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Lost Legend of the Hawk: The Yorkist Boy Who Became a Knight Paperback – 15 Sep 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Factionpress (15 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956605303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956605306
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,718,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Format: Paperback
I'm not given to writing `feedback' and reviews but this just bhas to be an exception. What a cracking book! Who is Jack Holroyd and where has he sprung from?
I have never read faction before and did so with `Lost Legend' on the recommendation of my wife, an avid reader of fiction. As a military historian I am faced with the prospect of preparing to make a documentary film on the Wars of the Roses next year; a period of history that is new to me. Looking for a gentle entry into a distinct form of warfare, I picked up my wife's just finished paperback copy and was hooked within minutes.
Not only is it seriously good history, as my subsequent reading has confirmed, but it is also a cracking good tale to boot. It made a task that I was not frankly looking forward to, a real pleasure and gave me a sound grounding in the intricacies of the Yorkists and the Lancastrians, their causes and outcomes, which I have been able to build on.
So my verdict; this is one of those books that meets the needs of the fiction reader (my wife) and the military historian. This must surely be rare.

Note to self - track down Jack Holroyde as an expert for the film.
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Format: Paperback
As a historian I do not read a lot of fiction. But this work of 'faction' is a remarkable recreation of its period. The so-called 'Wars of the Roses', the 15th Century civil wars in England between Yorkist and Lancastrian factions. Jack Holroyd has gone back to original period documents and records to gain a thorough understanding of the age: its people, their language, and especially the weapons and tactics of the era. I learned far more than I expected from reading this solidly researched story. More than just a story, we get also appendices covering timeline, dynastic genealogy, weapons and armor, and some very detailed maps of the localities mentioned in the main text.

One detail deserves a mention. Many historians have wondered how armies of this period were organized at the small-unit level. How were orders given (say) to direct archers' targets, volleys, etc? Jack Holroyd uses a mixture of archival information and logic to present some credble answers to such questions.

My only problem with this excellent book is that it is not available in hardback. Fantastic value.
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Format: Paperback
The Battle of Towton is generally accepted as the bloodiest battle ever fought on British soil. Fought during a snowstorm on Palm Sunday 1461, this Wars of the Roses engagement claimed the lives of 28,000 men and boys - an horrific number considering Britain's limited population at that time. Like the battle of Wakefield in which the Duke of York lost his life three months earlier, no quarter was asked and none given. It staggers me, therefore, that so few people understand what was happening at this amazing time when England had two kings - Henry Vl and William lV - and the reasons for it. Jack Holroyd has attempted to alter that with an absorbing novel which I unreservedly recommend to all.
Lost Legend of the Hawk interweaves a story of two South Yorkshire teenage swine-herders, John Hawksworth and his able but stammering brother Edmund, into those dark days in an intriguing manner. The story is related by John 48 years after the events of 1461 as he faces being burnt at the stake as an enemy of the Church. It tells how his father-hating younger brother rises from his disadvantaged position to being acclaimed as an avenging hero of the Yorkist army at Towton through feats of daring requiring unrivalled skill with a crossbow and the wisdom of a far older man.
Thankfully the author escapes the story becoming overly fanciful as he demonstrates his knowledge of the conflict, the parties involved and 15th century warfare. His detailed knowledge of the area in which the action takes place, accompanied by maps and diagrams, and the role of the Church add to the believability of this blend of fact with fiction. The result is a work perhaps equally suited to those interested in military history and those seeking a first-rate historical yarn.
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Format: Paperback
Two Yorkshire swine herders and their role in the bloodiest, messiest, political storm of all time. For those of you who are used to reading the formulaic works of Bernard Cornwell, the plots of which, though praiseworthy, are thoroughly predictable, here is a breath of fresh Yorkshire air. This was a very complicated period of England's history and Holroyd has made it his own. Obviously a keen student of the period, he has created a vivid portrait of its characters and history and one cannot but keep turning the pages to see what happens to the individuals concerned.

If this is a history lesson (based upon the fact part of `faction'), then it is one which is lapped up eagerly and almost subconsciously as the narrative bowls along at great pace. This does not distract from the book's inventiveness or historical accuracy, which are both to be highly commended.

All the reviews for this book are full of praise though some suggest that the appendices, which feature at the back, should have been placed at the front. The fact that they appear at all is a bonus, and show that the author is well aware that some background is required for those assiduous enough to care. Is it really so difficult to use these details whether they are at the back or the front of the book? I think not.

Whoever Mr Holroyd is he should be congratulated for producing a spellbinding first novel and whatever else he is doing at the moment, he should really be working on the follow up. Publishers take note, this man has an exceptional talent, had this book been published by one of the foremost houses in the UK, and had been backed up by a healthy marketing budget, I am certain it would have made the best-seller lists.

Highly recommended.
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