Harold the King

Harold the KingI picked up this book not long after finishing Hollick s Forever Queen, the first in this Saxon Series Having read very little about England s pre Conquest history, I did enjoy learning about this time period, and the portions that I looked up to delve deeper into did show that the book is written about as accurately as anything about that time can be at this point As with the first book, I felt that too much time was spent on details and events that did not seem to add to much to moving the story along Though I enjoy epic novels, I do not so much like drudging through unnecessary side plots I assume that Hollick was attempting to give a broad picture of the political maneuvering and historical backstory, but sometimes there was just too much For example, the descriptions of Godwine s exile, Harold s time in Normandy, and Edward the Exile s decision to come to England all seemed to have little to add to the overall story.That being said, I did greatly enjoy this book Having only basic knowledge of the events of 1066, I was enthralled with the people and events that led to the Battle of Hastings All of the what if s and if only s are expertly taken advantage of in Hollick s writing to keep the reader on the edge of their seat, even knowing that Harold s demise is eminent Since I did not previously know much about Harold, I do not know if his characterization is accurate, but it seems unlikely that he was as smart, caring, personable, and all around wonderful as he is painted in this narrative About the only dislikable thing about him is his apparent love for two women at the same time which is explained away as being necessary for his status explained a few too many times as we are constantly reminded that he will eventually have to take a real wife.William of Normandy, on the other hand, is the evil, selfish, ambitious man that is loved only by his wife, and only by her because her other choice is a miserable life and marriage The stereotypical good versus evil of Harold and William was a little over the top, which was a shame since the historical facts were so well presented, abalanced and realistic personification of these two men would have been nice.The way this was written and the turn of events reminded me of the many Ricardian slanted novels that I have read about Richard III Both the last Saxon king and last Plantagenet king were killed by usurpers with little claim to the throne, and many authors would have us believe that these doomed kings would have been England s greatest blessing had they reigned fortime Whether it was actually true of either Harold or Richard, I suppose we can only conjecture Overall, I found this a very worthwhile read that has opened me to another very interesting part of history I would definitely recommend this and Forever Queen to any fan of English historical fiction. This is the first time I have minded a historical fiction book with multiple points of view POV perhaps it s because I feel that Harold Godwinson, the main man in this book, had not been given all the exposure he deserved Other than that, I am content with how the narrative of his life and the events leading to the Norman conquest of 1066 have been carried out I only know fragments about him from several post Norman conquest stories I have read mostly a flick through in a page proclaiming him as the fallen king, but with this book, it not only introduced me to Harold s valor and commitment to serve but to the Anglo Saxons rich history and traditions as well I actually first became fascinated with English medieval history through the Plantagenets, although now I also find a degree of sympathy and respect for the likes of Harold Godwinson who did not cower from the threat of foreign invasion and valiantly fought and died for his country Whether his ascendance to the throne was ruled by avarice or love for his homeland, I know not, but Helen Hollick is obviously Team Harold and it s not difficult to really like him when he s been everywhere in this book as a pleasant, caring, and level headed man.The novel has abruptly ended with the death of England s last Anglo Saxon king It was a truthfully sad, brusque ending, like Miss Hollick did not care any about the aftermath of the events or was unrelenting to describe the after battle scenes in a fewwords save from a terse order from Duke William about Harold s resting place or a glimpse of his common law wife weeping At any rate, it has worked for me I felt the story had ended the way it should have as there was nothingto tell when Harold was slain in battle Had the author decided to write a few pagesafter his downfall, I would have probably lost interest and stopped reading. Wonderful book, above all my expectations even if Helen Hollick doesn t have the same absorbing way in writing a beautiful like Sharon Kay Penman, who is my favorite HF writer, without any doubt Her characters are not fully emotional engaged as the ones by SKP and we don t feel so attached to them The description of Hastings battle was breathless. sigh I knew how this book was going to end Even still, even knowing, I found myself turning the pages as it reached the conclusion hoping for a different result Ms Hollick writes a tale of Harold that had me rooting for him and wanting him to live But alas, all students of history know that England lost its King that day and the memory of the date of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 remains.This is the second book by Ms Hollick I have had the good fortune to read my first was The Forever Queen my review is HERE which tells the history preceding this book You don t need to read the first to enjoy the second But you will be missing an excellent bookI Am the Chosen King starts with Edward known to history as the Confessor on the throne He is, to put it mildly, not the strongest or most competent of kings He inherited much from his father, Ethelred the Unready Yet he does have a bitkindness in his heart than his father He bumbles through his reign not realizing the results of his promises until it is too late He makes unwise friendships and alliances caringfor himself than for England.Harold Godwineson ends up Earl of Wessex after the death of his father He is wise, thoughtful and an excellent leader of men Despite his good qualities Edward prefers Harold s brother Tostig because Tostig is basically a yes man When Tostig s management of his earldom causes a near civil war Edward finally realizes the error of his ways.I ve laid out a VERY simplistic bit of what is a complex, detailed and well researched tale about strong personalities and two men who would be King after Edward William of Normandy invaded England and took the crown whether it was his to have or not He didn t care He wanted it so he took it There is not much left of the historical record and that which is left was written by the victors so you know how they have spun it This was a book that was very hard for me to put down I found myself immersed in time and place and just about felt like I was THERE Ms Hollick is a master at delivering a tale that you don t want to end Even when you know the outcome you don t want to depart from the characters I spent this morning googling the players in the book to see whatI could learn What does that tell you about her storytelling Or this at times I wanted to jump into the pages and just strangle some people The writing is that powerful I loved this book and hope there areAs much as I hated William I would love to see how Ms Hollick writes his story. In Hollick s acknowledgements she mentions Sharon Penman and Elizabeth Chadwick as being strong influences on her writting and I could tell this was true based on how richly she writes The editing was not the best so be warned on that front but I did love EVERY second of this series and recommend it to any Penman Chadwick fan I knew what was coming and I cried like a baby any way Poor Edyth Poor Gytha William really was a bastard At least this William was. I knew the date I knew the place I knew nothing about the details The Battle of Hastings 1066 is nowthan just a phrase to me Helen Hollick has taken the few facts available and woven an incredible story, highlighting the whys and wherefores of that pivotal moment in English history Truly recommend it I am always worried when I pick up a novel about one of my pet favourites Harold Godwinson is like a god to me but I had no need to worry for in Helen s hands he becomes everything I would like him to be A flawed but brilliant man On my favourites shelf for all time. This is an outstanding read by a splendid storyteller The novel is faithful to the historical record while taking a few liberties here and there The entire book flows along smoothly with many strong characters and scenes written in such a delightful poetic description providing the sensation of being right there during it all Even though you know the ending before you start the book, it is in the story s telling in between that will captivate you and keep you reading Full review you can find on my blog In This Beautifully Crafted Tale, Harold Godwinesson, The Last Saxon King Of England, Is A Respected, Quick Witted Man Both Vulnerable And Strong, Honorable And Loving And Yet, In The End, Only Human After The Political Turmoil And Battles Leading Up To , We All Know William The Conquerer Takes England But Helen Hollick Will Have Readers At The Edge Of Their Seats, Hoping That Just This Once, For Harold, The Story Will Have A Different Ending

I escaped London in January 2013 to live in North Devon but was born in Walthamstow, North East London in 1953 I began writing at the age of 13 Desperately wanting a pony of my own, but not being able to afford one, I invented an imaginary pony instead, writing stories about our adventures together at every spare opportunity In the seventies I turned to science fiction this was the age of Dr

[Reading] ➰ Harold the King ➸ Helen Hollick – Webcamtopladies.info
  • ebook
  • 711 pages
  • Harold the King
  • Helen Hollick
  • English
  • 09 November 2018
  • 9781402263125

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