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Publisher's Summary

Harold Godwineson, the Last Anglo-Saxon King, owed everything to his father. Who was this Godwine, first Earl of Wessex and known as the Kingmaker? Was he an unscrupulous schemer, using King and Witan to gain power? Or was he the greatest of all Saxon Earls, protector of the English against the hated Normans? The answer depends on who you ask. 

He was befriended by the Danes, raised up by Canute the Great, given an earldom and a wife from the highest Danish ranks. He sired nine children, among them four earls, a queen, and a future king. Along with his power came a struggle to keep his enemies at bay, and Godwine's best efforts were brought down by the misdeeds of his eldest son Swegn. 

Although he became father-in-law to a reluctant Edward the Confessor, his fortunes dwindled as the Normans gained prominence at court. Driven into exile, Godwine regathered his forces and came back even stronger, only to discover that his second son Harold was destined to surpass him in renown and glory.

©2015 Mercedes Rochelle (P)2020 Mercedes Rochelle

What listeners say about Godwine Kingmaker

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Very enjoyable listen

I'm a history buff, but have never studied this particular period of English history before. This book was excellent, it was entertaining, engaging and made the time fly! I normally listen to the book before bed and so I found myself staying up later than normal at times, so that I could find out what would happen next. Needless to say, it was well worth the time I spent listening since it was a really good story and well narrated too. The narrator did a good job with changing up the voices for each charactor so that I could tell who was speaking (some narrators don't do voices). I'm looking forward to listening to the next book soon!

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  • Al
  • 01-30-21

A tale of one of Engand's less-known influences

A solid historical fiction of one of many oft-forgotten "brains behind the throne" types. Godwine was half-Dane, half-Saxon, who was ineligible to rule either. Instead, he wields what power he can by placing others on the throne and offering them useful advice. Despite his one failure in securing the love of his wife, he sires a troop of sons who go on to rule.

Written with great historical accuracy, plenty of intrigue and action, this is a tale of one of the unsung heroes of history.

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An epic adventure

If you love a warrior epic adventure filled with Saxons and Danes, this story is for you. Performances are well matched to the text and clearly the author picked her narrator well.

At 10 1/2 hours long, i found the book way too long for my attention span. I would have enjoyed it much better if it were two hours long. The author did not hook me into her story tightly and I did not cling to every word. It was very easy to ignore the book while doing other things instead of giving it my full attention. But I do like this narrator.

I was gifted this audiobook by the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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The Saxsons are coming!

A great history tale about a credical time in English history. The hoard that was later called the Sazsons invaded England and this tale gives an entertaining description on how it all came about. The narrator did a great job. I received this Audio book for free in exchange for an unbiased review. A really good choice for those readers out there who enjoys real history.

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Excellent

History that comes to life. I couldn't wait to listen to the next chapter. Glad it is part 1

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This will be a forever classic!!!

This book. This incredible book! I love this book so much. It's one of the best books I've ever read... and I read A LOT OF BOOKS. It's exciting, well-researched, and honestly a time in history I knew almost nothing about. It was like reading Ken Follett combined with Bernard Cornwell, yet with a unique voice all at the same time.
I loved this book so much, I was heartbroken when it was over.
EXCELLENT narration. Fabulous! Spot on!

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Phenomenal

The Last Great Saxon Earls is phenomenal! I felt fully transported back to the middle ages through great narration and storytelling. The story of how Godwine came to power favored by Canute the King and his marriage to Gytha was exceptional. My favorite part was Godwine and Gytha’s early struggles and breakthrough in their marriage. Narrator Kevin E. Green captures it perfectly!

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Worth the ctedit

Some dry parts but if you enjoy historical fiction you'll enjoy this. Great Narrator

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Great Story Line

I was super excited to start this book. I thoroughly enjoy Norse, viking, Saxon, and Danish sagas. This book did not disappoint. The narration was superb.

I enjoyed the book so much I went ahead and purchased the second book in the series.

I was given a free copy of this book and have chosen to leave an unbiased review.

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The Godwineson Dynasty

Great start to a series. This time period in England's history is so fascinating. Invasion after invasion and a dynasty that was set up to reign forever. They go from Exile to Earl to exile to Earl's within a generation. The Godwineson story is way better that any fiction. Cant wait for book 2. The only critique I have is that I wish it was a much longer book.

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  • Mariel
  • 01-29-21

A historic insight.

Godwine the Kingmaker (The Last Great Saxon Earls #1)
by Mercedes Rochelle
Narrated by Kevin E.Green

I received a copy from the author and I am voluntarily leaving a review.
A day like any other for Godwine, a young Saxon boy, when appearing suddenly in front of him appears a Dane.Godwine son of Wulfnoth makes a choice that day, little does he know just how much that choice will affect the rest of his life.
The Dane, Godwine discovers is Ulf, a Danish Earl. He makes an unusual friend that day in this Dane who over time becomes more of a father to him than maybe his own ever had been. Ulf serves and is married to the sister of King Cnut/Canute the Great, who becomes King of Denmark,England and Norway.
Godwine falls in love with Ulfs' sister, Gytha, intially out of his league but through his dedicated hard work and loyalty to the King, Godwine rises in rank and power becomong one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful Earl of England, the first Earl of Wessex.
Being one part of history that I know little about, through the book and the narration I feel that experienced the characters goals and struggles. I was left with a feeling of sadness for Godwine, no matter his good intentions it appears he constantly struggled and battled against his enemies or maybe it was simply misunderstanding. It definitely felt that in many situations the choice was not his to make and no matter what he decided it was always seen as the wrong choice, a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't!
The audiobook is narrated by Kevin E.Green who successfully differentiates between the text,dialogue and male/female personas brilliantly, his voice and style definitely lends itself to this period . I particularly appreciated the subtle change in Godwine's tone as he aged and gained life experience although I do feel that in some parts the narration is a little too fast.
This is one of the most fascinating eras in history when allegiance quickly changed, Mercedes Rochelle brings these characters wonderfully to life, giving the reader the chance to witness the stories they have to tell once more.After completeing this book, I thank the author for evoking my thirst for knowledge of this period and discovering the lives of these larger than life personalities.