Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Review of The Lost King books by Martin Lake

My local history books look at characters descended from the Normans who came to England with William the Conqueror. Consequently, I was very interested when I came across a trilogy of books on Kindle by Martin Lake about events right after William's victory at the battle of Hastings.

Like most people in Britain, I knew about William, the outcome of the battle, and King Harold getting shot in the eye. But I knew nothing about any resistance to the new self-appointed king, nor who should have been king on Harold's death.

Martin's books, collectively called The Lost King, tell the story of Edgar Atheling, the thirteen year old descendent of Alfred the Great. As William marches on London, the great council of the kingdom chooses Edgar to be the new king. The inexperienced youngster has to rely on his friends and learn quickly if he is not only to save his own life, but lead an uprising to defeat the invaders.

Resistance coverThe first novel, Resistance, tells of the early struggles, including Edgar's time as a 'guest' of William. The second, Wasteland, tells of his attempt to form an alliance with the Vikings, who control the north of England – and have their own agenda. The third, Blood of Ironside, has just come out, and I can't wait!

I gave both the books 4-star reviews. They are really good historical novels. Having tried to write historical fiction from my first book, I know how hard it is. These are well written, with believable characters, especially as we watch the young Edgar grow into maturity. I recommend them, not only to those interested in the history, but for those who like an exciting read and a well-told tale. Links to the books on Amazon UK are on their titles above.

Martin writes other books too. You might want to check out:
  • Outcasts, about the fate of the commoners who were knighted in an attempt to save Jerusalem during the Crusades 

  • Artful, the further adventures of the Artful Dodger 

  • Mr Toad's Wedding, the winner of the 2008 Kenneth Grahame Society's international competition to write a short story in the style of the Wind in the Willows 

  • The Big School (Our Eric), about the trials of school with a big brother who is always plotting and getting into scrapes 

  • Nuggets, a collection of short stories 

  • For King and Country, three stories about courage and cowardice in the first world war 

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