I read lots of British history set in the period from 500 C.E. to 1500 C.E. I read both fiction and nonfiction. I have now read both Sworn Sword (#1) and Splintered Kingdom (#2) by James Aitcheson in his series “The Conquest,” dealing with post Norman Conquest (1066) England. The history is accurate but the time frame has been compressed by a year or two to fit the story lines. Over a period of almost 1,000 years since the events took place, that is totally acceptable. Many of the characters are real people but the protagonist is not.
In Book 1 (Sworn Sword), Tancred a Dinant, a young Norman knight and his friends, Wace and Eudo (also young knights), are introduced. They are with William the Conqueror as he fights for control of the City of York. During the fighting, Tancred’s lady is murdered by his enemies, the Danes and the English. The friendship and loyalty of Wace and Eudo come into play in Splintered Kingdom,</i,> in which all three are now minor nobles/landowners in different sections of England. Tancred is located on the border of Wales while Eudo and Wace are located on or near the east coast. They had not seen each other for about one year.
They come together for an attempt to rescue their lord, Robert Malet (a real person) and Robert’s father and sister. They are being held captive by the Danish and English allies, enemies of the Normans. The story also describes Tancred’s Welsh adventures and capture by his political and military enemies. The fight sequences are awesome and graphic, not for weak constitutions. Tancred’s home is destroyed and his life is turned upside down.
All in all, a very satisfying series (so far) and I look forward to catching up with Tancred and his friends in the rest of the series.
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–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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