Kirkus Star


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This is a find, in the same sense that the memorable Golden Warrior by Hope Muntz gave one a sense of personal discovery. And it should appeal to the same sort of audience and get the same kind of word of mouth build up. So watch it; It is a romantic adventure story of Hereward the Wake (a name that brings Kingsley and youthful enthusiasm to memory), and of his extraordinary opposition to William the Conqueror, to whom- to his death in combat- he refused to yield. An underground leader, of incalculable charm and ability, he organized the men of the north, fought successfully to oust the Normans from a limited area, held off a siege in Ely, waged battle by trick and ambush, and kept aflame the light of liberty in English hearts. It is an exciting story, superbly paced, fully detailed with sense of time and setting, with a credible love story interwoven, a much more plausible one than the mystic (and somewhat muzzy) romance that Kingsley invented. Hereward's story is lost in the haze of ancient history, and this somewhat carries with it a zest of reality rediscovered. The writing is vigorous, masculine perhaps, the pace and narrative values, the characterizations superb, so that one forgives the somewhat mannered dialogue for the sweep of the story. A book that should be fun to sell.

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1951
Publisher: Doubleday