Hereward: End of Days
This is the third outing for Hereward the Wake, England’s 11th-century forgotten hero. In 1071, England is under the grip of the conquering Norman king, William. The hated William has secured power and control through his ruthless campaigns. Still holding out are the rebel English in the east. But their hero, Hereward, is missing and they have to fight alone. William looks set to be victorious. Hereward, of course, returns and has to lead his outnumbered people against the Norman invaders.
Wilde portrays Hereward as a complex individual who has his own demons as well as those he fights. His conflict with his brother Redwald provides an extra layer to the unfolding drama, and we share in Hereward’s conflicted emotions. As well as the central drama of the fate of England, there are a number of other exciting sub-plots woven in. Secondary characters such as Deda, the Norman knight, and Rowena, a young English widow, are intriguing and credible. With this fast-paced and exciting novel, we are drawn into Hereward’s world from the off. The battles are bloody, and the boggy landscape is as treacherous as those who walk it. Having enjoyed this book so much, I will be seeking out Hereward’s first two adventures and look forward to the next.