Release Date: 17/02/11
It's 1066 - Senlac Ridge, England. William the Bastard, Duke of Normandy, defeats Harold Godwinson, King Harold II of England, in what will become known as the Battle of Hastings. The battle is hard fought and bloody, the lives of thousands have been spent, including that of King Harold. But England will not be conquered easily, the Anglo-Saxons will not submit meekly to Norman rule. Although his heroic deeds will nearly be lost to legend, one man unites the resistance. His name is Hereward of Bourne, the champion of the English. His honour, bravery and skill at arms will change the future of England. His is the legacy of the noble outlaw. This is his story.
If you love a classic fantasy hero but long for it to meet with Historical Fiction, then this title by Stewart Binns’ may well be the book for you. The authors hero, Hereward is similar to David Gemmell’s Druss the Legend with the principle characters wife having a lot of similarities to Rowena. It’s an interesting take on the events that shaped the future of England and its one that will appeal to a great many readers. Whilst there are some clunky moments within, the authors exuberance and passion really leach through to keep the reader glued to the story with some decent battle sequences, some wonderful prose and above all else characters that you really want to hang around.
Add to this a wide and varied rampage around 11th Century Europe alongside some interesting historical snippets added within and the reader will have an adventure to savour. It is going to be interesting to see what crops up in Crusade, the second novel in the series, although to be honest my biggest bugbear is that you know that the tales hero will live no matter what happens with the story told from a retrospective point of view which leaches away some of the danger. Even so, a descent jaunt and far from the usual historical time period selected by a great many authors.