Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Battle for the Island Kingdom:
It’s good to be king. Until you get killed, probably by a family member.
A look at England and its rulers from 1000-1066.
Fact for Non-History People:
A mail hauberk (shirt made of metal links) could take a thousand-man hours to create.
Fact for History Nerds:
The name “Saxons” comes from the weapon they were known for, called the seax or sax.
My Take on Battle for the Island Kingdom:
There are two types of people who will love Don Hollway’s Battle for the Island Kingdom. First, people who go down Wikipedia rabbit holes and end up on an article like, ‘List of English Monarchs.” Then, you start reading about these people and see a cluster where a bunch of kings keep dying really early in their reigns. You ask yourself, “What the heck was going on here?” And yes, I am this type of person.
The second type of person who would love this book is pretty much everyone else. There is war, back-stabbing, polygamy, politics, poisonings, and a saint or two. What’s not to love? Hollway focuses specifically on the years 1000-1066 in England. Why these dates? Well, any history nerd (and/or British person) knows that in 1066 William the Conqueror decided to…conquer. But before that is a time period which does not get as many books written about it probably because it is very difficult to untangle the absolute mess that was the monarchy. Seriously, they recycled so many names. Luckily, Hollway keeps everything clear and concise while telling a great story.
Come on, don’t you want to learn more about Eadwig All-Fair? How could you not?
(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and Osprey Publishing.)
Just plain fantastic. Read it! Buy it here!
If You Liked This Try:
- Michael Livingston, Agincourt
- Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King
- Michael Jones, The Black Prince: England’s Greatest Medieval Warrior
- Justin Pollard, Alfred the Great