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Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Time of the Wolf

The Time of the Wolf,  by James Wilde.

England in the mid-11th century is in turmoil.  King Edward is heirless and ailing, and William the Bastard is poised to make a claim for the throne the minute the old King dies.  The people are all saying that this is the end times foretold in the bible, and it's pretty hard for the ordinary man or woman not to believe that to be true.  There is one man, however, who can rescue England, and his name is Hereward.  He, aided by a monk and a motley cast of other characters, will do whatever it takes to save the country from disaster and dominion.

This book rescues a long forgotten hero from the mists of time and brings his world and his story to vivid life.  This book is not one for the squeamish as it contains very vivid and violent descriptions at times.  Nonetheless it is an interesting read, particularly if the reader is one interested in the history and politics of the dark ages.

I found this book somewhat difficult to get drawn in to, a little muddled in plot, and rather anticlimactic in its ending.  It is a worthy and laudable attempt to rescue a long forgotten historical figure from obscurity, but not an entirely successful attempt in my opinion.  It certainly succeeds in opening a window on what life was like in England in that time period, but never fully overcomes the flaws that take away from the strength of the story.  3 out of 5.

I received an advanced reader's copy of this book from the publisher.  This did not affect my review in any way.

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