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Edwin: High King of Britain by Edoardo…
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Edwin: High King of Britain

by Edoardo Albert

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6225272,670 (3.61)12
  1. 00
    The Abbess of Whitby: A Novel of Hild of Northumbria by Jill Dalladay (al.vick)
    al.vick: same place, same time, King Edwin in both books
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
The book Edwin by Edoardo Albert was a gift in more ways than one. I do not usually read historical fiction, but having been given this book I had to give it a go and I loved it. It has opened my eyes to what good historical fiction can be like. From the first page the world of the 600s AD comes alive with the lightest descriptions of the sights, sounds and smells. Scenes, characters and conversations are all completely believable. I felt that if I shut my eyes I might open them to find myself back in time – perhaps Edoardo Albert had a previous incarnation in early Northumbria!
Having found myself in the past, I was captivated by the wonderfully adept storytelling of the events of Edwin’s life. Such a ripping yarn! I was completely caught up in the lives and families, friends and foes, conspiracies and battles. The very idea that 30 men was a large army I found extraordinary. There was no avoiding the pretty savage nature of the times and the unpleasant things that happened on occasion but neither was there any glorifying or excessive description. The well balanced writing combining plot, language, description and emotion brought the events to life so well for me that I have to admit to a tear near the end for this High King who lived in such a different time and place from me. I also found it most interesting to read about the spread of Christianity in these islands at that early time.
I was glad to find a dramatis personae, map and glossary at the front, and having looked up the occasional character and event to look at illustrations on line, I was completely reassured at the historical accuracy and I am in awe at the reading and research that Edoardo Albert must have done to be able to produce such a fine story of Edwin’s life and times.
I am not a writer (although a writer’s wife) and feel slightly embarrassed that I should even try to put into words my feelings about this book except to say that I enjoyed it hugely, am about to start Oswald, Book Two of The Northumbrian Thrones, and look forward to more in this wonderful series in the future.

( )
  thewriterswife | Mar 26, 2018 |
After the Romans left Britain, waves of incomers travelled from Europe and conquered the native Britons in many parts of the country. The history of the times is little known, the main source being Bede. During these ‘dark ages’ Christianity was also becoming and established religion. One of the Kings whose story is told is King Edwin, one of the first High kings who brought different tribes together. Edwin was of the noble family who ruled Bernicia (North Yorkshire and Northumbria) but had been in exile for many years after the death of his father. Living with hosts and always in fear of his life Edwin makes an important alliance and regains his throne but in the political machinations of Britain few Kings live to see old age.



Albert is a new writer to the historical fiction genre and the setting of this series of novels is unusual in that little historical fact is known which gives the opportunity for a large amount of licence. Anglo-Saxon terms are used throughout and are explained within context. The approach is fairly lightweight, this book is enjoyable and pleasant rather than gripping, but that is probably no bad thing considering the level of linguistic content. Albert is definitely knowledgable about the period and wears that learning lightly but the literary content leaves room for improvement. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
(7/10) I'm a big historical fiction fan and this was very well written and researched. It tells the story of Edwin's rise to power in the 7th century and his conversion to Christianity, something I knew nothing about before. The author did a great job bringing the history to life and it was a very enjoyable read.

My only minor complaint is that is it heavily focused on Edwin's conversion to Christianity and it does skip over large time periods in his life. Don't get me wrong the religious aspect was very well written I just felt it may have been emphasised at the expense of a more rounded recounting of his life.

I have the second and third books in this series and I'm looking forward to reading them too.

I received this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review. ( )
  LiteraryReadaholic | Mar 8, 2017 |
3.5 stars. There's a bit of a thrill in reading a story whose exact dates are lost in the mists of time. In this first novel of Albert's series, we are in the early years of the 7th century, perhaps in 616 or thereabouts. The Romans are long gone, leaving their ruins and their roads behind them; the raiders from the east have yet to come over the grey whale-road. Britain is split into kingdoms, roughly following the lines of the old tribal lands from the days of Boudica. But times are changing. A man who has moved from host to host, keeping one step ahead of the king who wants to kill him, has a dream of a united country, its petty kings subject to one overarching High King. It's a grand dream, for a man who doesn't even have a single kingdom to his name yet, but Edwin is shrewd and brave and has loyal men. As he inches his way back to power, his own rise is mirrored by that of a new religion, brought over from the Franks: a religion which will change the face of Britain forever...

The full review will be published on Thursday 2 March at the following link:
https://theidlewoman.net/2017/03/02/edwin-high-king-of-britain-edoardo-albert ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Feb 27, 2017 |
Really interesting story, I loved the references and utilization of Norse mythology. It was a clever way to present the vast transition in Britain from the Old religion to the Christian religion. The jumps in time were sometimes a little off putting, going from newly born child to a 7 year old was disconcerting. However, I understand the need to display that the transition between religions and mind sets did not simply occur over a few weeks. Overall, an interesting and fact based read. I feel educated! ( )
1 vote sasta | Feb 1, 2017 |
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Dedication
This book is dedicated to my mother and father, an Italian and a Sri Lankan, who made new lives in a cold northern land. Little did they suspect that their son would end up writing about it.
First words
"The king is going to kill you."
Quotations
The warrior king, always so decisive in battle, could never make up his mind in matters of religion, so had kept two temples, one for the old gods and one for the new. As far as Edwin could see, however, gods were, like kings, jealous and unwilling to share worship.
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Book description
Debut historical fiction series vividly recreating the rise of the Christian kings of Nothumbria, England

In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin’s usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure—the missionary Paulinus—who prophesies that he will ascend to greater heights than any of his forefathers.

Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life.

This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade—and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out.

The dramatic story of Northumbria’s Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.

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In 604 AD, Edwin, the deposed king of Northumbria, seeks refuge at the court of King Raedwald of East Anglia. But Raedwald is urged to kill his guest by Aethelfrith, Edwin's usurper. As Edwin walks by the shore, alone and at bay, he is confronted by a mysterious figure--the missionary Paulinus--who prophesies that he will ascend to greater heights than any of his forefathers. Through battles and astute political alliances Edwin rises to power, in the process marrying the Kentish princess Aethelburh. As part of the marriage contract the princess is allowed to retain her Christian faith. But, in these times, to be a king is not a recipe for a long life. This turbulent and tormented period in British history sees the conversion of the Anglo-Saxon settlers who have forced their way on to British shores over previous centuries, arriving first to pillage, then to farm and trade--and to come to terms with the faith of the Celtic tribes they have driven out. The dramatic story of Northumbria's Christian kings helped give birth to England as a nation, English as a language, and the adoption of Christianity as the faith of the English.… (more)

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