"1056...England lurches towards war as the rebellious Lord Alfgar plots against the indolent, King Edward. Sussex thegn, Wulfhere of Horstede, must defy both his lord, Harold Godwinson, the Earl of Wessex, and his bitter enemy, Helghi of Gorde, to protect his beloved daughter. "
I was offered an ARC of this fine book by the author and have been reading it avidly. It was complex, involved and needed careful reading - and so very enjoyable. Paula Lofting is a fine historian and the events are true to what we know of them. With little to go on from either version of the Anglo Saxon Chronicle or Annales Cambriae , the author needed to tell the events of 1058 and Alfgar and did so in fine fashion.
My own favorite family, which was Harold Godwinson's provided my most enjoyable parts of the novel. Wulfhere's family is not going to win any awards for cohesiveness, nor is Alfgar's except for his mother, Godgifu ( Lady Godiva).
The book is put together in an unique way with alternating vignettes, consisting of 2-3 chapters, woven together to depict one time period. This "Crisis of 1058" started with Alfgar being expelled as Earl of Mercia, and King Edward's court and the Godwinsons' efforts to keep him away from Mercia and East Anglia. The vignettes or threads of stories involve the main characters just discussed: Wulfhere,Burghred, Alfgar and Harold ( and the King)
Alfgar married his daughter "Aldith" to Gruffudd, King of Wales and became estranged from his son Burghred. Both father and son would be dead in a few short years although not in one of the hair raising battle scenes which are vividly described. Aldith, we know marries Harold who ascends to Edward's throne, some of that for another outing we may hope?
Recommended to all who like this period of history and this group of characters. One of my very favorite era's and very well executed