MY REVIEW: I give this book 5*
I loved this book from the first few pages. It begins with the death of King William in 1087 in the very fisrt chapter, then jumps back to 1045. The main focus is on the family of Godwin, Earl of Wessex, a very influential and powerful family at the time. The era of this book has so many great things working for it that kept me reading avidly.
King Edward is on the throne but he has no son or daughter that the crown can pass to. Reluctant to name a successor publically, there is a lot of speculation around the court as to who should fill the position at the time of the Kings’ demise. Some believe they have a right to the crown and those that feel they deserve the crown. Also there are some who believe that Godwin’s family have too much power and influence and should not have the crown. This is a period when deceit, murder, conspiracy, betrayal and lies are rife all over Europe. Alliances are made and broken, invasion is a constant threat and no-one is adverse to a little backstabbing. England is under threat of invasion from Wales, Scotland, Norway and of course from Normandy.
When Harold is made King, there are some who are against him, but he soon gains respect when he shows himself to be a real leader who was not afraid to get his hands dirty and dealing with problems head on. This is shown when Harold puts the call out for men to support him at Stamford Bridge and also at the Battle Hastings.
The author has managed, in my opinion, to show his knowledge and love for this period in English History. There are a lot of characters and a huge array of information that has been broken down into short chapters. This is a very detailed book but also very addictive reading.
I would highly recommend this book to readers of historical fiction.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the author for bringing this book to my attention. My review is my own and my honest opinion.
King William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’
England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland.
Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold.
Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?
MANY THANKS FOR READING MY BLOG.