I was gifted a copy of the book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
This novella may be a short read, but it so packed with authentic detail and action, that you feel you are reading a much longer book.
Our heritage is founded on the backs of ordinary men such as Aldred and his nephew Cynric pressed into service as were thousands of farmers and craftsmen who were sworn to the feudal Anglo-Saxon lords. The story is factual but told through the eyes of these two fictional characters as warring armies battle to gain control of Britain.
One army is led by the barbaric King Harald of Norway or Hardradå as he is known by his men. He has formed an alliance with the Anglo-Saxon Tostig, claimant to the throne, now held by his brother King Harold, following the recent death of Edward the Confessor. This invasion force has the backing of Duke William of Normandy who has made promises to Tostig should there be victory.
With all the various factions identified, the story then takes us through the build up of forces led by the Norwegian king in southern Scotland, the defeat of the army entrenched in York and the significant and decisive victory by the forces of King Harold at Stamford Bridge.
This leads to the battle that was to change the life of every man, woman and child in Britain on October 14th 1066.
The main characters are portrayed vividly, and their backgrounds and involvement in this pivotal time in history, demonstrate how human traits such as greed, revenge and jealousy leads to the deaths of thousands who follow them.
The battle scenes and the acts of barbarism are very realistically portrayed both through the eyes of Aldred and Cynric, as well as those leading the various forces. The action maintains its pace throughout the story and Jack Eason has recreated the terrifying and brutal results of hand to hand combat and archery.
This was a dark time in our history and 1066 was a turning point for a Britain about to move into the Middle Ages, Jack Eason has captured this moment excellently.
If you enjoy a fast paced story and historical accuracy then I recommend you read 1066.