31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
One for the "Binn",
This review is from: Conquest (The Making of England Quartet) (Paperback)
This book was a bitter disappointment and such a wasted opportunity. I scarcely know how to unravel this quagmire, but will endeavour to explain as succinctly as possible.
On reflection, I think that this book has three main structural flaws:
1) An overambitious plot.
2) Poorly constructed characters with terrible dialogue.
3) Completely farcical scenes, where credibility was scarce.
Hereward is the main protagonist and is introduced to us as a wastrel as a very young man. Banished by the king, he cleans his act up and then embarks on a series of journeys and adventures which span the length and breadth of Europe. He meets every famous warrior king along the way, picks up a wife and a band of companions and is involved in the Battle of Hastings and the English rebellion thereafter.
The book starts well and shows initial signs of promise but swiftly dives from that point onwards. The inclusion of frequent mindboggling events really stretches the book's credibility almost to the point where I felt embarrassed for the author.
Let me include a few snippets of the delights awaiting you:
< An inexperienced boy advising a seasoned battle hardened king on military tactics and then proceeding to train his warriors.
< An endless fascination with blood, heritage and culture; all completely cringe-worthy and oh so politically correct!
< Battle scenes and one to one combat where Hereward slays everyone, regardless of his initial inexperience.
< Torfida, a young women who willingly leaves a safe nunnery and gives herself to a complete stranger.
< Hereward who appears at noble courts all over Europe and demands a position as a knight and trainer of warriors.
< Priceless weaponry given to Hereward on a mystical whim.
<The endless descriptions of "The Talisman", a `Lord of the Rings' like amulet that commands destinies.
< The completely atrocious scene in which Torfida attempts to educate the pope and his two most senior cardinals. (This scene has to be the worst in the book and one of the poorest that I have ever read).
< Torfida when she is struck by lightning.
Needless to say, there are a number of extremely poor scenes. And when the characters begin to speak to each other, you feel as if you should be watching an English Heritage television advert. This is a book written through rose tinted glasses where the author held an English rose in one hand whilst writing with the other so that he didn't forget who he was.
Every now and again, there was a flash of brilliance; however, this was soon overshadowed by the tripe that was the main body of the book. With such giants in this genre, don't give this book your time, you'd be wasting it.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 24 May 2012 21:13:46 BDT
In reply to an earlier post on 24 May 2012 22:27:15 BDT
Your comment is neither constructive nor funny.
Posted on 30 May 2012 19:20:40 BDT
Brian Ward says:
In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2012 21:32:55 BDT
This book was crap, that is my opinion, plain and simple. Your recommendations and suggestions are duly noted and have been filed in the bin next to this book. May I suggest that you take your trolling elsewhere and cuddle up in a corner with your copies of Conquest and Crusade to keep you company.
Posted on 4 Jun 2012 18:58:58 BDT
I came across this book in a shop, was attracted to the idea of reading an account of Hereward but thought I'd check it out on Amazon to see what people thought of it. Having read J Cooper's review I decided to read the Comments to see if his opinions were argued against sufficiently convincingly to persuade me to read the book. The series of posts is called a 'discussion' but sadly I found no such thing. Those who disagreed with his review simply resorted to personal abuse rather than putting forward an alternative view and arguing against the points he made. If people can be like this over a mere book review, then God help us.
In reply to an earlier post on 6 Aug 2012 10:45:02 BDT
Thank you for this review: I'll stay clear from this one. Thanks to you, this is one that I will not have to slam when writting a review. I positively dislike having to write negative reviews. Unfortunatly, and to quote you, some books are just "crap" and should be flagged as such, if only to prevent other customers being "taken for a ride", as I have been a number of times...
Posted on 22 Feb 2013 22:50:30 GMT
M. Kirk says:
I'm sure the authors family, friends and he himself must be setting up amazon accounts with these comments, you couldn't be nearly as passionate about the absolute literary garbage even if you did think it was okay... DLT = Binns
Posted on 5 Apr 2014 16:08:27 BDT
pete melvets says:
Have to agree with you, Mr Cooper. I thought it was a load of rubbish and I'm glad I only paid 75p for it in a charity shop!
One thing I wonder: Would Welsh warriors in the 11th century really have been headhunters as described in the account of the Battle of Hereford? The Welsh/Britons/Celts were Christian a long time before the English and surely those customs would have belonged to a much earlier period ie about Caesar's time more than a 1000 years before.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Aug 2014 18:28:30 BDT
Dear Mr Cooper,
I read your review of Conquest with amusement. You obviously know your stuff. I had a quick look through your other reviews and amongst other things I noticed you like historical fiction set around Saxon/Viking times. So, I wonder if you would be interested in writing a review of my historical novel. I've enclosed a ling to help you form a better picture of what it's like.
If you are interested in writing a review I'm happy to supply you with a free copy on the understanding that whatever you write is entirely your own honest opinion.
1066: What Fates Impose
In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2014 22:24:12 BDT
Hi Glynn thank you for your comment.
I'm always happy to write a review and would love to read your book.