Battles in worlds of fact and fiction

Norman Conquest, by Marc Morris, 1066 – the legend and the legacy

THE battle of Hastings and the invasion of Britain by William the Duke of Normandy is one of the most important periods in English History. Through the Bayeux Tapestry we are all aware of how Harold is hit in the eye and dies leaving the way open for the Norman conqueror to take the English crown.

However, Marc Morris, by returning to the original documentary evidence, questions the historicity of the tapestry and gives us a definitive account of the background to why William felt driven to invade Britain, the consequence of his actions and how the Normans still impact on our lives in the 21st century.

He goes back to Edward the Confessor and shows us the power struggle which was occurring throughout the Confessor’s reign and how this gave William the reason to conquer Britain when news of Edward’s death reached Normandy.

In this riveting read. Morris achieves what many historians fail to do. He gives us an extensively researched, skilfully written and immensely entertaining read, which will tick all the boxes for both social historians, as well as for readers of military history.

I raced through this and it will make a great father’s day gift.


Green Rider, by Kristen Britain

IT had been years since I read any science fiction/fantasy and on a whim I picked this book up. I’m a sucker for a good cover (this one has a stunning ink drawing of a winged horse) and loved the idea of a novel with a strong female lead.

The main character is Karigan G’ladheon, a headstrong young adult that won’t be pushed around by the school bully. Karigan runs away from boarding school and begins the very long journey to her father’s house.

As she is walking Karigan comes across a man who has been shot by arrows. With his dying breath he begs Karigan to take a letter to the king, insisting that it will make the difference between life and death for the kingdom. The man pushes a brooch that is shaped like a winged horse into Karigan’s hand along with the letter.

From this moment on Karigan’s world has completely changed she is no longer a schoolgirl, she has become a Green Rider and will face a long journey filled with danger.

Green Rider is the first of four books in the Green Rider series and there is talk of a fifth one on the way. If you’re looking for a great action adventure story, and love fantasy fiction, I can highly recommend it.