Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Time of the Wolf, The: A Novel of Medieval England” as Want to Read:
Time of the Wolf, The: A Novel of Medieval England
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Time of the Wolf, The: A Novel of Medieval England (Hereward #1)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  757 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
A rousing historical debut that rescues one of England's forgotten heroes from the mists of early medieval history and brings him to brutal and bloody life 1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of bl ...more
Audio CD
Published November 14th 2013 by Brilliance Audio (first published June 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Time of the Wolf, The, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Time of the Wolf, The

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,963)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 07, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Okay. I finished it, but this book did not blow me away.

Here's the plot of the story: Two wrongly accused men, one moral and one amoral, develop a friendship as they attempt to clear their names during the period leading up to (and immediately following) the Norman Invasion.

It took my 150 page to realize what this book was about. Until that point, the book was a series of violent escapes during which violent men try to violently murder other violent men. Hereward violently violences the violent
Oct 17, 2012 Chris rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Based on the character of Hereward the Wake and largely following the line of the Gesta Herewardi, I enjoyed the book pretty much, until I came to the part where Hereward goes to Flanders.
Wilde got the description of the landscape and the coast of Northern France, Flanders, the Zealand Isles,.(especially Walcheren where I used to live) and the Dutch Coast and Scaldis estuary all wrong. There are no pebble beaches, and Walcheren - (quote) Hereward studied Walcheren. It looked like an upturned bo
Aug 17, 2014 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would initially be a little hesitant to freely give a book five stars but this is the first book I've read in a long time that hooked me right from the start.
I know it's probably because I'm a big fan of Bernard Cornwell, especially the saga centred on Uhtred Of Bebbanburg, but there are echoes of such great storytelling here. Hereward, told more in the third person, is a more visceral, bloodthirsty and angry story than that of Uhtred with a lot of the same high quality plot weaving, engrossin
I almost gave up reading this novel of Hereward, the English leader of the resistance to William the Conqueror, since the first part was so confusing. After he meets the monk and they travel together, I wondered what each of them had done to deserve outlawry; also what the plot and the conspiracy were. Nothing made sense but all fell together finally and I'm glad I did persist and finish. The novel tells of Hereward's wanderings as outlaw, fleeing to Flanders and his adventures there, then retur ...more
Paula Lofting
This book was a bit of a dissapointment to me as I was attracted by the cover which had an awesome character on the front, Hereward, handsomely mad, monstrously rugged and deadly. You could see the devil in his eyes as he drew back the arrow from a bow that he was never portrayed as having fired in the book (as far as I remember). Anyway, the character turned out to be just a tad to inhuman at times (sinking his teeth into a wolf's throat and fighting a bear) and at other times a little too emot ...more
Jul 20, 2012 Speesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1066
Superb. Nothing less.

Hereward gripped me and held me at sword-point from page one.

(That was my attempt at writing something they might want to use on a future Hereward book jacket).

I can't remember being so impressed by a historical novel for a long, long time. It really is that good.

Set in an interesting and - for me, at least - under discovered period; the years just before and just after the Norman invasion of 1066. We're in the death-throws of the Viking period, the old, 'real' England is st
Jan 26, 2016 Katy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For a book where so many passing characters get brutally hacked about by axes, it was kind of dull! It had sat on my bedside reading pile for about a year, and when I finally picked it up, it took me about twice as long as I'd have expected to read. All but the last 50 pages seems like a prequel to the real story, which I assume starts in book 2 of the series, but given I've just discovered there are 5 books, the pacing of this one could suggest that book 2 is still the prequel too. I don't feel ...more
S.J. Arnott
'Drink,' he said. 'Let the juices of the toadstool fill you with the passion of our ancestors.' He passed the vessel of steaming urine to Ivar...

So much for budget caterers...

The above quote wasn't from the mouth of Hereward, but one of the many unsavoury adversaries he encounters throughout the book, most of whom swiftly get the chop. The action starts early with Hereward rising Rambo-like out of a pool of bloody water to dispatch a bunch of Viking mercenaries and, after skinning one of them, s
3.5 stars. A little more gore than I usually care for but the rest of the story was well written. I appreciated the author's characterizations of Harold and William. It's nice to see an author who doesn't take sides even if his Harold was a little extreme.
From England to Flaunders and back to England, from England before William the Conqueror to after the invasion, from outlawed madman to legendary hero. What a trip James Wilde has taken me on through the legendary Hereward. This is a story that will never leave you waiting or bored... ACTION packed (a little gory at times) but action packed from beginning to end. I was totally enthralled from the beginning, highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction or just a little action ...more
Obviously the first in a planned series of novels on Hereward 'the Wake' (in this context, 'the Wake' means wary or watchful), who was a real Saxon who lead the resistance against the Norman invaders of England in William the Conquerors time.

While largely forgotten by history, many of Herewards exploits have later been subsumed into the many legends of Robin Hood - it is easy to see the parallels between the two characters and, as such, I thought that this could prove to be an interesting read.

Simon Turney
Jul 29, 2012 Simon Turney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hereward was something of an unknown for me as I went into it. With most historical fiction I read, I have some grounding in the subject or characters, but my knowledge of Hereward the Wake is limited to the fact that I knew the name, though I couldn’t even have placed him in a century until I read this book. So there’s something important that James Wilde has done: he has put a hitherto vague name on the map for a lot of people as a historical hero and placed him in a time period.
The book has u
Dec 16, 2011 Rebecca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is defintely one of several Hereward based historical novels I'd recommend. It has a movie style epic and gripping start and the characters are so rich in detail and depth and the plots so intricately woven together that even Shakespeare's plots seemed simple compared to the ones in this book.
It truly takes the reader into the reality of the anglo-saxon world complete with characters from simple peasant folk through monks and priests, warriors and hurscals, noble ladies and the cut-throat (
Robin Carter
May 07, 2012 Robin Carter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There have been a fair few novels set around this period of history lately, some have met mixed reviews. It really depends on what you are looking for from a historical fiction book?
EG: Conquest by Stewart Binns is a rousing tale that roars along with loads of blood and thunder action and has a heavy tilt towards nationality. While Shieldwall by Justin Hill is a slower more historically rich title that really educates the reader.

Hereward for me falls somewhere in-between, it has a fair bit of hi
Sep 14, 2015 Melinda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stunning Historical Fiction using a Hero of England

From the very first paragraph, Wilde grips you with his powerful writing and keen word selection as he depicts Hereward, an outlawed member of the court of King Edward of England in the year 1022. Edward is old and dying without having appointed an heir. His nobles are doing everything but killing each other to be in line to take the throne. Meanwhile, William the Bastard in Normandy has a legitimate claim to the throne, but he is ruthless and b
Barbara Elsborg
An exciting read. I liked the detail in this, the fens, the dirt and cold, the people, the fighting, I could picture everything very clearly. The 3 and half rather than 4 stars is just because it didn't feel much different to the other historical ones I'd read, only in that it dealt with a different character. But that's an issue of the genre more than a comment on the writing. I wouldn't read the next but my husband would! He's much more a fan of this type of story than me.
Jan 19, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up off the "new" table in the library because it interested me to read about Hereward. There isn't much written about this medieval warrior, but he is an interesting historical figure. I didn't love the book. It was almost good, but never quite reached its potential. It was definitely fast paced with lots of heads being lopped off and blood everywhere, but I felt like there were places where more character development could happen and did not.
Mercedes Rochelle
Mar 28, 2016 Mercedes Rochelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had a couple of false starts with this book until I read one of the reviews which compared him to Conan the Barbarian. Suddenly, I "got" it! I was trying to read this as straight (informative) historical fiction, but really I should have approached this book as a story about an epic hero, capable of fighting a bear and coming out unscathed, feeling no pain, afraid of nothing. Actually, I loved the Conan books, so once my head was on straight I had no trouble enjoying this novel.

Hereward is a
Jul 27, 2016 Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow- if you like historical fiction, you would really like this book. The politics, the way people fought and thought- a real page turner. A boy growing up in this political turmoil seems to displease his father with his wild ways. His mother stands to defend him and his father kills her. The boy, Hereward sees it all. One night, his love is murdered and the father blames him and he has to flee for his life. While on the road, he meets up with a monk and then they travel through some pretty bad ...more
Keith McArdle
Nov 14, 2015 Keith McArdle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hereward is an Anglo-Saxon warrior with a checkered past and a darkness inside him. Sometimes he can control this veritable demon, most times he cannot. Exiled from his homeland, he must make a new life in France. He settles down and, for a time, is content. But when a dark chapter from his past comes knocking, his life spirals out of control once more and he returns to his native homeland not only to fight the recent Norman invasion, but to right a terrible wrong. He wants revenge on the man wh ...more
Martin Haynes
Mar 12, 2016 Martin Haynes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rated this book so highly because it highlighted points that are generally missed by people who know little about the events of 1066 in England. The Norman occupation was even more brutal than portrayed in the book, after uprisings against the Norman's came the harrying of the North. Across northern England counties were wasted, the population slaughtered, domestic animals and crops destroyed, villages burned! Eventually, the Norman's were absorbed into the English mainstream but it took a cou ...more
Aug 20, 2012 Martinxo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hereward is a local hero around my neck of the woods and I really wanted to like, no, love, this book. However, I abandoned it half way through as the writing is turgid and life is too short for turgid books.
May 29, 2016 Laureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who was Hereward? I had heard of him but didn't know if he was real or not. How I love historical fiction! Yes he was real but the records of that time are insufficient to know what really happened. However, the author has created a fantastic tale of bloodshed, history, love, trust, loyalty and disloyalty to produce a vivid picture of that time in history, the 11th Centuary.

I just had to do a little research on this character and, as usual in historical fiction, it opened up a whole new underst
Jun 24, 2016 Eppie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
(The version pf this I read was called Time of the Wolf.) The prose is fairly uninspiring with the author spending a lot of time telling, not showing, often switching perspective. The story also lacked a strong arc and seemed to leave out the most interesting bits while never really reaching a satisfying climax. The author misseda great opportunity when he skipped over Hereward's development into a warrior and military leader and simply tells us it happened due to the love of a good friend. Over ...more
Feb 18, 2013 Malla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent romp of a read although somewhat violent and gory. But what would you expect of 'the end of days'? The 11th century is shrouded in dark days and dark deeds where a man lived or died by his sword. What I liked about James Wilde's writing is that he made this era seem so real, he brought all the discomfort and the ugliness of those dismal times to life. So vividly in fact, that I had to remind myself that this wasn't a Hollywood block buster but the raw hardship of real experiences th ...more
Jun 17, 2011 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood.

The ravens of war are gathering. But as the king’s closest advisors scheme and squabble amongst themselves, hopes of resisting the naked ambition of the Norman duke come to rest with just one man: Hereward…

To some a ruthless warrior and master tactician, to others a devil in h
Milo (Bane of Kings)
Original Post:

“A wonderful, bloody, gory, page-turning and epic journey that sees James Wilde soar to the top of my list of historical fiction authors that I want to read more of. Unmissable.” ~The Founding Fields

As you’re well aware, I have been reading a lot of historical fiction lately from a variety of eras, and in the past few weeks I’ve reviewed titles that have been set in Victorian London the Roman Empire. This is my first taste of a novel set ar
Jan 05, 2012 Burt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ever since the game Saga was released, I've been immersed in the British Dark Ages and the period after the Norman Invasion. everybody's heard of Robin Hood, but I came upon this much darker figure, Hereward the Wake.

More significant, however, is my relationship with modern British writing in the action-adventure genre. What I knew about it was gleaned from reading Warhammer and Warhammer 40K novels, affectionately know in my circle as "pink mist" literature, so named after the arterial blood sp
Dec 02, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent piece of historical fiction, but found it a bit too much like watching a movie in a book with the main character bouncing between action scenes. Also, I had not read any reviews, so was a bit disappointed when the book ends in the middle; no indication anywhere on covers (it does not say Hereward #1) that this is the entry to a series, that I will be unlikely to finish. Found myself wishing I had picked up a more rewarding book to read off my shelf, but I did finish it.
Keith Evans
Jun 11, 2016 Keith Evans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read.

I was surprised to see in the author's notes they this is a first novel. The writing is assured and entertaining, holding interest and dragging the reader along. Like the author I too was captured by Hereward on the pages of a children's comic, possibly the same one!
All in all I found this book believable, well researched and well written. Well done.
I'm off to read the next instalment now
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 65 66 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Authenticity 7 10 Aug 14, 2013 06:26AM  
  • Shieldwall (Conquest Trilogy, #1)
  • Conquest (Making of England, #1)
  • Sworn Sword (The Bloody Aftermath of 1066, #1)
  • Mercenaries (The Conquest Trilogy, #1)
  • Master Of War: The Blooding (Master of War, #1)
  • Hawk Quest
  • Traitor's Blood (Civil War Chronicles, #1)
  • Insurrection (The Insurrection Trilogy, #1)
  • Holy Warrior (The Outlaw Chronicles, #2)
  • The Book of Dreams (Saxon, #1)
  • Siege
  • The Wolf Sea (Oathsworn, #2)
  • Odin's Wolves (Raven, #3)
  • The Ill-Made Knight (William Gold, #1)
  • Strategos: Born in the Borderlands (Strategos, #1)
  • Hero of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens, #1)
James Wilde is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, the author studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure. Unable to forget a childhood encounter - in the pages of a comic - with the great English warrior, Hereward, Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Hereward’s ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legenda ...more
More about James Wilde...

Other Books in the Series

Hereward (5 books)
  • Hereward: The Devil's Army (Hereward #2)
  • End of Days: A Novel of Medieval England
  • Hereward: Wolves of New Rome (Hereward, #4)
  • Hereward: The Immortals (Hereward 5)

Share This Book