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Hereward: End of Days: (Hereward 3) Paperback – 13 Feb 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 106 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (13 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553825186
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553825183
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

James Wilde's retelling of the story of England's forgotten hero - Hereward the Wake - continues in this new brutal and bloodily exciting novel - a must-read for historical fiction fans!

From the Inside Flap

1071. Five years have passed since the Norman’s crushing victory at Hastings. England reels under the savage rule of its new king, the one they call ‘the Bastard’. The North has been left a wasteland – villages torched, innocents put to the sword, land stolen. Rats feed upon fields of the dead.

It seems no atrocity is too great to ensure William’s iron grip upon the crown. Now his cold gaze is turning towards the last stronghold of the English resistance. After these years of struggle, he will brook no further challenge to his power. His vast army is massing; his machines of war are being made ready.

In their fortress on the Isle of Ely, the English rebels have put their faith in one man – a warrior, a leader and a master of the art of waging war. His name is Hereward, and he has planned an uprising that will sweep the hated king from the throne once and for all.

But Hereward has disappeared - and with him, it seems. England’s hopes of victory. Can this great hero really have abandoned his people? Time is running out, for King William is about to begin his final, devastating assault that will surely mark the end of days . . .

Here is a heart-pounding tale of heroism, treachery and sacrifice – and the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known . . . --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
James Wilde once again brings to the fore his brilliant portrayal of Hereward. One of the darkest characters i have read in years, and yet a hero, a beacon for his people and a knife in the side of William the bastards army.
This book had me on the edge of my seat for every page, so many ups and downs. Even knowing the history you hope that somehow something will change, that Hereward will win the day and the Norman King William will be driven back across the wale road.
This can only be achieved with some excellent writing, with the skill and prose James Wilde has honed to an edge as fine as the one on Herewards axe.
Of all the books in the series this one has for me felt like the darkest of the series. A story full of intrigue, battles, skirmishes, battle skill and yet more, personal impacts, the cost of the loss of a family member and what it will drive an individual too. The tragedy of family, those people tied to you so deeply, so intimately and yet people we don't choose and as such don't have to like.
In End of days James Wilde plays the styles and character of Hereward and William off against each other, it's this back and forth that helps give this book its darkness, but also its powerful narrative. The brooding intelligence and malevolence of William and the Cunning intelligence of Hereward, who is ultimately stronger because he fights his darkest desires, he uses the land that he knows so intimately and the people who love him so much to defeat the monster who uses money and destruction.
This book is a huge huge triumph for James Wilde, 2 parts of the English character, two parts that have not yet blended to become the empire building British, a personality at war with itself.

Highly recommended
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By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 14 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third volume of James Wilde's trilogy on Hereward and his insurrection against William of Normandy - the Conqueror. I had mixed feelings regarding the two previous volumes, but I liked this one much more.

Part of this has to do with the characters, which I found more believable, starting with Hereward himself. I also felt that many of the characters had more depth and more complexity than what had been shown before. While most of the characters previously only seemed to be driven by vengeance or ambition and interested in slaughter or fighting, in this volume, they also appear to be motivated by honour and duty. In addition to Hereward and Harald Redteeth, whose personal feud continues and reaches its climax in this volume, a new character - the Norman knight Deda (a strange name for a Norman, although it might have been "Dieudat"), a young but broken veteran - appears in this volume.

One example that I particularly liked was the character of William of Normandy himself. While clearly unsympathetic, ruthless and cruel, but always with a purpose, he is also shown as human, and not some kind of monster. The end of the book gives a hint explaining his behaviours: ruthlessness, brutality and treachery had been so rift in Normandy that the only way for him to dominate his knights and lords was to feared by them, and be tougher and "worse" than them. The book, however, also shows him as a great and relentless military leader capable of doing "whatever it takes" to get the job done. This includes putting himself in danger or destroying part of his newly conquered kingdom to subdue it and make his point -the infamous "Harroying of the North".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wilde brilliantly captures the dark and eary climate of the times post Norman invasion. The Normans are portrayed as evil and cruel conquerors making life for the Saxon population a nightmare. It seems strange how weak the Saxon resistance against the Normans was in view of past experience resisting Danish Viling invaders. Anyhow, a well told story about "the forgotten English heroe" who seems to suffer time after time. But is determined to fight on agaist all the odds from a base situated in an area of bogs and marshland, known today as Cambridgeshire. What is also great about this story is the build up of many supporting characters, who in their own right, add substance to this story. Even the portrayal of King William (the Bastard) makes fascinating reading. A great series of books about a period in English history rarely covered by historical fiction. Looking forward to the next books in the series.
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Format: Hardcover
***Hereward: End of Days is the third book in a series. If you haven't read books one and two then there is a good chance that there will be some minor spoilers in this review.***

I can credit the first Hereward novel for re-igniting my interest in historical fiction. Before reading it, I knew next to nothing about this time period and very little about the figure of Hereward himself. I took a chance and was rewarded with a gripping historical novel chock full of action. Book two, The Devil's Army, picked up with the same relentless pace and delivered another cracking read. Ever since I finished book two, I've been looking forward to End of Days. I'm glad to say that it doesn't disappoint.

The character of Hereward has metamorphosed over the course of these novels. Initially just a man trying to control his own destiny, he has almost inevitably become a figurehead for the English resistance against the Norman invasion. Everyone looks to their leader for guidance, and plans quickly begin to fall apart when he isn't in charge. Wilde takes time to explore how this burden has changed the man, the weight of such responsibility weighs heavily. Hereward is far more philosophical about his life than he was in previous books. He and his people have all suffered and that the constant strain is beginning to show.

Hereward's not so merry men (they're all pretty grumpy) continue to be a suitably roguish bunch; Alric, Kraki, Guthrinc, Sighard and Herrig the Rat. I do so love these names. Mad Hengist is a personal favourite.

The list of characters facing off against Hereward and his battle brothers continues to grow with each new book. The berserker Viking, Harald Redteeth, still seeks revenge and won't rest until he gets it.
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