Monday, 19 December 2011

Becky Bookworm Book Review : Conquest by Stewart Binns (Is 2 Hereward's better than 1?)

ConquestConquest by Stewart Binns

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sadly this book has a lot of good plots and interesting characters (Harold Godwinson, Harald Hardarada, William Duke of Normandy, El Sid and more) and covers many years worth of history from different countries that the author Stewart Binns really should have slowed the pace down, focused on a few key moments and maybe made this one book into a trilogy at least.

The side effect of cramming so much into one set of book covers made everything seem rather rushed, all the events tended to be almost glimpsted by the reader, the narrator never giving them a chance to settle to experience what the characters were experiencing in such turbulent years. This too also made some events either seem a bit out of place or maybe too set up in order to drag the reader along to the next big event of the characters life and so the reader can never really connect to the full dramaticness of each event occuring, just a mere acceptance is required. A lot of this is signalled by the narrator accounting a lot of stuff in brief details - we never get to encounter many of the great battles this portrayal of Hereward experienced in southern Spain or Normandy, let alone his more peaceful time spent living in Dublin with his new friends and lover Torfida etc, even the great battles of 1066 were over within a chapter or two!

Unfortunately I have recently finished another book focusing on the mysterious character of Hereward the Wake and it does exactly what Stewart Binns should have done, focued on a few select years, a few key events, not travelled so much across the globe and spent enough time showing the reader the depth of the characters lives and the world they lived in. I prefered Jame's Wilde's version (see my 'Hereward' review) to this one.

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1 comment:

  1. hI bECKY

    thankyou of your review of this book. Sadly I could not continue reading this book after reading the prologue (which appeared to have been written by someone else) and the first three chapters. I bought it because its a favorite period of interest for me and my friend was on the front cover. I too read Hereward by James Wilde which was an enjoyable but flawed for me read. There are a few other Hereward books that I'd like to read and will probably get round to at some point.


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