Sworn Sword

Sworn Sword January Less Than Three Years Have Passed Since Hastings And The Death Of The Usurper, Harold Godwineson In The Depths Of Winter, Two Thousand Normans March To Subdue The Troublesome Province Of Northumbria Tancred A Dinant, An Ambitious And Oath Sworn Knight And A Proud Leader Of Men, Is Among Them, Hungry For Battle, For Silver And For LandBut At Durham The Normans Are Ambushed In The Streets By English Rebels In The Battle That Ensues, Their Army Is Slaughtered Almost To A Man Badly Wounded, Tancred Barely Escapes With His Life His Lord Is Among Those SlainSoon The Enemy Are On The March, Led By The Dispossessed Prince Eadgar, The Last Of The Ancient Saxon Line, Who Is Determined To Seize The Realm He Believes Is His Yet Even As Tancred Seeks Vengeance For His Lord S Murder, He Finds Himself Caught Up In Secret Dealings Between A Powerful Norman Magnate And A Shadow From The PastAs The Norman And English Armies Prepare To Clash, Tancred Begins To Uncover A Plot Which Harks Back To The Day Of Hastings Itself A Plot Which, If Allowed To Succeed, Threatens To Undermine The Entire Conquest The Fate Of The Kingdom Hangs In The Balance


☁ [PDF / Epub] ☀ Sworn Sword By James Aitcheson ✎ – Ultimatetrout.info
  • Hardcover
  • 390 pages
  • Sworn Sword
  • James Aitcheson
  • English
  • 22 November 2018
  • 9781402280764

10 thoughts on “Sworn Sword

  1. says:

    James Aitcheson s star is rising.However, it is not quite there yet, he has some growth to develop and I expect that will be present in the next book The Splintered Kingdom when it comes out September 2012 Still, Sworn Sword was a fabulous surprise I had been put off by the covers of the book for such a long time as they have a rather mass market design to them, but unlike me, others should not be put off by the action sequence covers as they do not tell the real truth of this author s work As the author Ben Kane is quoted as saying on the front of Sworn Sword a terrific writer I would tend to agree for the most part Aitcheson has talent and I expect to see many books from him in the future And many in this series too The story itself was probably not as action filled as I had expected another place where the covers are misleading There is action, but it plays minor roles and the meat of the book details the journey of the Norman Knight Tancred a Dinant Tancred is charged with escorting the wife and daughter of a northern noble to Lundene, and then this Lord s own chaplain further still with a secret message for a nunnery in the south From about halfway in this book until 100 pages to go, or there abouts, the writing and plot does on occasion get weak Then it picks up again to finish in the manner in which it had started With action and Knights and all things nice.I liked the characters, most especially Tancred himself, although I must admit, there is a woman love interest in this story and I cannot for the life of me work out why this character would be interested in such a sour, moody, scowling creature as that I know she annoyed the daylights out of me with her surly unfriendliness and I was wishing she would disappear from the story I suppose I had better not reveal to those reading this review, who have not read the book, whether or not my wishes came true on that.

  2. says:

    With his first novel, author James Aitcheson looks at a period of history that is not often explored in historical fiction, the Norman consolidation of their hold on England, post Hastings This novel is set in winter, early spring of 1069 as the Normans are attempting to complete their pacification of Northumbria As the novel opens they are literally handed their heads at the Battle of Dunholm Durham by followers of Eadgar the Atheling, the Saxon claimant to the crown.The story is told through the eyes a Norman knight, Tancred a Dinant After the Norman defeat, he manages to escape to York, but his Lord has perished in the battle and he is now at a loss of what to do The Norman Viscomte of York takes Tancred as one of his household knights Seeing York is going to be attacked and likely fall, he assigns Tancred along with a couple of other survivors of Durham to escort his wife, daughter and personal priest to London Once there they are to escort the priest on to a monastery outside of Winchester to deliver a secret message to one of the nuns there.What follows is somewhat of a travelogue of Post Conquest England As they make their way towards London, Tancred and his band try to avoid roving bandits, Saxon rebels, Vikings and miscellaneous bad guys, not always successfully Upon delivering the Viscomte s wife and daughter safely to London, they continue on to Winchester, completing the final part of the mission As Tancred and his fellow knights are travelling, they become curious as to why the Saxon priest is to go on to Winchester and just what is the message he is carrying Their solving of the mystery was a little disappointing to me and was probably the weakest part of the novel While they have been traveling the City of York has fallen, but the castle still holds out Tancred and company join King William s army in the relief of the Castle of York Once again the author delivers excellent battle sequences as Tancred covers himself in glory and wins a new Lord.Except for Tancred the characters are not particularly well developed Also, there is a minor love story between Tancred and the daughter of the Viscomte that really doesn t go anywhere However, the battle sequences are well written, exciting and in my opinion comparable to those of Bernard Cornwell.Many of the characters including the Viscomte of York and his family are historical figures Tancred and his immediate companions are fictional as well as the priest Also Mr Aitcheson in the manor of Cornwall in his Saxon Stories series, uses the contemporary Old English Saxon place names This can be a little confusing for one who is not well versed in English history There is a good glossary however, and I had it bookmarked as I was constantly referencing it.In short this novel has basically 3 parts A travelogue mystery sandwiched between two excellent battle sequences While battle sequences are superb, the middle leaves a bit to be desired All in all I found this a good solid 4 star read and an excellent first novel.

  3. says:

    Unfortunately I was kinda disappointed with this one I really came into it with the best of intentions and high hopes, as I love this period of history and was looking for a new series that can scratch the itch only historical fiction can Things started well enough with a harrowing battle between Norman knights and a bunch of pissed off Northumbrians Aitcheson can definitely do guy hits other guy with cool sword type stuff as well as any other guy or gal that writes this kinda stuff, but there just weren t enough decent characters to keep my interest.Our hero is Tancred a Dinant, who has a cool name and is loyal and ambitious or whatever, but is also humorless and bland The other characters includeman, I don t remember a single other motherfucker from this whole book There s the usual redshirt loyal companions, the love interest, the admirable Duke Earl Whatever that Tancred serves, etc None of them seemed the slightest bit interesting to me I certainly don t have to like every character in a book I read and often don t even want to, but I do have to enjoy reading about them and getting to watch a section of their lives I couldn t make this connection at all.The things I do have to give Aitcheson credit for are obviously thorough research, clear and fluent prose, and the willingness to write this kind of novel from the perspective of what I think most people at least most English would consider to be the bad guys in this whole mess There seem to be an utter shitload of books from the English perspective but few from this one, so that alone makes it somewhat novel and worth looking at And again, if you dig a good battle scene Aitcheson won t disappoint This was really one of those books where I have to say I didn t like but wouldn t turn anyone away from it It has a lot of stuff going for it, the stars just didn t align for me And my faith in the utter coolness of the Norman haircut remains unshaken Google yielded this picture of a dude wearing one while presumably scanning the horizon for English peasants to conquer the shit out of

  4. says:

    rating 4 5 I wasn t sure what to expect from this novel, it was a bookclub read my library had and sounded like it would have sword battles and shield walls and other action y goodness And, although it has some flaws, I loved it It starts with a well written, action packed battle But then slows down and lets the plot progress before a big finish with another epic battle Tancred is a knight sworn to a Norman French lord during the invasion of England in 1060s Having fought at the Battle of Hastings, he is now in charge of a conroi settling the unrest in Northumbria But with the English rebellion growing, his lord killed, and Tancred wounded the story is just beginning.I am a bit conflicted about Tancred, I do like him but he just seemed too serious although it may be just my bias toward the witty, sarcastic sword wielding personas He did have a degree of complexity but so much seemed to be still hidden just bubbling under the surface which was odd for a book written in the first person I wished the author would have dug deeper, pulled out all the possibilities from within.I disliked Beatrice Thankfully she didn t take up much space in the book She just seemed cold and I have no idea why Tancred actually liked her view spoiler Plus, that kiss was just awkward and weird, I really hope this romantic interest does not get pursued much in subsequent novels hide spoiler

  5. says:

    Interesting because it s from the POV of a young Norman actually he s from Brittany knight in the aftermath of Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest, but the novel itself was not outstanding The action sequences were well done, but the characterizations left a lot to be desired Tancred a Dinant, the protagonist, was fully fleshed, but the others paled in comparison not exactly cardboard but types The novel read smoothly and was not a long read Right from the start the English and Normans battle each other and action doesn t let up in the whole novel, resulting in a final conflict at Eoferwic York Tancred s lord is killed at the opening battle and Tancred pledges fealty to a new lord Two of his loyal henchmen not meant in a pejorative sense follow him Tancred is given two missions by Lord Guillaume, his new lord In carrying them out, Tancred uncovers intrigue and treachery which is dealt with eventually.Instead of really developing personalities, most of the characters become and unpleasant as the story progresses The leading lady is irritating from the start and still nasty at the conclusion I will never understand how Tancred, likeable and a parfait, gentil knight , is so naive where she is concerned I could have given him a good shake or two I liked the author s giving some of Tancred s life previous to the opening of the novel It helped me understand him a little better I had fun trying to translate the Anglo Saxon Old English before the author gave the meaning subsequently The author showed a definite flair for writing his talent is apparent, but this novel shows the author s immaturity in writing I appreciated his Author s Note , where he explained the history of the period he covered, and how he deviated from it in his novel However, as a person who s not from the UK, I didn t take in the Conquest with my mother s milk , so I would have appreciated some background material on the why of the conquest and on William the Conqueror There were only disjointed sentences here and there in the book I m sure there are non UK people, like me At this point, I don t think I ll continue with the series Recommended only because of the Norman point of view of the Conquest.

  6. says:

    A great book The English have been invaded by the vile French A French king proclaims the English land as his domain and its people as his subjects So we know that the good guys are going to be some dashing English knights who are called upon to rescue the day But no James Aitcheson gives us a completely different viewpoint The story is told via narrative from the thoughts and actions of a French knight Tancrid And the novel shows us how in his own little world, this French knight believes in his king s cause and goes to show how he supports the lords to whom he has sworn his sword There is a bit of mystery in the plot as well as well drawn up battle scenes There is definitely good use of factual events and well researched history And from the end of the book, while the story is completely wrapped up for us, the author has also given us a hint that there may be adventures for his dazzling French knight.

  7. says:

    I really enjoyed this book For a first effort from the author, I was truly impressed.Action right from the start, which drew me in Much less action through the middle, but replaced with intrigue Picked up again at the end.Never got bored never scratched my head and said huh nothing I had to reluctantly slog through to get to the good parts.Anxious to read the next one

  8. says:

    Sworn Sword sweeps us into the 11thc just as the English are on the rise after their devastating defeat at Hastings just over two years before From the outset we are thrust into a world of where life depends on who wins the battles Bloodshed and loss is now a way of life for most people since William of Normandy clawed the English crown from the head of the usurper , Harold Godwinson With the opening focusing on an English uprising in the streets of Dunholm, strong hold of Robert de Commines, Lord of the North, we meet our protagonist, Tancred, a Breton, commanding his own conroi Tancred and his comrades have been trying to fight off the attack when Tancred hears that his beloved Oswynn Is murdered by the marauders but there is no time to grieve, for he must save his lord, Robert, set upon with his men in the mead hall Tancred leads his conroi to the rescue but they are too late and Lord Robert is burned alive with his comrades inside the blazing hall The Normans are slaughtered almost to a man, but Tancred, who has been badly injured, is carried by his surviving friends Eudo and Wace to the relative safety of York There the trio find refuge in the house of Robert s vicomte, Guillaume William Malet.Tancred spends some time under the care of Malet s priest, Aelfwold who tends his patient s wounds and saves him from developing a life threatening infection When he is well, Malet gives the now lordless knight an ultimatum owe him a debt for the succour and hospitality he had provided him with, or carry out a mission that would set him free of any obligation owed Reluctantly, he accepts, for he would rather stay behind in York to exact revenge upon the English who killed his lord and his woman Oswynn But little did he realise when he gave his oath to Malet, that he would become embroiled in a secret that holds the fate of the kingdom in the balanceI approached this novel with caution, a because I am a die hard Anglo Saxon supporter and b because the Normans did terrible things to the English during the invasion, so when I realised this was going to be a story told from the point of view of one of the invaders, I was unsure as to whether or not I was going to enjoy it It s not that I am so narrow minded I can t enjoy a book from any other viewpoint other than the English one, it is that I didn t want to read something that promoted the Norman invasion as a good thing and that William was a good guy fighting for his rights, and by the shedding of much English blood, winds up on the English throne Although Tancred fought on the Conqueror s side at the Battle of Hastings, views the English with suspicion and believes that the rightful King now sits on the throne, this is a book that tells the story of one man s journey to find a new purpose to his life, now that his beloved lord is no longer in the world.What I liked about James Aitcheson s portrayal of an England in the aftermath of Hastings, is that it shows the reader how the scene would have looked to just such a man, especially as it is written in the first person, without making it heavily pro Norman or pro English Although the latter are seen as pretty much the bad guys in a way, and the former as the righteous, it s understandable, because we are seeing it from Tancred s point of view and as far as he is concerned, he and his comrades are vindicated, for they represent loyal supporters of the rightful King, assisting him in keeping the peace in his new kingdom that was bequeathed to him, quite honourably by his cousin Edward, and stolen from him by the usurper Harold Godwinson Presented as thus, I found it easy to glide into the story from the start.Tancred himself is portrayed as a battle hardened, traumatised character who, having lived through the horrors of Hastings, loses his lord and beloved in that one night at the siege of Dunholm Lord Robert had taken him into his service and saved him from a life of poverty and starvation when he was a young run away from the cruel monastery he had been brought up in Oswynn was the English girl who he had taken as his lover and Tancred, devastated by both losses, swears vengeance on the young, arrogant claimant to the throne, Eadgar Atheling, the perpetrator of their deaths The design of vengeance and the need to atone for not preventing their murders embeds itself throughout the book and sets the theme for the sequel, Splintered Kingdom Tancred is a likeable character, although at times morose and stubborn In swearing an oath to the man who he is indebted to for saving his life, he is set upon a course that will force him to examine his own values in order to find a new purpose in life after Commines death He is like a lost soul, searching for his rightful place in the world and along his journey, we meet the beautiful, but changeable Beatrice, who appears to be hiding a tragic past of her own Their relationship seems doomed as Beatrice s impenetrable facade and Tancred s equal aloofness, makes their liaison a difficult one although they are both inexplicably drawn to each other.We also meet Aelfwold, the priest who saves Tancred s life with his healing skills Aelfwold comes across as a gentle, loyal servant of Malet s, charged with a secret mission for his lord in which Tancred is forced to become involved Malet extracts an oath out of Tancred to pay back the debt he owes to him, by accompanying Beatrice and her mother to safety in London when Eadgar s forces threaten York But the mission doesn t finish there, Tancred must continue to Wilton with Aelfwold who has a message for a mysterious woman about a body Tancred and his friends, Eudo and Wace become suspicious of Aelfwold Is he the amiable holy man he appears to be, or is there something sinister lurking beneath his priest s mantle So, to summarise, Sworn Sword is a great read, an engaging plot, interesting characters and a couple of great battles, one which marks the end of the book and paves the way for Tancred s next adventure Mostly this book is very enjoyable and I am looking forward to read the next books in the series There were a couple of things, however, that raised my eyebrows, but they were only minor one was the cheek plates on Eadgar s helmet and being a re enactor I know that these Coppergate type of helms were not likely to have been worn in the 11thc but belong to a much earlier time Also the description of a two storey monastery building with a long corridor and rooms leading off it sounded like a Gothic manor than an pre Norman building However these are the most negative things I could probably find and certainly do not spoil what is a fantastic debut and story I highly recommend this book especially to those who are looking for good quality historical fiction about the consequences of the Norman Invasion on England as a whole.I rate this book 4.5 stars

  9. says:

    The year is 1069, the location England, three years after the Battle of Hastings The Normans won possession of the kingdom that day, but even three years later, not all the land is subdued Tancred a Dinant, a sworn sword, or knight, pledged to a lord, fought at Hastings He saw the carnage there and the slaughter of all the men that occurred that day as the English usurper, Harold Godwineson, was defeated and killed Tancred is sworn to Robert de Commines, and has been for than fifteen years Robert found him in Normandy where he had fled a monastery at age thirteen He pledged his life and sword to Lord Robert that day, and has fought at his side ever since He followed Robert to England and plans to stay with him forever But fate has different plans The English are rising up in the North, desperate to throw off the Norman yoke They are led by yet another English king The two forces meet in Durham and Lord Robert is killed Shocked and disillusioned, Tancred is not sure what to do with the rest of his life When he is injured and sheltered by another Norman lord, Malet, he agrees to serve him Malet gives him an assignment to shepherd his wife and daughter to London to safety Along with his knight friends, Tancred sets out to escort the women They barely make it out of town before the opposing forces take the city where Malet is in charge Although Tancred wants to return and fight the English, he is sworn to his task While fulfilling it, he learns a secret a secret that reeks of betrayal and could change the course of history How will Tancred reconcile his calling as a knight with his torn loyalties James Aitcheson has written a stirring historical novel It is strong in its depiction of the life of a knight and how battles were fought in this early period Life was finely balanced in those days, and the loyalties a man chose were often enough to either make his fortune or cause his death The history is well researched, and the reader readily identifies with Tancred and his band of knights This book is recommended for readers of historical fiction.

  10. says:

    I enjoyed the story in this one set in post Norman invasion Britain Told from the perspective of a Norman Knight it covers events during 1069 and focuses on Saxon attempts to throw out the Normans, especially from Northern England It has lots of interesting characters and for a first novel Aitcheson writes well, with only the odd inconsistency I did fine that the latter part of the book wasn t quite as good as the rest of it, so overall probably 3 1 2 rather than a strong 4 However, there is enough good stuff in here to make me look forward to reading the next in the series and the author is so good in his first novel that I think he will just get better and better I m picking that he will have a long and successful career and I look forward to what he writes when he reaches the peak of his powers.

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