James Hockey's Reviews > The Golden Warrior

The Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz
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's review
Apr 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 04 to October 10, 2012

I have spread my reading of this book over a very long time. At first I was not sure I would finish it. The research is so comprehensive and the characterisation so factual and un-dramatic I felt I was reading a history book rather than an historical novel. And then it grabbed me and I finished the latter half of the book in two days. We all know the end of the Hastings story and the author uses this knowledge as the backdrop against which the characters move inexorably towards their fate. The primacy of fate in the downfall of Harold II is clearly described: the role of Hildebrand of Sovana with his Norman friends in influencing Pope Alexander II; the resentments over the spoils of Stamford Bridge slowing the progress of the Northumbrians and leading to the desertions of the western Fyrd. Each of these lesser known hammer blows racks up the sense of pre-ordained doom until in the end when all is lost there is a sadness and an overwhelming ‘if only’. The definitive novel for those interested in the currents driving down poor ill starred Harold II, potentially the best king England never really had.
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11/02/2016 marked as: read

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