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Fatal Rivalry: Part Three of The Last Great Saxon Earls Kindle Edition
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|Length: 274 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is told in first person narrative each son of Godwine- Harold, Tostig, Gyrth, Leofwin, Wulnoth, and Godwine's daughter Editha tell their version of the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the disastrous ruination of the House of Godwine. Compelling battle scenes interspersed with emotional dialogue transports the reader to the 11th century expertly. The well crafted descriptions of the life and times of these remarkable events and people was brilliantly done. I really felt immersed into the lives of the characters. The author has the ability to make one feel what the character feels and gives understanding to the motives behind actions taken.
I greatly enjoyed this book and series. Fantastic historical fiction produced by Mercedes Rochelle which guarantees I will be reading any future books she writes.
As the novel opens in 1064, Edward the Confessor is still on the throne of England, but the question of his successor is on everybody’s minds. Harold, Earl of Wessex and brother of Edward's wife Editha, has recently returned from Normandy, where he was made to swear an oath to support the claim of Duke William – not an oath Harold will keep, because he believes there is a better candidate for the throne: himself. History tells us that Harold will become king in 1066, only to be defeated by William at Hastings just a few months later. Fatal Rivalry explores one theory as to why things went so disastrously wrong.
In The Sons of Godwine, we saw how Harold and his younger brother Tostig had been rivals since they were children; in this book the rivalry intensifies. Believing that his brother has betrayed him, Tostig searches for new alliances overseas, finally joining forces with the Norwegian king, Harald Hardrada, and setting in motion a chain of events which contribute to Harold’s downfall.
Fatal Rivalry is an interesting read and probably my favourite of the three books in this trilogy. Like the previous novel, this one is presented as the memoirs of the Godwineson brothers, with each one given a chance to narrate his own parts of the story. We hear from Leofwine, Gyrth and Wulfnoth, but understandably, it’s Harold and Tostig who get most of the attention. I’ve never read about Tostig in this much depth before and I did have some sympathy for him. Because the novel covers a relatively short period of time, it allows the author to go into a lot of detail in exploring the relationship between Harold and Tostig, the motivation behind their actions and how their rivalry could have been the reason why Harold was fighting a battle in the north of the country when William invaded from the south.
I think the Norman Conquest is fascinating to read about and, like many periods of history, there is so much left open to interpretation and debate. I will continue to look for more fiction set in this period and will also be interested to see what Mercedes Rochelle writes about next.
In my opinion, Harold is more pompus and Tostig is a whiner. They both want recognition for their success, but Harold resents Tostig.
My favorite periods in history fall into Ms. Rochelles' research, I enjoyed this book; I could not put it down. A worthwhile read.
As a disclaimer: I received my copy of "Fatal Rivalry: Part Three of the Last Great Saxon Earls" from the author, but I would have purchased the book--I enjoy reading Mercedes Rochelle.