Probably the most amazing historical novel I’ve read in awhile!
Wow! This book is so much; it’s hard to express the feelings and thoughts in an organised way. This is the first historical novel that I have read and reviewed from this particular historical period, that’s why it took me a bit more time to put everything down. Hopefully you will be able to enjoy it!
Let me start from the beginning. This epic tale of rivalry, ambition and conspiracy takes place in the 11th century Anglo-Saxon Britain. The chronological timeline takes us in depth to the events that lead to the fall of King Harold Godwinson and the rise of William the Conqueror to the throne of Britain. Familiar historical figures and historical facts come together to shed light into one of the most decisive periods of the English history.
First off, the passion, the knowledge and research put into this novel was the first thing that blew me away. Between the description of the characters, the settings, the battles, the travels and the strategies, it was impossible to go dive into authentic, original and authoritarian novel. The harsh reality of history is not sugar-coated at all which really brought me back to a time-frame where the desire to conquer had no limit and no border.
The second is the clever and magnificent way that this novel was written both in structure and style. The timeline structure was a great approach to get a broader vision of events and not to get lost in the sea of historical characters. I didn’t have the feeling that this novel had a main character. For me, all the characters had a role that contributed for the turn of events that led to the end of the Anglo-Saxon period and, even if they didn’t seem to be related at all, in the end everything comes together perfectly. I got to read and admire King Harold Godwinson, his intellect, his leadership and his politics. I loved every minute of it. The battle scenes were so exciting to read, I had my heart jumping all the time.
By the end of the book it’s clear that, unfortunately, the best man doesn’t always win. I wish with all my heart that history didn’t happen the way it did. All of this because Holloway managed to do the humanisation of the characters so well that it was impossible not to feel for them.
This is probably my favourite historical novel so far and I regret nothing! Definitely looking forward to read more of Mr. Holloway’s work.
Highly recommended read for the fans of historical novels, very very worth it!
I want to thank the author Mr. Holloway for reaching out and sending me a paperback version of his book in exchange for an honest review.