The Winter Warrior

The Winter Warrior

A Novel of Medieval England

Book - 2012
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1067. Following the devastating destruction of the Battle of Hastings, William the Bastard and his men have descended on England. Villages are torched; men, women and children are put to the sword as the Norman king attempts to impose his cruel will upon this unruly nation. But there is one who stands in the way of the invader's savagery. He is called Hereward. He is a warrior and master tactician and as adept at battle as the imposter who sits upon the throne. And he is England's last hope.In a Fenlands fortress of water and wild wood, Hereward's resistance is simmering. His army of outcasts grows by the day--a devil's army that emerges out of the mists and the night, leaving death in its wake. But William is not easily cowed. Under the command of his ruthless deputy, Ivo Taillebois--the man they call 'the Butcher'--the Norman forces will do whatever it takes to crush the rebels, even if it means razing England to the ground. Here then is the tale of the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known--the beginning of an epic struggle that will change England forever.
Publisher: New York : Pegasus Books, c2012.
ISBN: 9781605984841
Branch Call Number: FICTION WIL
Characteristics: 378 p. ; 24 cm.


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Sep 28, 2014

Not happy at all with this book. First of all, we already know the outcome is not going to be good for any of the characters coming into the story. Second, the characters themselves have few admirable qualities that the author sees.
Eventually I wound up hating the characters, hating the plot line, and hating the author.
By page 256 or so (after the capture of the wife by the witch-finder and Hereward's loss of direction) I got so fed up that I decided that reading any further was a waste of time, and the book actually made me angry with the author that he had managed to suck so much of my time to simply give vent to some bitterness he holds in his own heart. It's like trying to read one of those books that's a non-stop complain-a-thon. Skip it.

Feb 19, 2014

I had fond memories of Charles Kingsley's Hereward the Wake so I tried this contemporary version. It's an altogether different affair than Kingsley's Boy's Own romp, full of gore and treachery. Wilde (pseudonym of fantasy novelist Mark Chadbourn) adopts a brusque, pared-down style in this retelling. The result is like a Saxon sword: not terribly refined, but brutally efficient. Like Kingsley and modern novelists Bernard Cornwell and Nigel Tranter, Wilde has a keen eye for landscape and the way it shapes history. There are echoes of everything from Robin Hood to Afghanistan in here, as well as a very contemporary fascination with what it means to be English. I'm looking forward to the next instalment.

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