Monday, April 21, 2014

1066: What Fates Impose by G.K. Holloway

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Read: March 19, 2014

King William then utters the following words to the room: ‘I appoint no one as my heir to the Crown of England, but leave it to the disposal of the Eternal Creator, whose I am and who orders all things. For I did not attain that high honour by hereditary right, but wrested it from the perjured King Harold in a desperate bloody battle.’ England is in crisis. King Edward has no heir and promises never to produce one. There are no obvious successors available to replace him, but quite a few claimants are eager to take the crown. While power struggles break out between the various factions at court, enemies abroad plot to make England their own. There are raids across the borders with Wales and Scotland. Harold Godwinson, Earl of Wessex, is seen by many as the one man who can bring stability to the kingdom. He has powerful friends and two women who love him, but he has enemies will stop at nothing to gain power. As 1066 begins, England heads for an uncertain future. It seems even the heavens are against Harold. Intelligent and courageous, can Harold forge his own destiny – or does he have to bow to what fates impose?

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G. K. Holloway's 1066: What Fates Impose was a difficult book for me to get into, but once I did, the volume was impossible to put down.

Holloway's interpretation of Harold Godwinson is truly magnificent. I've seen the last Anglo-Saxon King of England depicted in fiction before, but nothing I've encountered compares to the multifaceted figure seen here. Being a fictional account, one cannot take Holloway's characterization as fact, but there is something very sympathetic and profound in his portrait of this oft overlooked monarch. 

Politically, some readers might find Holloway's work heavy-handed, but being familiar with the period, I actually found the story well-rounded and satisfying. His description of the years just prior to the Battle of Hastings add depth to the conflict, giving the reader a genuine sense of the era and better understanding of the campaign.

A word of warning friends, 1066: What Fates Impose isn't for the faint of heart. This isn't a historical romance in which the nastier cast members earn their comeuppance. This is hard hitting historic fiction. Bloody and unapologetic, Holloway recreates the brutal realities of the eleventh century within these pages and though I personally value the authenticity this piece, I wouldn't want to mislead anyone with my praise.

An authoritative and original fiction, 1066: What Fates Impose is a gripping tale of rivalry, ambition and deceit. Highly recommended. 

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‘You can tell Duke William that whatever either of us thought at the time, no one has the right to promise a crown, not even the King.’
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CHECK OUT ALL THE STOPS ON G.K. Holloway's 1066: What fates impose virtual book tour

Tuesday, April 15
Let Them Read Books
Friday, April 18
Time 2 Read
Monday, April 21
Flashlight Commentary (Review)
Tuesday, April 22
Broken Teepee (Review & Giveaway)
Flashlight Commentary (Interview)
Wednesday, April 23
Oh, for the Hook of a Book (Review)
Thursday, April 24
Reading the Ages
Oh, for the Hook of a Book (Interview)
Friday, April 25
Impressions in Ink (Review)
Monday, April 28
Just One More Chapter
Kinx’s Book Nook (Review)
Wednesday, April 30
Historical Tapestry (Review)
Thursday, May 1
Caroline Wilson Writes

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