James Wilde : The Bloody Crown (Review)

James Wilde

James Wilde is a Man of Mercia. Raised in a world of books, James studied economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure. He was unable to forget a childhood encounter in the pages of a comic with the great English warrior, Hereward. Wilde returned to the haunted fenlands of Eastern England, Hereward’s ancestral home, where he became convinced that this legendary hero should be the subject of his first novel. Wilde now indulges his love of history and the high life in the home his family have owned for several generations, in the heart of a Mercian forest.

Author Website

bloody Crown

Hereward: The Bloody Crown: (Hereward 6)

1081. And so the bloody battle for the crown of the Holy Roman Empire begins.
Within the city of Constantinople itself, three venal factions will go to any lengths – will, it seems, kill any who might stand in their way – to seize the throne.
And outside the city’s walls, twin powers threaten a siege that will crush the once-mighty empire forever.
To the west, the voracious forces of the most feared Norman warlord are gathering. While in the east, the Turkish hordes are massing – theirs is a lust for slaughter.
And in the midst of this maelstrom of brutality and betrayal, Hereward and his English spear-brothers prepare to make what could be their final stand . . .

Review

James Wilde is back with Hereward and The Bloody Crown, this book has to be his most twisty, plot bending best. What starts out with more of the usual (and fantastic) Hereward and his spear brothers neck deep in the poo, soon transforms into a Machiavellian game of smoke and mirrors. With multiple parties vying for  control of the great city of Constantinople and what remained of its empire, Hereward and his friends and cohorts must navigate the turbulent waters of intrigue and deceit, brain becomes more important than brawn for this leader of men, and with what is currently the last in this series, what would the conclusion be? Who would live and who would die? The last book in a series can often be a death fest.

Right from the start (book 1 in 2011) James Wilde’s writing has hooked me, the style and pace he brings from his Mark Chadbourn work  coupled with his copious historical research has created a truly spell binding series, of which this book is the pinnacle.  Historically we know who wins the battle of succession, how we get there is masterfully done, with characters so well drawn and so alive that the reader is literally part of the tale, the locations sounds and smells brought to life on the page to complete your submersion into Constantinople in 1081 and the mayhem that ensues.

To add a cherry on top of this great book  finding a quote from a previous review on the rear of the dust jacket was the icing on the cake. Closing an excellent read and seeing that words i had written myself for a prior book in the series still rang true was immensely gratifying and always a little humbling, something i say a huge thank you to James Wilde for, i write the reviews because i love the books i review… That any one pays attention is still a surprise.

This book and this series is a must read for fans of reading… not just history.. but any genre.

(Parm)

Hereward
1. Hereward (2011)
aka The Time of the Wolf
2. The Devil’s Army (2012)
aka The Winter Warrior
3. End of Days (2013)
4. Wolves of New Rome (2014)
5. The Immortals (2015)
6. The Bloody Crown (2016)

Written as Mark Chadbourn
Series
Age of Misrule
1. World’s End (1999)
2. Darkest Hour (2000)
3. Always Forever (2001)
The Age of Misrule Omnibus (omnibus) (2006)
Dark Age
1. The Devil in Green (2002)
2. The Queen of Sinister (2004)
3. The Hounds of Avalon (2005)
Kingdom of the Serpent
1. Jack of Ravens (2006)
2. The Burning Man (2008)
3. Destroyer of Worlds (2009)
Swords of Albion
1. The Silver Skull (2009)
aka The Sword of Albion
2. The Scar-Crow Men (2011)
3. The Devil’s Looking-Glass (2012)
Novels
Underground (1993)
Nocturne (1994)
The Eternal (1996)
Testimony (1996)
Scissorman (1997)
The Fairy Feller’s Master Stroke (2002)
Lord of Silence (2009)

Series contributed to
Doctor Who
Wonderland (2003)
Hellboy
The Ice Wolves (2008)
Anthologies containing stories by Mark Chadbourn
The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror Volume Eight(1997)
Scaremongers (1998)
Scaremongers 2 (1998)
Short stories
Six Dead Boys in a Very Dark World (1990)
The King of Rain (1996)
Above, Behind, Beneath, Beside (1997)
Vaudeville (1998)
Wan Light (1999)
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Filed under Historical Fiction, James Wilde

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