Welcome to the Historical Fiction Online forums: a friendly place to discuss, review and discover historical fiction.
If this is your first visit, please be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above.
You will have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed.
To start viewing posts, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

The Norman Pretender by Valerie Anand

Post Reply
User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

The Norman Pretender by Valerie Anand

Post by Misfit » Sun November 9th, 2008, 4:04 pm

The Norman Pretender takes up the story where Gildenford left off, as the powerful Godwinson family returns to England after King Edward forgives them for their role in the massacre of his brother Alfred and 600 of his Norman followers. The old Earl dies and his oldest son Harold becomes The Earl of Wessex and the story then details Harold's life as he battles the Welsh and his bitter enemy Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, while also struggling with his jealous brother Tostig. We also see the return of the fictional character of Brand the Woodcutter (who has been living in Duke William's court), along with Wulfhild, the daughter he didn't know existed, as he returns to England and Harold gives them the lands surrounding Fallowdene.

For those familiar with the period and its history you know what happens
next, but for the sake of those that don't I won't detail too much further, just suffice it to say that Anand weaves a fine tale of Harold Godwinson and the events leading him to make an oath of fealty that he cannot keep, the final treachery of his brother Tostig that exhausts Harold and his army, finally culminating in that fateful October day in 1066 and the Battle at Hastings.

While this book is not quite as good as Helen Hollick's Harold the King (a must read!), I had a very hard time putting this down and I am very much looking forward to reading the last in the trilogy, The Disputed Crown. These books are out of print and from some of the prices being offered quite rare, but if you can find copies at a reasonable price and are interested in this period I'd go for it. 4.5/5 stars.
Last edited by Misfit on Sun November 9th, 2008, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: fix typo

User avatar
EC2
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3661
Joined: August 2008
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Post by EC2 » Sun November 9th, 2008, 5:13 pm

Thanks for the review Misfit. Anand's King of the Wood is linked to the Gildenford series. It's about William Rufus but Wulfhild's descendents and Fallowdene are involved in the story. King of the Wood is one of my favourite medieval novels. To be honest I rate Anand's Gildenford books as the best of the Norman/English conflicts I've read so far. I really enjoyed Harold the King and I'd give it five stars too, but I marginally prefer Anand.
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Sun November 9th, 2008, 6:40 pm

I've read King of the Wood, that's actually the first of Anand's books I've read and it was fun when I picked up on the Fallowdene bit in this book. I've started The Disputed Crown and I'm seeing someone pop up who I recognize from The Winter Mantle.

Post Reply

Return to “By Author's Last Name A-F”