January 1069. Less than three years have passed since Hastings and the death of the usurper, Harold Godwineson. In the depths of winter, two thousand Normans march to subdue the troublesome province of Northumbria. Tancred a Dinant, an ambitious and oath-sworn knight and a proud leader of men, is among them, hungry for battle, for silver and for land. But at Durham the Normans are ambushed in the streets by English rebels. In the battle that ensues, their army is slaughtered almost to a man. Badly wounded, Tancred barely escapes with his life. His lord is among those slain. Soon the enemy are on the march, led by the dispossessed prince Eadgar, the last of the ancient Saxon line, who is determined to seize the realm he believes is his. Yet even as Tancred seeks vengeance for his lord’s murder, he finds himself caught up in secret dealings between a powerful Norman magnate and a shadow from the past. As the Norman and English armies prepare to clash, Tancred begins to uncover a plot which harks back to the day of Hastings itself. A plot which, if allowed to succeed, threatens to undermine the entire Conquest. The fate of the Kingdom hangs in the balance. (From Goodreads)
This certainly was an interesting novel. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and thought it was really well written. The historical aspect is nice and very well detailed. It’s so well descriptive you can see, smell and feel everything that Tancred goes through.
The plot itself was interesting and filled with bits of mystery and intrigue, and the historical accuracy is perfect it was a bit slow paced in my opinion, but the twists and turns do make up for it. There’s plenty of fighting and battle sequences that are engaging to read and easy to picture. The characters are also well done and almost life like due to their descriptions and personality. The author’s note in the end is also helpful, as this particular part in history isn’t written all frequently – although it should. So many potentially good stories can be written during this time period!
The only criticism I can think of with this book is, although the descriptions are good and very well done, it can be a little too much and that’s why I mentioned the pace of the book got slow. It just seemed sometimes too much description was done and it just made the pace of the book much slower than it should.
Definitely recommend this for historical fiction fans, well worth the read!
I give it a 7 out of 10.
Thank you sourcebooks for the review copy!