|Print List Price:||$10.95|
Save $7.96 (73%)
Fatal Rivalry: Part Three of The Last Great Saxon Earls Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
|Length: 284 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
Matchbook Price: $0.99
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
- Similar books to Fatal Rivalry: Part Three of The Last Great Saxon Earls
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ms Rochelle uses various viewpoint characters to guide us through the years 1064 to 1066. Other than Harold, Tostig Godwinson and other various members of the Godwin clan give us their respective takes on the events. Tostig feels betrayed by his brother. Editha Godwinsdaughter, Edward the Confessor’s queen, sides with Tostig. When Edward dies, Harold feels he deserves the crown, never mind that there is a legitimate heir in Edgar the Aetheling. This Harold has his eye on the endgame, plans his moves well in advance. All in all, Ms Rochelle presents us with a very human Harold—flawed as most of us are but capable of rising to the occasion as few of us can. Is he heroic? Undoubtedly. White as driven snow? No.
Fatal Rivalry is an enjoyable and interesting read. Ms Rochelle’s knowledge of the period and the setting is evident throughout, albeit that the narrative includes the much disputed “arrow in the eye”. All in all, Fatal Rivalry is a gripping read.
FATAL RIVALRY is the third and final volume in the The Last Great Saxon Earls trilogy. The first book in the series, GODWINE KINGMAKER, follows Godwine from when he was a child to become one of the most powerful men in England. The second book, SONS OF GODWINE, follows the family, with an emphasis on Godwine’s sons Harold and Tostig, past Godwine’s death toward the fatal battle at Hastings. This final volume continues the story to its fateful conclusion in 1066 when William of Normandy defeats Harold, who had become king, and places himself on the throne.
Rochelle displays her prodigious skills at historical research in each of the volumes to present a tapestry, perhaps inspired by the famous Bayeux Tapestry itself, of the history of the period. An academic scholar might question a point or two (because historians are still not in agreement about those long ago times), but the reader can be assured that even speculations are based on known facts.
Rochelle explains in her author’s note:
“Aside from the basic facts passed on by later chroniclers, we don't know any details, so I connected the dots as best as I could. Of course, this required a lot of extrapolation on my part, but the events are pulled from history books (though not all chroniclers told the same story).”
This in itself is quite a feat.
Rochelle, of course, is a novelist, not just an historian, and distills the stuff of legends into a powerful story of sibling rivalry. We started to see the conflict between Harold and his brother, Tostig,in SONS OF GODWINE. In this final volume, the conflict grows to tragic proportions.
As fate moves Tostig further and further from the seat of power, his envy of the brother who has always overshadowed him grows into what seems like madness. His schemes to claw his way back into power fail and in history he assumes the role of Anglo-Saxon traitor while his brother that of hero.
As Rochelle explains in her author’s note:
“To many, the name Tostig and Traitor are synonymous, without really delving into the details of events. I would suggest that it was rather the sibling rivalry between Tostig and Harold that set up the circumstances leading to Stamford Bridge—and of course, put Harold in the wrong place at the wrong time when William landed at Pevensey. It was Harold's break with Tostig that led directly to the Norman Conquest.”
What is the truth? As with so much of history, we may never know. Rochelle’s version, however, is plausible and resonates with human truth.
Rochelle also continues the ambitious literary approach started in SONS OF GODWINE of telling the story in alternating first person accounts of the family that were smuggled to and secretly compiled by Wulfnoth, the sole surviving son of Godwine. This could have been a cliché, but Rochelle turns into a commentary about how history is written – and distorted – by those who are the winners.
Wulnoth observes, as the story nears its end: “I was amazed how quickly the name of Godwineson became irrelevant; by the next generation, our importance had waned to almost nothing. I see all the more reason to finish my manuscript…”
Then, as the story concludes, perhaps toward the end of his own life, Wulfnoth conjectures how his life could have turned out differently if he had become a warrior, like his brothers, and also died in the final battle against William and the Normans.
In that were the case, he muses, “who would have finished the manuscript…and given it the devotion that only a Godwineson would undertake? I see now that there was a purpose to my life after all, and perhaps future generations will come to see the greatness and promise of my doomed brothers. And maybe, just maybe, my name will rank in honor beside theirs.”
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
"One moment you understand Tostig and his motives, the next you...Read more