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Edwin:  High King of Britain

By Edoardo Albert

Edwin takes place during one the darkest of all English historical periods; the time between the Roman withdrawal and the Norman Conquest.  This is a period where myth and history collide, a time of Arthur, a time of Alfred and a time of Edwin.

The story revolves around Edwin, one of many Anglo-Saxon kings, he became “High King of Britain”.  Using this role, Edwin was a key character in introducing Christianity to the warrior / ruler class that was in power during the period.

Edwin was well written, and although I am no expert, the historical accuracy of the facts appears to be well researched.  Edoardo Albert had depicted life as it would have been in seventh century England.  He does an excellent job of describing the countryside, the buildings and the people.  I could picture myself riding alongside Edwin through the hills, looking over the great halls and the fallen Roman ruins of York.

For myself, I found there was too much build-up and not enough action.  The politics of being king far overshadowed the conquests of a great warrior king.  The battle scenes described were well done and depicted the horrors of a battle where you must look the man in the eye that you are about to kill.  I would have preferred more of this.

Edwin is a good debut novel for author Edoardo Albert.  I enjoyed this in depth look into a less well known part of English history; and even though I fully realize more history has been made in kings’ courts and through councils than in bloody battles, it is still the battles that I want to read about.

*3.5 Stars