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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 14 July 2013
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".

The story itself is mostly well known (at least in the UK), and anyway I will not spoil the book for others by revealing the plot. Suffice to mention that the author has come up with some interesting twists in the plot, with a nice hint at the legend of Hereward been transformed into Robin Hood. William the Conqueror's dilemma - whether dead or alive, Hereward could still be a problem and stir considerable trouble for the Norman warlord in his newly conquered Kingdom is well described and just about plausible.

Both of the main battle scenes are rather good, as in the previous books, whether the surprise attack on the Norman camp or the assault of the "English" fortified island of Ely. Although the first attack seems to have been invented by the author, it is nevertheless rather exciting and plausible. My favourite scene, however, is towards the end of the book where Harald Redteeth confronts Hereward for what is their final reckoning, just after having fended of the horrific attacks of a pack of wolves.

There were however a few little things that did not quite work out or which were a bit problematic for me. While the double treachery that leads to the final assault and the fall of Ely is very plausible, the facility with which Hereward and some of his supporters seem able to get in and out of Lincoln is harder to believe. Also somewhat difficult to believe is Hereward's interview with William, in the latter's palace.

A good read that was worth four solid stars, although not quite five.
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on 18 May 2017
Captivating This concludes our hero Herewards advetures
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on 27 April 2017
gripping enjoyed every minuet
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on 9 June 2017
Excellent condition as described and delivered within date. Excellent.
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on 21 August 2017
good book fast delivery
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on 30 July 2013
An enjoyable romp which I was looking forward to having read the previous two.
Sadly I think the third in the trilogy, which so often is the case, lacks substance, that's not to say there's not plenty of action, but built around a repetitive storyline.
Nevertheless a good holiday read.
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on 18 May 2015
Great story of how England was with the Normans ruling England.Lots of plots and twists and turns.Sets the story for a whole new adventure can't wait to read the next book.
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on 16 April 2017
It fully met my expectations
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on 21 August 2013
Excellent novel and well written . Can't wait for the next one . Hopefully won't be to long till the next epic adventure
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 July 2013
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
(Parm)
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