Tag Archives: 1066

Spear Havoc: 1066 – Alternative Histories by C.R. May – Review

Today I’m going to be reviewing Spear Havoc: 1066 – Alternative Histories by C.R. May.

Here is the blurb –

Genre – Historical Fiction/Alternative History

The year 1066 is arguably the most famous in English history. Assailed on all sides, King Harold and his doughty army finally fall to a last gasp Norman assault.

It is perhaps the very first of those fights against the odds which have entered the national psyche, of which Agincourt, Rorke’s Drift and Dunkirk are but a few.

But what if Harold Godwinson had prevailed on that blood soaked ridge? Or the invasions of Harald of Norway and William of Normandy had never taken place at all?

Here, bestselling author C.R.May presents twelve short stories, each outlining widely differing ways which could easily — and in some cases should have — produced an entirely different timeline, alternative futures which would have had a dramatic effect on the world in which we live today.

Review

I’m a big fan of “What if” when it comes to history. One little event could have changed the course of history forever and that fascinates me.

What C.R. May delivers is a collection of short stories based around the events of 1066 in which the author shows his talent as a storyteller but also how knowledgeable of the period he is.

The accounts are very detailed when it comes to names and places. The events themselves are plausible and I loved the arguments/evidence put forward with each to help you see yourself how real these events could have been.

It’s a quite fun read if you enjoy the subject, I know I do, but any fan of history or alternative history would certainly enjoy this.

I’m definitely a fan of the author, his style is very much “detail”, you are going to get sucked into the vivid detail of each event and for me they just got better as the book progressed, each adding it’s own wow factor.

Another plus for me is the chapter length and flow, it’s perfect for someone like me who has a short lunch break at work and needs a reading fix, and the author commentary after each tale helps keep things fresh and intriguing.

5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Goodreads or Amazon!

Vikings to Virgin – The Hazards of Being King by Trisha Hughes – Review

Title – Vikings to Virgin – The Hazards of Being King: Book 1
Author – Trisha Hughes
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 333 Pages
Publication – Feb 2017
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

In Vikings to Virgin – The Hazards of Being King Trisha Hughes provides the reader with a pacey introduction to the many pitfalls faced by the ambitious as they climbed the dangerous ladders of royalty. It is easy to think that monarchs are all powerful, but throughout the Dark and Middle Ages it was surprisingly easy to unseat one and assume the crown yourself. But if it was easy to gain … it was just as easy to lose.From the dawn of the Vikings through to Elizabeth I, Trisha Hughes follows the violent struggles for power and the many brutal methods employed to wrest it and keep hold of it. Murder, deceit, treachery, lust and betrayal were just a few of the methods used to try and win the crown. Vikings to Virgin – The Hazards of Being King spans fifteen hundred years and is a highly accessible and enjoyable ride through the dark side of early British monarchy.

Review

What I’ve learnt from this book is it wasn’t easy being King.. but at the same time it wasn’t always a good thing to be related to a King, your likely to be used as a pawn during a rebellion or murdered to eliminate your claim to the throne.

This was a most informative book and I felt the author did a great job of bringing each of these Kings and Queens to life while also giving the reader a great insight to such issues as disease and aliments suffered at the time.  I thought I knew a lot about Henry VIII but after reading this he’s even more shocking than I first thought.

I think what I loved about this book the most was how it’s presented. Rather than focusing on one person this book covers many and that made it different compared to anything else I’ve read.

Some of the rulers covered I’ve read about previously and I thought I might be bored reading things I already know but Trisha’s style of writing made it exciting again and I loved it from start to finish.

This is a historical fiction novel but only in the sense that the author has used dates/events to the best of her knowledge and research. There is of course periods in time where little evidence remains or when we do have sources available there’s generally another which says something different.

My advice to the hardcore historically accurate people, just enjoy the tale for what it is. This book brings together so many periods of time into bitesize chunks manageable by anyone and enables the reader to then delve further if they wish.

This is the kind of book that gives you the juicy interesting facts and ignites the flames of passion for history. I’m a big fan of history. It was probably my favourite subject at school and it’s certainly made me want to revisit a few historical characters.

If you like your history but don’t want to get into something a little too heavy then this is the prefect condensed but action packed and detailed version of history you’re after!

Enjoy!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.

The Wolf Banner by Paula Lofting – Review

Title – The Wolf Banner
Author – Paula Lofting
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 474 Pages
Publication – 20 Aug 2016.
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

WAR AND BLOODFEUD
1056…England lurches towards war as the rebellious Lord Alfgar plots against the indolent King Edward. Sussex thegn, Wulfhere, must defy both his lord, Harold Godwinson, and his bitter enemy, Helghi, to protect his beloved daughter.
As the shadow of war stretches across the land, a more personal battle rages at home, and when it follows him into battle, he knows he must keep his wits about him more than ever, and COURAGE AND FEAR MUST BECOME HIS ARMOUR…

Review

The Wolf Banner is the follow up book to Sons of the Wolf which I loved! This has to be one of my most anticipated releases of 2016 and I didn’t let me down.

First off I must says it’s taken a while for the author to get this book ready to be published but I can say honestly that all the time and heard work she has put into it has paid off.

The book follows on nicely from where Sons left off, as as you’d expect it’s full to the brim of action and develops the characters even further. I really enjoyed Burghred in this story.. The author explains little is known about him so she was able to give life to him with her words and besides Wulfhere he was the most interesting character for me

Another character I believe came into his own in this tale was Aemund, a very funny cheeky chap indeed.

The twins are back also in this tale and they play a pivotal role..They have matured a little and are ready to stand in the shieldwall with their father.

The family feud that existed in Sons of the Wolf is even more heated if that’s possible and Edgar and Freyda are in the thick of it….will it ever end? I guess I’d like to see things resolved but at the same time I like the possibilities this feud can bring to the story.

The best scene which I won’t ruin for you involves Gunnhild.. who you may remember from the first book. She not likeable at all and there’s a funny little event that plays out that had me laughing for ages.

For those who are fans of a good battle won’t be disappointed either as Wulfhere gets to show he may be getting old but he can still fight tooth and nail.

Although the book focuses on the life of Wulfhere the underlying tale of Harold Godwinson plays out beautifully. Anyone who enjoys this period in time should find this book the perfect accompaniment to go with other tales of Harold.. This book brings fresh life to the period for me and makes me want to reread books I thought I’d probably not look at again.

I can’t fault this book, not one bit. I loved it from start to finished and it ticked every box for me.

Paula really knows her history and how to hook the reader in and i can’t wait for book three Wolf’s Bane! I’ve been left me on tenterhooks as to what will happen next (FYI I’ve never used tenterhooks in a sentence before 🙂 )

Head to Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com to pre-order now!

1066: What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway – Review

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Title – 1066: What Fates Impose
Author – G.K. Holloway
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 448 Pages (Paperback)
Publication – Nov 2013
My Rating – 5/5 Stars

Synopsis

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 who 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?

Review

I’ll be honest with you this was an engrossing read from the start. I could have read it much faster if not for work commitments.. Every time I put the book down I couldn’t help but want to read just a little bit more.

The synopsis gives you more than enough detail to know what happens in the book but what you can’t gather from it is that the author clearly has a lot of historical knowledge which shines through.

It’s a fast paced tale so my only advice is if your historical knowledge of the era isn’t the strongest pay attention to the handy list of characters at the beginning of the book, without this addition from the author I would have been lost.

1066 is a well-known year for many, I myself learned a little when in school but what you don’t learn about is all of the little events that took place so events unfolded the way they did. This is what Glynn offers us and a fascinating tale unfolds to which the author gives great detail.

One of the main things I was unaware of was the very complex family relationships that were involved.

This book for me is  definitely a 5* book, yes maybe we could have had a bit more development of some of the characters but with this type of book and setting you know the author won’t be able to give everyone enough page time. Sometimes it was just hard to understand why these men fought so bravely for Harold when you didn’t see the emotional connections between them. Overall I think Glynn got this book spot on. Too much character development could have led to the underlying story not being given the page time it deserves

In conclusion is book is a very fascinating read full of historical knowledge that draws the reader in and I thank the author for bringing his work to my attention

To find out more information head to Goodreads, Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com