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Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  30 reviews
'If I was being invaded by raping, massacring Vikings, Conrad would be the perfect companion to lighten the mood.' - Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and The French Revolution & What Went Wrong

'An engrossing plot, powered by a realistic measure of laughs – imagine Cadfael, if Ellis Peters had just had a long lunch with Terry Pratchett.' - Jem
Kindle Edition, 219 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Endeavour Quill
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Aug 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Great Heathen Army has been ransacking Saxon,England. The Vikings, led by by Ivarr, Ubba, and Halfdan, the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok, lust for gold and other hidden treasures. This tale begins with the marauding Danes pillaging a monastery. The monks have a designated place to hide themselves and the church's wealth. Of greatest importance is the "Gospel Book of Life". This three hundred page tome, bound with gold clasps and covered in garnets and emeralds, must be protected no matter the cost ...more
Judith E
Oct 29, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Dnf at 33%.
Stephanie Jane
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

I thoroughly enjoyed this humorous romp through Saxon England! I have previously read Edoardo Albert's serious historical novel, Edwin, so already knew of his impeccable research and great ability to evoke historic period in his writing. I wasn't prepared for his deft comedic touch and enthusiastic sense of fun though. Our hero (who is anything but heroic) is a dastardly character. Always out for himself and with a keen eye for personal profi
Lora Milton
Oct 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Historical fiction with humour, what's not to love? This drew me in right away with all the tension of a Viking raid on a monastery and a protagonist who never wanted to be a monk. Conrad is funny in his totally mercenary reaction to the situation and consistently along his further adventures. I do love an intelligent character with a good sense of survival.

It's set against a fairly accurate backdrop of history of the Viking invasions of England. Exactly what's based on fact is explained well in
... medieval hustler vs the Great Heathen Army

The travails of an opportunistic monk with a chequered past who rises in the church through lies, misdeeds and an eye for personal advantage. Conrad is a despicable rogue. A knave, whose rapid rise to importance is owed to his incredible self seeking antenna geared towards his own survival, his silver tongue and ability to turn dross into gold, metaphorically speaking.
When the marauding Danes come to call, Conrad looks firstly towards his own surviv
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Conrad Monk is immensely readable, a sort of Flashman of the 9th century. Edoard Albert writes about these early times with such confidence. It feels like he knows, without thinking, what people wore, what they believed, what they valued, and how they spoke and behaved let alone who was where and when.

Conrad is clever which makes up for him being a dishonest coward and as the author writes with wit and humour there is great life to the story. Conrad’s companion Odo is a genuinely good man and I
Helen Hollick
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has received a Discovering Diamonds Review:
Helen Hollick
founder #DDRevs

"This is a sharply satirical romp through the ninth century... From the very first page, we are presented with a medieval version of Blackadder and Baldrick with a series of (cunning) plans; there’s simply no other way of describing these two characters and the colourful language used to tell their story. "
Adam Lofthouse
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Immersive, brilliant and comical; I've never read historical fiction quite like it.

Conrad is a monk, but not from choice. Slung atop a pack horse and sent off to a monastery for allegedly doing no more than 'tupping his wife', he seeks to make the most of what life throws his way. Ever the opportunist, he finds a way to improve his life and enrich himself as every corner. So when his monastery is attacked by Heathens, he simply tells them he is a slave trader and sells the lot of them for a pre
Stefanie Rls
‘Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army’ is the first book I’ve read written by Edoardo Albert and I’ve found it quite an interesting and amusing read. I think the reason for this is that it’s not just a ‘dry’ historical read, but it’s full with wit and humor. Conrad is after all not your average monk and that makes it fun!
He’s really a hero you should hate for everything he does, but instead you’ll find yourself sympathizing with him. Together with his fellow companion, brother Odo, he makes yo
Paul Bennett
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful tale of a rather unusual monk and his attempts to get rich while avoiding the Danish horde that is running roughshod over Britain. Conrad is a schemer, always ready with a plan; which is a good thing as his plans have a way of not going according to plan. His companion, Brother Odo, a very devout monk, unwavering in his faith in God and in Conrad's plan(s), provides much of the mirth while also provoking sympathy from the reader. The author has crafted an entertaining version of the ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This should be the beginning of many good reads to come! Having been doing some serious reading for a good few weeks I wanted something lighter, and this fitted the bill. Edoardo Albert always comes up with something good - this was a different side of his writing, but still a good read, and fun!! (Which is quite an achievement given the subject matter.) I could have done with a bit less dodgy bowel description but it was integral to the plot and character, and it did remind me of the funny medi ...more
Michael R. Zuelke
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the mix of historical events with some comic characters that kept the novel light and fast paced. In no way was this humor a distraction in relating the "not funny" reality of the Great Heathen Army's march through the future realm of England. The scribal sources give the bare bones of events and Mr. Albert has supplied the flesh to those bones while cleaving closely to the known facts. I especially appreciated the use of Conrad's wit to deal with danger. So many heroes/main characters ...more
Sam Law
Read More Book Reviews on my blog It's Good To Read
A light humorous tale of medieval England, where Vikings terrorised the Saxons, looting and pillaging as they went. Two monks, one devout, the other a total chancer and not really a monk at all, somehow find themselves having to travel through dangerous country to get to the Saxon King, to warn him of the Viking invasion.

Main Characters:
Conrad Monk: A schemer, selfish, and always looking to turn every situation to his own advanta
Frank Watson
Sep 14, 2018 rated it liked it
CONRAD MONK AND THE GREAT HEATHEN ARMY, an historical novel by Edoardo Albert, has a lot going for it. It takes place in a fascinating period when Danish Vikings (referred to as the Great Heathen Army) had just invaded England. The history seems authentic, with Albert taking poetic license only to fill in gaps in knowledge. The characters are believable and consistent with their world. The story is fast-paced and filled with almost non-stop action.

It also has the added element of humor. This is
Sep 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I am not a big fan of historical fiction but this was a story I enjoyed reading. It was entertaining and fun to read. Very likeable characters, especially the smart and funny Conrad. You rarely see a main character in a story to be such a likeable anti-hero. A very well-written plot too, well-researched. The historical facts (on Vikings invading England) and the adventurous events in the story are mingled well together and make up for a smooth and amusing read. An easy page-turner.

I had not rea
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What can I say about Conrad Monk. He is untruthful, selfish, conniving, lascivious, cowardly and always out for what he can get, and yet I couldn't help myself from rooting for him every step of the way.
He is a brilliant anti-hero, faithfully followed by his gullible side-kick Odo, quite happy to swap sides whenever self preservation requires it. Dane or Saxon, he is more than happy to make money out of either.
I have always enjoyed historical fiction, but it is not often you get laughs like this
Sep 13, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book is terrible.
The blurb on Amazon said 'imagine Cadfael, if Ellis Peters had just had a long lunch with Terry Pratchett'. This is highly misleading. The book lacks the humour of Pratchett and the values of Cadfael.
The main character is a despicable person - a liar, adulterer and fantasist. He is quite happy to abuse other people if he gets his way.
This book started badly, and got worse as it went on. I cannot think of one occaision when it made me smile.
Avoid this book at all costs./
Robert Sullivan
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Conrad the monk could well be the great great great great grandfather of Fraser's Harry Flashman, as both are scoundrels and cowards dropped into English history. The history of 9th century England seems fairly authentic, and Conrad's exploits are entertaining - his combination of greed and cowardice drives him into the path of great men and great historical events. I will read more of his adventures as they come along. ...more
Anna Langley
Feb 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Edoardo's Northumbrian series so was keen to read this. This is a departure from the style of the books I had previously read, this being more of a light-hearted comedy. Humour is woven throughout the novel whilst still being full of historical details. When I read Edoardo's work I feel like I am transported back in time, he's a master storyteller. ...more
Brian Kitchen
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army and the Great Heathen Army. Set in the time the Great Army of Vikings led by the sons of Ragnar Lodbrok, Conrad is an unwilling monk, condemned to a monastic life by his twin brother and Conrad’s unfaithful wife.
When an opportunity arises to reinvent himself, he takes it and being a natural conman with a smooth tongue, he sets out on an adventure, dangerous though it may be, that takes him far away from his former abbey. Accompanied by ano
Aviar Savijon
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindie-fire
While this was historical fiction not one of my usual or regular genre's that I do enjoy reading more often this was a great read. Well written and easy to follow from page to page. In simple terms it was written and could be a must read for those above the 6th grade and beyond. Battles and adventure swing hand in hand in this interesting and battling times. I loved it!! ...more
Melissa Miles
Sep 23, 2018 rated it liked it
What there is of this is a fine picaresque novel set in the time of Alfred the Great. The protagonist is a thoroughgoing, unabashed rotter, telling his story without fear or favor, in a tone that is both witty and hilariously exasperated. The problem is that it seems a little perfunctory, like a fragment of a larger work which I would very much like to read.
Mick Doy
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

I found the books story absorbing from the very start. It took you straight into a period of history that was very cruel and eventful. It managed to inject enough humour to lightened the subject and make the book enjoyable.
David Paget
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
The author is not a Bernard Cornwell, nevertheless he has written a rollicking good yarn which makes for enjoyable reading.
Les Tuck
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Brother Cadfel meets Rincewind the Wizard meets Cohen the Barbarian.
Paul Fitzpatrick
May 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply loved this novel and hope Edoardo writes some more to expand the series
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
I really liked the premise of "Conrad Monk" but the humor and writing style just wasn't for me. The plot itself was really interesting and I liked the different historical characters that showed up, but the weird humor just ruined it for me. ...more
Kay Chamberlain
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
flashman is a monk!!!
Robert Ryan
rated it it was amazing
Sep 08, 2018
Kate Butterworth
rated it really liked it
Oct 05, 2018
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Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian extraction based in London. He writes about history and archaeology, particularly of the early Medieval period, as well as writing historical and speculative fiction.

Find out more about him and his work at Follow him on Twitter @EdoardoAlbert or like him on Facebook.

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