Hereward: The Devil's Army: (Hereward 2) Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012
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The story of Hereward, forgotten hero of English history, continues in James Wilde's second brutal and bloody novel - a must-read for action-packed historical fiction fans!
From the Inside Flap
1067. The battle of Hastings has been lost. Harold Godwinson is dead. The iron fist of William the Bastard has begun to squeeze the life out of England. Villages are torched and men, women and children put to the sword as the Norman king attempts to impose his cruel will upon the unruly nation.
But there is one who stands in the way of the invader’s savagery. He is called Hereward. He is a warrior and master tactician and as adept at slaughter as the imposter who sits upon the throne. And he is England’s last hope.
In a Fenlands fortress of water and wild wood, Hereward’s resistance is simmering. His army of outcasts grows by the day – a devil’s army that emerges out of the mists and the night, leaving death in its wake.
But William is not easily cowed. Under the command of his ruthless deputy, Ivo Taillebois – a man they call ‘the Butcher’ – the Norman forces will do whatever it takes to crush the rebels, even if it means razing the country to the ground.
Here then is the tale of the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known – the beginning of an epic struggle that will echo down the years...See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I'd read Hereward by James Wilde recently and, while I had a couple of issues with the book, on the whole I'd thoroughly enjoyed it. So now that the sequel (Hereward: The Devil's Army) is out, I was intrigued to see how the story went on and whether the writer's tack or style had changed since the first book.
I read it in four days, despite this week being a ruthlessly busy time with few free moments. In short, Devil's Army is everything I could have hoped for in a sequel to Hereward. My two main issues with the first book were the somewhat stereotypical nature of the hero and the sparse treatment of the two great battles the book deals with. It may be that the sequel has escaped this problem by not dealing with world-famous battles and having an already-established hero, but I don't believe that is the case. I think James has taken his treatment of the main character and deepened and broadened his perspective. Hereward had changed throughout the first book, in sometimes jarring ways, and in the sequel his nature changes again several times, but subtly and with finesse, for which I think applause is due. And, while there are no famous historic battles in this one, there are two ways this book wins out. I have (since the first book) read something about the events in Hereward's period of activity and can say that Wilde seems to have really done his homework, using the accepted history, but also making intuitive leaps in gaps in the knowledge. Also, though there may be no great battles in this book, there are plenty of non-famous ones, and they are treated with an in-depth and exciting narrative.
As with the first book, Wilde's narrative style is so enthusing and visual that he could have written a phone book and made it riveting.Read more ›
When i first started Hereward: Devils Army it was looking forward to what should be a great read. Book one Hereward was a fantastic book (
So it was very worrying to start the book and struggle to get into it.
So I took a step back remembering that I know you have to be in the right frame of mind for every author and every book you read. Its why my TBR pile is so fluid. On reflection I think I pushed myself into this one and wasn't ready, I was more conscious of the publication date than being ready for it. (I had just finished 4 Historical Fiction books back to back and I usually take a breather in-between)....
After a particularly light hearted cheesy thriller I picked Hereward The Devils army up again, and it clicked immediately, how? why had i struggled?
All I know is that instantly I was submerged in what is a splendidly visual piece of writing. So many sights sounds and smells written so well you can experience them all intimately. The characters grow again from book 1 to book 2, taking you further and further into life under the cosh of William Duke of Normandy. The side plots are all so enticing and aided the plot by giving the reader a much wider view of the realm at the time, rather than just the immediacy of Ely's and Hereward's experience.
When the threads finally pull together towards the final chapters its with such a sudden immediate increase in pace you really just cannot put the book down, even if you wanted too and the story is breath taking in its action, pace and horror.
So the worry for a debut author is always can you do it twice, can you repeat the eloquence of book one?
In this case Hell Yes!Read more ›
However Hereward is not the only key character in this ever twisting and gripping plot, the reader is also introduced to characters from the other side, some Norman barons, the hostage earls Edwin and Morcar and an English advisor called fox who has won himself the King's ear but it sadly leads to the biggest crime of all - the harrying of the north!
Betrayal, loyalty, love and honour are stretched on both sides of the battlefields with plots, secrets and assassinations attempted in various manners and forms not just against Hereward but those most loyal to him, Alric the monk and Turfida his wife. All in an attempt to undermine his power as well as his army.
All these characters and more will fight and struggle against increasingly overwhelming odds both on a personal and more national level and not all will survive for Herewards fears about a traitor lying in the rabble of his army is well founded but only near the end of the book does the reader and Hereward learn their identity and suffer the most traumatic consequences.
This is a prize worthy sequel to the first Hereward novel and as the tension and blood fury increases I can only expect the finale sequel to be utterly mindblowing. Readers are guaranteed not to be disappointed if you follow Hereward further on his quest to save England from the Normans.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
These books just get better really enjoyed this one in 1067 the battle of Hastings has been lost; Harold Godwinsson is dead. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Valerie Gail bartlett
Hard to imagine a second book that is poorer than the first but the author has attained this with some room to spare, and still managed to retain his contract, so well done Mr... Read morePublished 12 months ago by mark pemberton