Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Shieldwall by Justin Hill
I enjoyed this historical novel set in the Dark Ages. For me in some way these books can a be educational about events at that time. You get a sort of imaginary eye witness point of view.
The book starts in 1013 and ends at around 1026 and is set in England around 50 years before the more famous and more widely known battle of Hastings. It follows the life course of an Anglo-Saxon character called Godwin. He gets involved in some big historic battles with big historical figures. While the book is not on the same very high level as Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series it was still entertaining. I came across a few repeated words and basic spelling mistakes which irritated me a little for some reason. Perhaps because they were pretty easy picks ups if you had a good proof reader.
It had a good amount of treachery as you would expect in these novels. So a little black and white in some regards. The beginning was a little strange with a flash forward sequence which didn't really seem necesscary at the start of the book. But once I was passed that the novel was good. It is a great background read for gamers who enjoy playing SAGA or Dark Ages wargaming. Some of the characters in this book can actually be used as Warlords in Saga if you use the published Heroes options in the rule book. The author even drops a few tourist ideas for visiting some locations mentioned in the books. Might be worth re-looking at these notes if I ever get back to England again. Turns out it is also planned for this to be the first of 3 novels. I will certainly consider reading them when they are released.
I give this novel 3 out of 5 smashed shields.
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)