Belleme, the Norman Warrior
Belleme follows the life of a soldier-politician who is a prominent player in English politics in the wake of the Norman Conquest. Robert Belleme is first introduced as a willful boy who follows his father to the Battle of Hastings where Harold, the last Saxon king, is defeated and killed by the forces of William the Conqueror.
Maturing, Belleme aligns himself with young Duke Robert, one of William’s bastard sons, who’s passed over for the throne by his two brothers, William and Henry. Belleme is a loyal and forthright man in a chaotic era of deceit, duplicity, plots counterplots, and constant warfare. The story moves well and furnishes a plethora of detail about the daily lives of both high-born and peasant during these years of upheaval.
The author also generates enough sympathy for Belleme – so much so that readers may become exasperated at his inflexible loyalty to an obvious psychotic.