So far, books concerning a much under written-about hero of early England, called Hereward. Or Hereward The Wake.
Before reading these books, I couldn’t have told you any more about the historical Hereward than that.
(The Time of the Wolf is the US title for Hereward. It’s (very nearly) exactly the same book)
1062, a time many fear is the End of Days.
With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, William, Duke of Normandy waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood.
The ravens of war are gathering, while the king’s closest advisors do nothing but scheme and squabble amongst themselves. Hopes of resisting the would-be conqueror come to rest with just one man: Hereward.
To some a brave and cunning warrior, to others a devil in human form. Hereward is as adept in the art of slaughter as the foes that gather to claim England’s throne. However, his enemies at court have made him outlaw and Hereward must carve a swathe from the frozen hills of Northumbria to the fenlands of East Anglia to stay alive, and a free man…
Hereward The Devil’s Army
(The Winter Warrior is the US title of the UK Hereward The Devil’s Army. I haven’t got it, but intend to get it, so I can’t tell you if it is exactly the same book, but chances are, spellings apart, it is)
1067. The battle of Hastings has been lost. Harold Goodwinson is dead. The iron fist of William the Bastard has begun to squeeze the life out of England. Villages are torched and men, women and children put to the sword as the Norman king attempts to impose his cruel will upon the unruly nation.
But there is one who stands in the way of the invader’s savagery. He is called Hereward. He is a warrior and master tactician and as adept at slaughter as the imposter who sits upon the throne. And he is England’s last hope.
In a Fenlands fortress of water and wild wood, Hereward’s resistance is simmering. His army of outcasts grows by the day – a devil’s army that emerges out of the mists and the night, leaving death in its wake.
But William is not easily cowed. Under the command of his ruthless deputy, Ivo Taillebois – a man they call ‘the Butcher’ – the Norman forces will do whatever it takes to crush the rebels, even if it means razing the country to the ground.
Here then is the tale of the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known – the beginning of an epic struggle that will echo down the years…
Hereward End of Days
England, 1071. Five years have passed since the crushing Norman victory at the Battle of Hastings. The country reels under the savage rule of the new king, the one they call ‘the Bastard’. The North has been left a wasteland – villages razed, innocents put to the sword, land stolen. It seems no atrocity is too great to ensure William’s grip upon the crown. Rats feed upon fields of the dead
And now he turns his cold gaze east, towards the last stronghold of the English resistance. After years of struggle, he will brook no further challenge to his power: his vast army masses and his siege machines are readied.
In their fortress on the Isle of Ely, the English have put their faith in the only man who might defeat the murderous invaders. He is called Hereward. He is a warrior and a master tactician – as adept at slaughter as his enemy and plans have been been set in motion for a bloody uprising that will sweep the Norman king off the throne once and for all.
But Hereward is missing. With their hopes of victory dwindling, can the English rebels find the leader who seems to have abandoned them before William the Bastard begins his final, devastating assault that will truly be the end of days…
Here is a tale of heroism and treachery – and the bloodiest rebellion England has ever known.
A Biography of sorts, from the book jacket:
James Wilde is a man of Mercia. Raised surrounded by books, he went on to study economic history at university before travelling the world in search of adventure.
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 near-forgotten hero should be the subject of his first novel. ‘Hereward’ was a best seller.
Wilde 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.