Sunday, 29 January 2012

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Sworn Sword by James Aitcheson

Sworn Sword: The Bloody Aftermath Of 1066   England's Fate Hangs In The BalanceSworn Sword by James Aitcheson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author James Aitcheson has not only written something pretty remarkable and captivating for his young age and in a difficult genre to crack which is often filled with middle-aged to old men/women, he has awakened and created a whole other aspect and slant on history and historical figures.
Most of the popular historical fiction is centred around Anglo-Saxons or Vikings or Civil Wars (in America and England) or royal courts from the sixteenth century onwards but yet I do believe James is the first writer to pick a part of history and not write it from the key event, and not write it from the point of view of those who's history it is; BUT He writes it in the first initial years AFTER the fateful year of 1066 where William, Duke of Normandy defeats the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold Godwinson; James writes it also from the point of view of the invading NORMAN KNIGHTS - NOT - the defeated Anglo-Saxon people/nobles.
What James has written is a new, refreshing and original stance on a very significant point of history - now some readers may think that what on earth could be interesting enough about the bullyish Normans conquering England? Well I won't say a lot apart from the secret that is riddled cunningly throughout the story is as original and as powerful as the entire story view point itself. Involving a little known part of the aftermath of 1066 which could indeed shake the foundations of the new Norman rulers.
The plot isn't just gripping but the characters too are powerful enough for any reader to come to care, admire and like them regardless of their Norman identity. As a reader you are put on a rollercoaster of a learning curve to come to terms and understand that the Norman knights and nobles who invaded England with Duke William had lives, loves and losses of their own too. They fight with as much courgae, skill, honour and loyalty to friends and Lords as much as the Anglo-Saxons do to their Thegns and the Vikings (distant ancestors of the Normans) to their Jarls.
So if you are perhaps getting bored of reading of the Vikings killing Anglo-Saxons or The Red Coats fighting the Blue Coats or of courtly affairs in royal bed chambers but still want a great tale with strong and influential characters, packed with historical action then Sworn Sword is definitely a great book to revive anyone's love in history, beit fictional or not.

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