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Hereward: (Hereward 1) Paperback – 29 Mar 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (29 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 055382516X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553825169
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A novel about brutal and bloody times and not for for the squeamish but Wilde has succeeded in giving new and convincing life to a half-forgotten English hero" (BBC HISTORY magazine)

"Moves at a wonderful pace... great swathes of blood-letting and an overall kickass arc... great stuff" (FALCATATIMES.COM)

"Fantastically realised... strong, believable characters, lashings of fast-paced action" (ELOQUENTPAGE.COM)

Book Description

Hereward the Wake - one of England's forgotten heroes - is rescued from the mists of medieval history and brought back to brutal and bloody life in this thrilling historical actioner...

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
With a huge amount of historical fiction titles currently being set around the 1066 mark, an author has to find something new to bring to the mix in order to generate memorable characters as well giving the reader a plot to keep them not only engrossed but thrilled and entertained throughout. Such is the volume of these titles to date that it's a wonder that none of the characters have charged headlong into each other on the battlefield.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the start. James Wilde doesn't mess about setting the scene by going into over indulgent passages about where the characters are instead from page one the action starts and there's rarely a pause. It isn't all clashing swords however, as he has created some wonderful characters especially Hereward who is interwoven with the people around him.

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.
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By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
There have been a fair few novels set around this period of history lately, some have met mixed reviews. It really depends on what you are looking for from a historical fiction book?
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.
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Format: Hardcover
When you are only a handful of pages into a novel and the title character is already running about naked - in the depths of winter - dispatching Vikings left, right and centre, I think you can rest assured that the novel you are embarking on is going to be a hell of a lot of fun.

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.
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