and fiction. Her meticulous research and unique storytelling made Peaceweaver a delightful read.

When Eadgyth's father barters her to the Welsh King, Gruffydd ap Llewellyn, she endures exile in an alien world with only her loyal servant Anwen for comfort. She submits to Gruffydd's cold and cruel attentions, and bears children for a husband more than twice her age. But sons are not the only joy of Eadgyth's life, when she finds a forbidden love. As unexpected as it is, another drastic change comes when her husband learns of the affair, just before his downfall.

Swept away to England by the charismatic Harold Godwinson, Eadgyth enters the English court of Edward the Confessor. Harold's unabashed pursuit of her re-awakens a love she never thought to feel again, but specters of Harold's past always intrude on their happiness. On the eve of Hastings, Eadgyth risks her safety to be by the side of a man she never thought she would love, as he faces the greatest threat his kingdom has ever known.

The period before the Norman Conquest of 1066 is a long-time favorite of mine. I found many things remarkable about Peaceweaver, the most important being that Queen Eadgyth was so young during this tumultuous period in England. She must have been a remarkable woman to bear the attentions of her first husband, and survive the difficult reign of her second husband. In the first twenty-one years of her life, she saw dramatic changes and lived through them. I was also surprised at how much this story touched me. In Peaceweaver, the love between the central characters is devout and palpable, and all of the characters, both real and invented, are fully fleshed out. In particular, Ms. Arnopp has made Harold Godwinson come alive on the page, a brave but flawed man. Although I know the story of his death as well as any English school child taught about Hastings, it always makes me very sad to read about it. Reading it from the perspective of his young queen was at times heartbreaking, but always a joy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time of great strife - from the womens point of view!, 29 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book from start to finish, though I must admit that is very much my thing. For anyone who loves historical fiction from a woman's viewpoint, the late Anglo-Saxon period, down to earth detail, good research with a free use of imagination to fill in the gaps - this is excellent.
I knew nothing about Eadgyth and found this version of her story fascinating. She is depicted as a warm, flawed, human being who strives to behave well in the most difficult of situations. The descriptions of battle are exciting and Judith Arnopp does not flinch from describing birth, death and the misery that war brings with it. The warm and sometimes unexpected friendships that develop lift the story and prevent it from becoming depressing. The importance of the role of peaceweaver is very well portrayed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved it, 6 July 2012
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This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
This is the first book that I have read from this author and set in this time period and I loved it. I don't know how accurate the historical facts were but it was very interesting, the only thing I struggled with was the pronounciaton of the names, all wildly inaccurate I'm sure. I cannot begin to imagine being married at 13 and 5 children by the time she was about 21, I was 25 when I got married and thought that was too young! I enjoyed this so much that despite having approximately 300 unread books on my kindle I am going to buy another of Judith Arnopps'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A woman's view of life before the invasion and how they coped afterwards, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
A brilliant written book about the period of our history prior to 1066 and the effects of what happened afternoon. To get the full benefit you need to read the whole trilogy. You become entranced with how the Saxon ladies not only sufferred with the lost of their kingdom due to William the Conqueror invading England and how these ladies coped with life under the conqueror as well as their loss.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A vivid evocation, 14 Sept. 2010
By 
Bookworm (South of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Peaceweaver (Paperback)
Like most people I knew almost nothing about the events surrounding the Battle of Hastings: a few names, a couple of dates, the arrow-in-the-eye, the images from the Bayeux Tapestry and that was about it. I had never before stopped for a moment to imagine the lives and personalities of those involved. Now, after reading 'Peaceweaver', I feel like an expert on the whole era! But this novel is not just a matter of historical facts and statistics: it's the story of Eadgytha - a woman who experiences life (and boy, what a grindingly difficult and physically taxing life it was for just about everyone in those days!) on both sides of the border between Wales and England, before finding fleeting happiness as queen to the ill-fated Harold Godwinson. Arnopp's Eadgyth is a warm, emotionally credible figure and one for whom you find yourself really hoping for happiness. Her relationship with the larger-than-life and endearing Harold is particularly well told. I really enjoyed this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written., 3 Sept. 2013
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This review is from: Peaceweaver (Kindle Edition)
So pleased to have found another author that I'm sure I'll enjoy reading. Peaceweaver is my first Judith Arnopp novel and I'm loving the story so far. The characterisation is very good and it is easy to like and identify with the main character.
I'm halfway through this book and it is very hard to put down.
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Peaceweaver
Peaceweaver by Judith Arnopp
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