✈ [PDF / Epub] ✅ Conquest (Making of England, #1) By Stewart Binns ✸ – Golanvideoagency.info
The story gets off to a promising start and as the enigmatic warrior begins to tell his story and sheds lights on the history of the sinister talisman of truth I had high hopes that the story would continue to be a tale of heroic deeds However, I thought the rest of the story was quite lacking in adventurous appeal, and as I became and bored, I started to give up, by half way through the book I had lost all sense of interest The remarkable story of Hereward the Wake could have been so much interesting I have to say that I was really disappointed with Conquest Needless to say, I won t be reading the rest of the series, which is a pity as I love historical fiction. It is 1066 and England is about to undergo the most cataclysmic change of history since the arrival of the Roman legions On one side, the last Saxon king Harold II On the other side, William Duke of Normandy, William the Bastard, William the Conqueror The story is recreated on the Bayeux Tapestry which despite being a pro English piece of propaganda, sites in a museum in Normandy Harold would be killed at that battle and England would once again be ruled by those of Norse descent The period of Norman Conquest would see a time of bloody battles but also an immense building programme of castles, towns and cities andIn the middle of the two men is a third Hereward the Bourne What Never heard of him Neither had I and I hang my head in shame not just at this gap in my own knowledge but also at his omission from the history books Actually, some people doubt his existence but regardless of this, his story is no less impressive and if he did exist, no less important.This is the first in a series of novels charting the history of England I believe the final part is about Magna Carta This book is a fictionalised biography of Hereward as he and his armies retreat to the Fens and the Isle of Ely to resist the Norman advance An outlaw in life a proclamation made by Edward the Confessor for killing a Priest in this book the sources say it was for civil and familial disobedience , he goes to Wales and then Scotland on various quests and errands He meets Macbeth, helps him to train his army and eventually returns home to take up arms.The writing style is easy on the eye it is not a heavy read by any stretch of the imagination and it is an easy book to absorb yourself into But there is a lot of explanation, almost too much within the dialogue and the narrative and at times I find myself willing the pages on so the story can move go somewhere I m not a great fan of exposition and here there s just too much but at least it doesn t come in lumps as so many other books that fall into the trap do The narrative also reads like narration at times, as though Simon Schama himself is reading it aloud.When writing historical fiction, it is important to get the environment right That is, it must feel that you are in the right time and place Binns certainly manages that Though he doesn t go into the same intricate depth as Jean M Auel in her Earth s Children series, there is enough there for it to feel satisfyingly medieval The petty politics and power struggles that are going on around the Saxons and their would be Norman conquerors is also satisfyingly handled.William the Conqueror is satisfyingly depicted, a mean and shrewd warlord who loves war as much as he loves his god In contrast, I had mixed feelings about Hereward He was almost too much the knight in shining armour, travelling the British Isles putting right the wrongs like a medieval Sam Beckett.I m sorry to say that the battle when it comes is stodgy and passionless, lacking the pace of Cornwell s Saxon Stories and the finesse and technical detail of Sidebottom s Warrior of Rome series I felt let down, especially with such a big build up.Good book, but flawed.See book reviews at my blog Senlac Ridge, England William The Bastard, Duke Of Normandy, Defeats Harold Godwinson, King Harold II Of England, In What Will Become Known As The Battle Of HastingsThe Battle Is Hard Fought And Bloody, The Lives Of Thousands Have Been Spent, Including That Of King Harold But England Will Not Be Conquered Easily, The Anglo Saxons Will Not Submit Meekly To Norman RuleAlthough His Heroic Deeds Will Nearly Be Lost To Legend, One Man Unites The Resistance His Name Is Hereward Of Bourne, The Champion Of The English His Honour, Bravery And Skill At Arms Will Change The Future Of England His Is The Legacy Of The Noble OutlawThis Is His Story Absolutely dreadful I know it is about the Dark Ages just but it s simply fantasy Please be honest, as an author, if you made it up No part of this struck me as historical, much seemed rather hysterical and not in the funny ha ha way If you enjoy the era covered don t read this it will just make you feel somewhere between angry and peevish While I was reading this I was constantly telling myself to hold on that little bit further, just keep on going, it will pick up but it didn t The whole book felt very naive, at least that s how I would describe it Naive and simple I wanted to like this a lot simply because it was about a real life man Hereward who I had never heard of before and I wanted to know about him and his life I mean, it was as if I had discovered another British hero to stand up with William Wallace, Llewellyn ap Gruffydd, Alfred the Great, a possible King Arthur, a possible Robin Hood you know, a real life hero However, it was done poorly The conversation was stilted and ludicrous, the observations pathetic and the chapters could have been separate stories Then his writing style didn t let you become attached to the characters, feel their fear, love, desperation anything It was if someone was giving the bare boned facts of his life in a slightly storytelling way It was obvious that this man author was a university lecturer first and a writer second, it was not good writing Then there was the infallibility of Hereward Mary Sue syndrome I think everyone calls it nothing he did was wrong Kings, Queens, heroes of legend all went out of their way to love him and adore him He was unmatchable in combat He got the hottest woman available For crying out loud he turns up at armies and declares that he is to be called a knight and that he will train armies, and they let him Just because he wins a duel and because he says so It was pathetic No King General would let a man demand something of him like that and give it to him, not without him working his way up the King s favour anyway No, it was all too fake Yet, I want to finish this book someday Although I think that it is so that I can learn about Hereward, but I feel that I might be satisfied If I read a non fiction book about him at least then I will be getting what I wanted I know some people out there will enjoy the heroics of Hereward, and go ahead and enjoy them But if you like a little bit of realism in your historical fiction, look elsewhere.Have Fun Reading. I m going to break my unofficial golden rule of not reviewing a book before I ve read it all the way through as I m pretty confident that I ve got the measure of this read.This is the second interpretation of the legend of Hereward of Bourne aka Hereward The Wake that I ve come into contact with and to say it differs from the first, namely James Wilde s version, is putting it mildly.Where Wilde s story was a far visceral, gritty and evocative a story, Binns take is a far tamer, almost safer interpretation.If they were movies, Wilde s would probably be a Quentin Tarantino movie hard, brutal dynamic where this interpretation would be far in the style of a 1950s MGM style epic think The Robe.The tales also vary rather widely too For example, in the Wilde interpretation Hereward only leaves England briefly when he is exiled and makes a name for himself as a mercenary in Northern Europe The Hereward of Binns novel travels the rim of the known world at the time taking in Dublin, Norway, Kievan Rus, Constantinople, southern Italy and up to Normandy, even offering his services as a knight to William the Bastard himself, putting him almost at polar opposite to his character in the other book.To put the comparisons aside, the writing style is quite reminiscent of Tim Severin s in his Viking trilogy in that it feels like it s been written by a historian than by a novellist To give Binns some credit though the writing style in this book is a lot warmer and in keeping with the tale rather than feeling like an endless parroting of well worn sagas The only slight gripe is that with the character travelling as wide as he does there s barely any depth to his experiences in most of the places he visits beyond a sentance or two at most I suppose this is designed to not distract from the greater arc but it just winds up leaving you feel like you re fast forwarding through a story.In fact this narrative would have arguably have been a better result had it been allowed to progress over a couple of installments say a trilogy rather than crammed all into one 500page book.In summary, a good read if you happen to stumble across the book in your library or get given it but not really one which is worth hunting down. Sadly this book has a lot of good plots and interesting characters Harold Godwinson, Harald Hardarada, William Duke of Normandy, El Sid and and covers many years worth of history from different countries that the author Stewart Binns really should have slowed the pace down, focused on a few key moments and maybe made this one book into a trilogy at least.The side effect of cramming so much into one set of book covers made everything seem rather rushed, all the events tended to be almost glimpsted by the reader, the narrator never giving them a chance to settle to experience what the characters were experiencing in such turbulent years This too also made some events either seem a bit out of place or maybe too set up in order to drag the reader along to the next big event of the characters life and so the reader can never really connect to the full dramaticness of each event occuring, just a mere acceptance is required A lot of this is signalled by the narrator accounting a lot of stuff in brief details we never get to encounter many of the great battles this portrayal of Hereward experienced in southern Spain or Normandy, let alone his peaceful time spent living in Dublin with his new friends and lover Torfida etc, even the great battles of 1066 were over within a chapter or two Unfortunately I have recently finished another book focusing on the mysterious character of Hereward the Wake and it does exactly what Stewart Binns should have done, focued on a few select years, a few key events, not travelled so much across the globe and spent enough time showing the reader the depth of the characters lives and the world they lived in I prefered Jame s Wilde s version to this one. Set during an interesting period of English history, this book tells the tale of a character called Hereward of Bourne My main issue with the book is the shallow and featureless characters, in fact probably some of the worst characters I ve come across Despite the book covering a large time span, I never really feel like I got to know the characters, and found myself indifferent to their fate This isn t helped by the authors insistence to cover large periods of time in a matter of periods, so you get the impression you ve missed large aspects of their lives The redeeming feature of this book, and the aspect that prevents me scoring it lower, is the fantastic description and detail given during battles and conflict Whilst the characters are some of the worst I ve come across, the battle scenes and the authors ability to bring them to life are some of the best If Binns can sort out his character writing, he could easily become one of the best historical fiction writers The knowledge and the potential is definitely there. This novel has a magnificent cover After that, it is a massive disappointment Historically little is known of the outlawed resistance leader Hereward and so there is a lot of latitude to develop his character We know that the man was aggressive enough in his youth to merit outlawry and exile from Anglo Saxon England and we know he returned as a man to lead a revolt against William the Conqueror with considerable skill, cunning and determination Binns, however, transforms Hereward into a ditherer who could never have earned the respect of warriors much less his readers Despite having done nothing in the text of the novel to earn anyone s respect, somehow every great leader in Europe William himself, El Cid, MacBeth, God knows who else vie to earn his respect and his service while Hereward waits for signs from magic amulets to let him know if he stumbles onto anyone worthy of commanding his allegiance Ugh If you want to read a good version of Hereward s story,I recommend you read the trilogy by Marcus Pitcaithly instead. It was ok I like, read and write historical text books and novels This book could not make up its mind what it was, and it takes a writer skilled than this to blend the two without losing the characterisation One thing I did learn from reading this was where that line was and I hope on re edit that I haven t done the same in my stuff and if I have, to sort it out This as a real historical account has so much meat it seems a shame that the beginning and end were so hackneyed I won t do spoilers here but believe me, Clich City This is one of my favourite time periods but rarely connected to the characters, which was a shame It is clear this guy can write Maybe he needs a new editor So yeah not bad, but not great.