Down the centuries the British Isles has always been seen by invaders as a legitimate target for exploitation. This novella concerns the last few weeks of Anglo-Saxon occupation, ending on the 14th of October, 1066.
In Autumn 1066, author Jack Eason gives a great sense of ‘place’, of detail. The reader is right ‘there’ in that poignant year, marching, shivering with September cold (as ‘…no warming fires were allowed lest ‘enemy spies would soon spot their approach.’)
From the very first few lines, Eason, practising his unique drycraft, begins to weave his particular brand of magic on his reader. Eason glamour’s with well-crafted dialogue, drawing his reader into the time and into the action. To accomplish this, the author proffers a gentle blend of informative nomenclature coupled with familiar speech, to ease the reader into his story without distancing with words too unfamiliar, which is a criticism frequently made of Bernard Cornwell’s epics.
I long to read more
I am a huge fan of British history and Mr Eason has done a terrific job of sharing the history surrounding the defeat of the last of the Anglo Saxon kings and the start of the Norman period of rule in an interesting and entertaining way.
The book starts with King Harold’s men marching to do battle with Harald, the Norwegian King, who had arrived in Scotland ready to do battle for the English crown. Harald is aware that William of Normandy is also preparing for battle against him. The descriptions of the terrible circumstances of the Anglo-Saxon Fyrd are detailed and fascinating. I wondered how the soldiers were able to fight after spending days marching in such miserably cold conditions.
This book is well researched and highlights the politics and uncertainties of the day. It is reminiscent of Shakespeare’s works with its allegiances, intrigues and collaborations between friends and foes. I must admit it made me rethink my own anxieties which don’t extend to having a new king thrust upon me following a disastrous battle. The cruelty and harshness of punishments are eye opening and shocking and Mr Eason has included the good, the bad and the ugly of battle during this time.
I highly recommend this novella to people who are interested in history or just a jolly good battle and its consequences.
Purchase Autumn 1066
Visitors by WJ Scott
Twelve-year-old Brody, and his kid brother, are sent to stay with their reclusive Aunt Sally, when their mom falls seriously ill. But, they soon discover things are not as they appear, and a strange phenomenon is happening in the small retro town.
What mystery is Tucker’s Mountain hiding?
Unsure of who or what they can trust, the boys embark on a hunt for answers that reveals more than they bargained for.
Visitors is an intriguing short read about two small boys who are sent to live with their aunt in a small town in the USA. Brody, the older boy, aged twelve, is aware that his mother is very ill, possibly dying. He feels responsible for looking after his younger brother, Tom. The boys haven’t seen their aunt for a few years, but when she collect them from the airport, Brody immediately notices how youthful she looks. As they drive through the small town that is near Aunt Sally’s small holding, he also noticed that the cars and certain other features of the town are old fashioned and are from the 1950s. His aunt gives him a glib excuse for this but it makes him curious. Other strange occurrences and odd restrictions on the boys freedoms make their presence known and the two boys set out to determine what is going on in this strange town.
This is a well written tale with a happy and fulfilling ending which I would recommend to readers of family dramas with an interesting twist which makes this a sci-fi book.