Once again this old reader of books was asked to read and review an author’s muse inspired work. Once again this old reader of books was glad he said yes. 1066 What Fates Impose is, as the title indicates, a story of the Norman invasion of England and William the Bastard’s attempt to claim the throne. One of the reasons I like this book is that while William has his place in the story, it is King Harold Godwinson who is the main protagonist. The author does an excellent job in setting up Harold’s eventual rise to the crown and the problems he faces in keeping it. The story is rich in the feel and flavor of the times due to the historical research done by Mr. Holloway and the main characters are all well written. While the first third of the book does run a little slow(as the author sets up the rest of the book) the remainder qualifies as page turning material. An adventurous ride awaits the reader as the action flows from place to place setting up the climatic clash at Hastings and the world changing outcome of that battle. Give yourself a treat and delve into the world of 11th century life, warfare and history in this well written tale. 4 stars.
About G K Holloway
I was born in a small anonymous little town in the north of England where I lived the first twenty five years of my life. On leaving school I worked in a variety of jobs until I decided it was time for a change. Having always liked history, I thought I’d enjoy studying the subject for a degree, so, enrolling onto evening classes at my local college to take O Level and A Level courses, seemed the obvious thing to do.
After graduating from Coventry with an honours degree in English and Politics, I spent nearly a year in Canada before returning to England to train as a Careers Advisor in Bristol; a city I like so much I’m still living here thirty five years later. Once I’d qualified, I worked in secondary education before moving onto further education, adult education and eventually higher education.
The inspiration for my novel, ‘1066: What Fates Impose’, came from reading a biography of Harold Godwinson, that my wife bought me. I found the book really opened my eyes to the late Anglo Saxon era. Once I’d finished it I wanted to know more, so I read books about William the Conqueror, the Godwin family and then more and more about Anglo Saxon England. I found the history fascinating, full of marauding Vikings, papal plots, blood feuds, court intrigues, assassinations, so much so, I couldn’t believe the story hadn’t been covered more. So, I decided to do something myself. I researched everything I could about the period, including court etiquette; sword manufacturing techniques; everything. I also visited many of the locations that appear in the book, usually on family holidays and once I’d done all that, and it took quite some time, I wove together facts and fiction to produce the novel.
When writing the book I decided to stick as close as possible to the events and be as true to the characters as possible. For me it’s important to get the research right, so the reader has confidence in the story, knowing what they’re reading is the real thing. This is why Lady Godiva doesn’t ride naked through the streets of Coventry – It never happened. Besides, there was enough going on at that time for me not to have to add any additional spice to the story. Most of the events depicted in my book really happened with perhaps, one or two exceptions or manipulations. That is, I think, why the history comes alive.