Book Review: Hereward: The Devil’s Army (The Hereward Chronicles, Book 2) by James Wilde

Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Random House UK
Pub date: 19 July 2012
Rating: 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

Now the real battle for England begins…

1067: The Battle of Hastings is lost and England is in the grip of William The Bastard, a cruel king set upon imposing his will on the unruly nation.

But there is one who stands in his way. Hereward: a warrior; a shrewd and ruthless fighter; England’s last hope.

His army of outcasts – a devil’s army – grows by the day and emerges at night leaving death in its wake. The Normans will do whatever it takes to crush the rebels – but the rebels have no plans to surrender…

Having recently read the first in the series, I couldn’t wait to read the next instalment. I was a little apprehensive that it wouldn’t live up to the enjoyment of the first but I could not have been more wrong.

The second book sees the characters become even more vivid as their relationships grow. I really enjoyed how I came to understand Hereward more and the change in his demeanour and behaviours through experience and responsibilities heaped upon him.

Harald Reedteeth, whilst being Herward’s enemy is a brilliant character, Wilde has portrayed the actions of others through the viewpoint of Redteeth giving an alternative view from Hereward’s own.

There are no great famous battles in this one but a lot of smaller unknown battles and skirmishes. The battle scenes are gory but incredible to read and the detail is breathtaking. I loved how Hereward and his men make use of their surroundings and materials to become The Devil’s Army, creating fear within the enemy.

The sword only glanced off the rusted hauberk in a trail of golden sparks. Pivoting on the ball of his right foot, he allowed his weight to carry him through and spun behind the heavier, shorter mercenary. Whisking his blade up, he drove it down towards the back of the Viking’s neck.

Hereward continues his fight to keep his family, friends and England safe in an exciting and vivid narrative that is not without heartbreak, whether through death or betrayal. After travelling to Ely which they believe can be defended, Hereward finds there are also enemies within the camp, I don’t like to give away too much detail but it is such a fantastic storyline! I absolutely loved the first book and enjoyed this one even more.

Brothers will fight and kill each other, sisters’ children will defile kinship.

It is harsh in the world, wholesome rife

– an axe age, a sword age

– shields are riven –

A wind age, a wolf age – before the world goes headlong.

No man will have mercy on another.

For those looking for a thrilling read with incredible scenes and fantastic characters this is a must read. I will be reading the rest of the series!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Hereward: The Devil’s Army is available here and is currently only 99p!

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

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