By R. Lee Holz, Amazon.com
5 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Three Kings – One Throne (Finn’s Legacy) (Kindle Edition)
Three Kings – One Throne is a fictional fleshing out of what is known about roughly the middle third of the eleventh century c.e. The attempted is well conceived and well-executed with the stories of two mid-level noblemen who wind up on opposites sides of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 providing additional excitement and interest to the better known stories of Earl (later King) Harold, Harald Hardrata (King of Norway) and William, Duke of Normandy. I found the book convincing and thoroughly enjoyable.
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4 out of 5 stars
This review is from: Three Kings – One Throne (Finn’s Legacy) (Paperback)
The turbulent history which surrounds the invasion of England in the eleventh century is a complicated affair. The crown of England was a prize to be cherished above all prizes, and there were good men and bad, who were prepared to fight to the death to gain control of so rich a treasure. In 1066, on the death of Edward the Confessor, Harold Godwinson claimed the English crown, but standing by were two other claimants, a Norwegian and a Norman, who were both fully determined to stake their claim. Violence, greed and carnage were never off the agenda as opposing forces clashed and fought their way to victory.
What’s interesting about Three Kings -One Throne is that the story is narrated by two protagonists who are caught on opposing sides; Torkil, an Anglo Saxon thayne is on the side of Godwinson, whilst Ivar, a Danish orphan is part of the Norwegian opposing forces. Both men live with rough justice and violence, and are no stranger to their own brand of complicated deception.
There were occasionally times when the book seemed to flag a little, the task of explaining this particular snapshot of history is momentous, but overall Michael Wills has done an admirable job in bringing together all the intricate historical details, and has woven a credible tale of adventure and political skulduggery.
There are helpful footnotes scattered throughout the text which help to put the narrative into historical context, and the epilogue is especially valuable, as it references the history of 1065/1066 in easy to understand detail. If you to want to learn more about this crucial period in English and European history, there is an extensive bibliography with some useful references for further reading.
It’s not crucial reading, but it does sort of make sense to read Michael Wills’s previous book, Finn’s Fate as a precursor to Three Kings – One Throne, as it does prove helpful to know the background to some of the characters in Three Kings.