From British author Wilde, a work of fantasy fiction based on real historical characters in 11th-century England on the eve of the Norman invasion.
The chapters go from one battle to another, and fans of Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jason Statham and/or Jackie Chan will find this interesting. The author envisions and describes every blow, every slash, every twist and turn of the bloody fights, bringing to mind the heroes of movies and television programs that highlight a fit and clever good guy taking on a group of bad-guy bullies. What redeems the book from being nothing more than a series of fight descriptions is the growth of a friendship between the legendary warrior Hereward and the pious monk Alric. Thrown together through no choice of their own, the two initially evince a mutual disdain and dislike until circumstances that challenge them to act with loyalty and honor culminate in a mutual respect, concern and perhaps even love. From the mouth of Alric, when he is taken prisoner and threatened with torture if he does not give up Hereward, come the words that perhaps form the central message of this work: “ ‘Like all men,’ Alric interrupted in a loud voice, ‘he has good and evil within him, and like all men he can be saved and brought to God. Woe unto them that call Evil Good and Good Evil—’ ”
A bit short on deep psychological insight and character development, but the author realizes his goal of turning an obscure historic character into a warrior legend.