Multi-volume author, Mercedes Rochelle, introduces us to the first volume in her series about ancient English kings more than a millennia ago:
Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask. He was befriended by the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an Earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children, among them four Earls, a Queen and a future King. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine's best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.
A good portion of my ancestry is found in the United Kingdom. The Magna Carta came out of England. The history of England and the UK is pretty important to me as a citizen of the US of A. I approached this book with high hopes of a relevant and exciting story.
I am not in the least bit disappointed! The writing is quite good. Mercedes’ scene setting is wonderful, I felt like I was right beside Godwine all the way. There were so many pivotal events in his life as pictured in this exciting historical fiction. There is dialogue and action aplenty! The complex characters stayed quite true to their roots in so many of the instances. The court intrigues in and out of the castles, the battles on land and sea. The brutal warfare and strategizing all contributed so much to an exciting piece of literature.
Mercedes’ research complements her fiction so well. I have no doubt the moves by major characters are very accurate.
I give Godwine Kingmaker a score of 4.7 stars.
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Tags: Medieval, European, historical, history, King, Queen, royalty
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Copyright © 2018 Mark L Schultz except for the author's introduction
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An avid reader, typobuster, and the Hyper-Speller. I am a husband, father, and grandfather.
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