Bookreview: Hereward – The Devil’s Army

So, here is the next review. A stitching update for WIPocalypse will follow later today and in time, I will show some piccies I took on holiday =)


“Hereward – The Devil’s Army” by James Wilde is the second book of – I would suggest- at least three books by James Wilde. The first book is “Hereward” and I haven’t read that (just found out it existed when I looked it up) and since a couple of questions are left open and there are “some enemies left to deal with” I would say, that another book will follow (I rally think it SHOULD follow ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

The plot of the story is quite simple, I would say.
The story is set in 1069/1070 in England. It’s basically about Hereward, the leader of a group of rebels who fight against the king , who tortures the people of England. Hereward fights the Normans and hopes to free the people of England again, but doing so he has to face a lot of enemies, not only the Normans and the king’s men, but also from within his own camp.

I would say, it is, with less than 400 pages, a “quick read”. I took it with me to have something to read on my 10-hour-train-ride, so I have a pretty good overview on how long it took me to read the book. I would say it took a good 10 or 11 hours to finish the book, even though I needed some time to get into the story. As mentioned before, I haven’t read the first book, so I felt “thrown into the story” at first. But after a while you get used to it, you get all the information you need while you read. Of cause, there are earlier events mentioned, you get a rough idea about what was going on, but not so many details, but that’s okay. The plot is, all in all, quite simple. The focus lies more on how the events exactly happened. Hereward faces different problems while fighting the king and the Normans and uses different techniques to solve them. It is really astonishing how much detail Wilde put in the description of the fighting and planning of Hereward and his friends. There are turns in the story you can foresee, but also some very surprising events, especially towards the end. During the last chapters, the whole story seems kind of “upside down” because so many things change.
It is a historical novel, based on the true story of Hereward (who is also connected to Robin Hood) and I would say Wilde did a good job staying close to history.
The style is a bit rough, no descriptions of how beautiful the landscape is or stuff like that, but that’s fine because it’s a fighting story and not a “look how fine life was back then” story ๐Ÿ˜‰ The description of the fightings are very detailed and you can well imagine it. But it contains a LOT of fighting and blood. The events described are often brutal, so it’s no book for weak nerves ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I am fine with that, even if I usually go for “women’s fantasy” (that stuff with love and magic and saving-the-world and so on)
At the middle of the book I wasn’t so sure if I would read the first book, it is a fascinating story and there were quite a few hints at the first book, but also the story was a bit dull in the middle. Again and again the world around someone goes black because he is hit by someone and likely to get kidnapped after that and sometimes you don’t feel like the story is moving on. but nearing the end I thought about reading maybe the following book (if it comes out) because quite a lot of questions are left unanswered.
I will think about the first book, but I can’t say if I will read it or not (especially since there is a huge book pile next to me………)

And now I am back to reading “A dance with dragons” by George R R Martin until my next book arrives =) By the way, I envy you people in the US, it will take another few ages until the second season from Game of Thrones is released here in Germany =(

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