Monday, 10 September 2012

HISTORICAL FICTION REVIEW: The Splintered Kingdom - Jame Aitcheson

Release Date: 13/09/12


The story begins on the Welsh Marches, where Tancred has been given land by his new lord, Robert Malet, in return for his services in the battle for York. Now a lord in his own right, he has knights of his own to command and a manor to call home. But all is far from peaceful. The Welsh are joining forces with the English against the Normans and when skirmishes turn into a full scale battle at Shrewsbury, Tancred is betrayed by a rival border lord and taken prisoner by the Welsh. Meanwhile the woman he loves is taken hostage by enemy English forces and the Vikings invade the east coast. Never has Tancred faced a more impossible situation.


Having fallen for James’ brutal writing style with his first book I couldn’t wait to see how Tancred would develop for the reader in this outing. As with the first the combat is high octane, the character a joy to hang around and when you face other titles that deal with the same timeline with similar sorts of heroes (like Hereward for example) it is a surprise that the Normans did a well as they did after Hastings.

Add to this some double dealing, potential backstabbing along with a story where honour is worth more than gold and for any reader this is a title that will be devoured in a very short time, Finally add to the mix that James has kicked his writing up a notch with lessons learned from his first book and all in its definitely a book that I know will be pilfered from my collection by a certain relative for his pure enjoyment.

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