3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Last Conquest,
This review is from: The Last Conquest (Hardcover)
I'm always a bit nervous approaching an historical novel by a new author; I have found myself disappointed all too often with historical novels, in their approach, or historical accuracy or just the style of writing. So while I was eager to read this, I was also a little bit nervous, but I had no need to be.
Having defeated the forces of his brother Tostig and the Norwegian King Harald Hardrada at Stamford Bridge on 25 September 1066, Harold Godwinson gathered his forces and marched south to meet the invasion force led by William, Duke of Normandy. The Battle of Hastings as we know it was fought between the English and the invading forces on 14 October 1066. While the outcome is fairly well known to all, what actually happened leading up to the Battle on 14 October is perhaps not so well known.
This book dissects just the week of 7 to 14 October 1066. The reader is drawn gut first into a mess of uncertainty, fear, ambition, greed, lust, hatred, despair and all that is encompassed within a week when the Normans have landed, they don't know where the English are or what has happened to the Norwegian forces, and everyone is trying to decide what to do next. We read of the lives of ordinary men and the great men, the good men and the brutal men, and we find out what goes through men's minds as they face the greatest battle, and the greatest test of their lives. They all know that they could die, and fully expect to. But some hope for glory, gold, or power. Some just want to see the next dawn.
This is a great book, where we live the lives of these men and feel their fears and hopes. I would like to think there was a sequel, where we get to read more of what happened in the immediate aftermath of the battle, and William of Normandy's push to be accepted as King.