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Gildenford by Valerie Anand

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Gildenford by Valerie Anand

Post by Misfit » Tue August 26th, 2008, 3:32 pm

A good read for those interested in Pre-Conquest England. This book is the first of a trilogy written by Anand about the Norman Conquest of England and begins in 1036 when Alfred Atheling and 600 of his party were betrayed and massacred at Gildenford by Harold Harefoot, one of the claimants for the English throne. But, did Harefoot have help in the plot to betray the Atheling and lead him to believe he would be safe entering England? His mother Emma? Godwin, the Earl of Wessex? Brand the Woodcutter is innocently drawn into the plot and thus begins his years of service to the very powerful Earl of Wessex as the story then focuses on the reign of Edward the Confessor (Alfred's older brother), Godwin's great secret about the massacre at Gildenford and the events that eventually lead England toward it's destiny with Duke William of Normandy.

Since this is the first of a trilogy, William is a very minor character until the very end and I suspect the second book will have a lot more WOW factor as the story of Duke William and the 1066 Conquest of England unfolds. The ending of this book fell a bit flat for this reader and if one is only planning on reading this book it's not the greatest stand alone book on this period, I would recommend Helen Hollick's A Hollow Crown for a more thorough look at the era. While I very much enjoyed this book, and learning more about this lesser known period, I have to call this one good but not great, and definitely not worth the exorbitant prices being asked for the used copies of this book. 4/5 stars.

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