- Paperback: 432 pages
- Publisher: Arrow; 1st Arrow Book Edition edition (14 Mar. 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099558327
- ISBN-13: 978-0099558323
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.7 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Splintered Kingdom (The Conquest) Paperback – 14 Mar 2013
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"A vigorously written, well researched tale of post-conquest England told through Norman eyes, with a rich, detailed setting, plenty of exciting battles, and a protagonist/narrator who is a real pleasure to read." - Historical Novels Review
""An exciting and suspenseful post-Norman conquest saga filled with ambition, greed and betrayals...history buffs and adventure fans will definitely want to read all the exciting tales in this saga." - Fresh Fiction
"There are enough swordplay and chases amid the historical detail to warrant returning to this series or even starting it. Aficionados of tales about England's historic warriors, in the tradition of Bernard Cornwell, will enjoy this muscular outing" - Library Journal
"The second terrific Tancred Conqueror era historical is a great thriller that brings to life the eleventh century bitter hostilities that remain heated several years after Hastings" - The Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The brilliant second novel featuring the hero of SWORN SWORD - Tancred.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Our hero, if he can be called that, is Tancred a Dinant, a Breton and Norman knight who, after impressing with his bravery at Hastings and in the streets of York (as told in the preceding novel Sworn Sword) is now lord of an estate in the Welsh borders in Shropshire (as it would be called now). Possibly unusually, but perhaps not, Tancred takes his duties as lord seriously and when his tenants are attacked and stolen by Welsh raiders he feels honour bound to protect them. The news comes that his great enemy, Eadger the Aetheling, the hope of the English, has joined with the Welsh to harass the invaders and so Tancred is among the many who follow their sworn lord, in his case Robert, to join up with William the Conqueror's fearsome armies.
Tancred is not just an anonymous knight in armour, the bloody hand of Norman oppression. He is, one would like to believe, a caring man who has made a career out of fighting and, despite the pull of peace offered by his new property, his relationship with a local girl, pregnant with his child, he is unable to resist the call of his oath to lord Robert and so he steps into the unknown - in this case, the wild, beautiful and hostile landscape of Wales.Read more ›
Set in 1070 and clearly well researched, we are told of the fragility of the Norman occupation. Not only are the supporters of King Eadgar, will whom Tancred shares a personal enmity, causing a considerable nuisance but King Swegn of Denmark is considering his options and the Welsh, seeing the other distractions to their advantage, are seeking to reclaim the marches, assisted by many disgruntled Englishmen. Rewarded with a lordship and lands, the village of Earnford in the marches, Tancred soon learns firsthand about the effectiveness of the Welsh raids and finds himself having to defend his 'home' and protect the English people in his care.
The Normans are therefore forced to fight on several fronts and Tancred is called upon to attack the Welsh. The action packed assault begins and is full of uncertainty with changing allegiances, the Welsh fighting the Welsh, the Normans torn between self-interest and loyalty to their king, all against a backdrop of ever-increasing unrest.
We are introduced a wide variety of new characters and re-united with some old friends and enemies as Tancred personally contends with re-kindled affection, heartache and loss, double dealings and betrayal whilst he tries with his comrades to remain honourable and do the right thing. The battle scenes are once more incredibly authentic, as war is raged throughout Wales and into Mercia, climaxing with a return to Eoferwic (York) and the tale then finishes with a delightful twist, heralding the next book in the series, which I look forward to reading.
There is a lot to like in this book, starting with the topic itself and the way the author presents it. This second volume, just like the first, shows that the Conquest of England was by no way finished with the victory at Hastings and that the subsequent uprisings and campaigns that the Normans and their King had to launch were much more than just "mopping up" operations. This is perhaps one of the main strongpoints of this book: it shows how precarious the Normand hold on England was in 1070 and how, all of a sudden, the whole kingdom seemed to erupt in flames, with attacks coming from the North (Edgar the Atheling and the Northumbrians), the East (the Danes) and the West (the Welsh and exiled Saxon thegns).
Another great feature is to make the "rank-and-file" knights, starting with Tancred, rather believable in their behaviours and in their aspirations. I rather liked the rivalry between Berengar and Tancred, both striving to enhance their reputation and sometimes rather careless of the consequences. I also liked the depiction of the similar tensions among Norman lords, in particular those between William FitzOsbern, William the Conqueror's childhood friend, and the "wolf", Hugh of Avranches who would become the earl of Chester as Roger of Mongomerri would become that of Shrewsbury.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read the first of the trilogy some weeks ago and an now reading the next phase in Tancreds exploits. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Fluppy
As with other 1/2, 1066: well written and gives a 'Northman/Norman's versionPublished 12 months ago by Dr. Piotr J. Masiak
Good series of books, each one well connected to the previous but differentPublished 15 months ago by Clive