(HEREWARD) BY WILDE, JAMES[ AUTHOR ]Paperback 03-2012 Unknown Binding – 29 Mar 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Currently in this muddied and historically rich period James Wilde strides with his debut title which takes the reader onto the battlefield with Hereward which, is a tale for the modern audience with a tip of the hat and homage to the 1963 Victor Comic (Hereward the Wake, Saxon Chief) as well as Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake published in 1865. Whilst the title is all of the authors devising it's one that will thrill the modern audience from its hard-line bloodthirsty opening that sets the tone of the story (which incidentally has a very Gemmellesque feeling due to its Waylander type opening.)
All in the story moves at a wonderful pace, the combat is clearly thought out and with Howardesque touches, great swathes of bloodletting and overall kickass arc; it's a title that for a debut will make one hell of an impact to the Historical Fiction audience which makes Wilde an author to keep an eye on and one to pick up now prior to the hype and for me would have been ideal holiday reading and if you happy to be in Hereward country one that would generate an exploration of the surrounding area in closer detail. Great stuff.
The story starts a few years before the events of 1066 and Mr Wilde sets the overall historical context brilliantly as Hereward is forced to fight for justice against the people and organisations who have tried to ruin his life. The book is packed full of superb characterisations and fight scenes that really have you wanting the main character to take vengeance on the bad guys.
Herward is a fantastic debut novel about a character I knew nothing about. It's a great read and I look forward to book two, easily worth five stars.
EG: Conquest by Stewart Binns is a rousing tale that roars along with loads of blood and thunder action and has a heavy tilt towards nationality. While Shieldwall by Justin Hill is a slower more historically rich title that really educates the reader.
Hereward for me falls somewhere in-between, it has a fair bit of historical detail (i cant vouch for the accuracy its not my area of expertise) and also lashings of action. As another reviewer (Gareth) has written there is a very Gemmellesque flavour to certain scenes and also characters, and there is in my opinion no higher accolade for a writer.
This is a great book and the fact that its a debut title means that we potentially have great things to come from this writer.
Highly recommended (Parm)
Product Description (From the back of the book)
1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood.
The ravens of war are gathering. But as the king's closest advisors scheme and squabble amongst themselves, hopes of resisting the naked ambition of the Norman duke come to rest with just one man: Hereward...
To some a ruthless warrior and master tactician, to others a devil in human form, Hereward is as adept in the art of slaughter as the foes that gather to claim England's throne. But in his country's hour of greatest need, his enemies at Court have made him outlaw.Read more ›
Hereward, the character, is a man of extremes. He is loyal, single minded and driven. He is also violent and dangerous, yet there is a constant internal struggle as he tries to keep his inner demons in check. When the novel begins, his first answer to any situation is "who do I have to kill to solve this". As the novel continues, his character matures and he comes to realise that violence is not always the way. It's nice to see a character question his own motives rather than just continue to blindly follow them. He becomes quite introspective and through this the reader gets insight into what actions and events made him the way he is.
Alric, the monk, is the stabilizing force in Hereward's life. They meet under difficult circumstances, and initially there is suspicion on both sides, but as their friendship deepens a strong bond forms. They rely on one another for support. Alric sees it as his mission in life to try and guide Hereward on a righteous path. Needless to say, this could well be the toughest job in the world.
The second half of the eleventh century makes for a fertile setting. Most of Europe is a political powder-keg as various tyrants attempt to grab as much power and land as is possible. Other historical figures like Edward the Confessor and William the Conqueror feature prominently. The story includes the run up to, and aftermath of, the Battle of Hastings which is a definite highlight of the narrative. I particularly enjoyed reading about King Harold's grizzly end.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A cracking opening (and debut)to a series that bodes well for the rest.
Set before and just after 1066. It focuses on the heroic if somewhat bloodthirsty Hereward. Read more
Kicking off in 1062, this is a series of novels about the English hero of the fens, Hereward the Wake. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Tricia Preston
Took me a while to read as I had books to write.
Enjoyed this book immensely, and will definitely make sure that I will read more about Hereward and his followers.
This really isn't very good. The writing is poor, the story, characterisations and action so cliched as to be a bit embarrassing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bertolt
A good historical novel, easy and entertaining to read, great research. Highly recommended for any fan of English heritage and Herod.Published 2 months ago by Jono