The Sons of Godwine

The Last Great Saxon Earls, Book 2
Narrated by: Kevin E. Green
Series: The Last Great Saxon Earls, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 25 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Emerging from the long shadow cast by his formidable father, Harold Godwineson showed himself to be a worthy successor to the Earldom of Wessex. In the following 12 years, he became the king's most trusted advisor, practically taking the reins of government into his own hands. And on Edward the Confessor's death, Harold Godwineson mounted the throne - the first king of England not of royal blood. Yet Harold was only a man, and his rise in fortune was not blameless. Like any person aspiring to power, he made choices he wasn't particularly proud of. Unfortunately, those closest to him, sometimes, paid the price of his fame.

This is a story of Godwine's family as told from the viewpoint of Harold and his younger brothers. Queen Editha, known for her Vita Ædwardi Regis, originally commissioned a work to memorialize the deeds of her family, but after the Conquest historians tell us she abandoned this project. In The Sons of Godwine and Fatal Rivalry, I am telling the story as it might have survived, had she collected and passed on the memoirs of her tragic brothers.

Harold's siblings were all overshadowed by their famous brother; and in their memoirs, we see remarks tinged sometimes with admiration, sometimes with skepticism, and in Tostig's case, with jealousy. We see a Harold who is ambitious, self-assured, sometimes egocentric, imperfect, yet heroic. His own story is all about Harold, but his brothers see things a little differently. Throughout, their observations are purely subjective, and witnessing events through their eyes gives us an insider’s perspective.

Harold was his mother's favorite, confident enough to rise above petty sibling rivalry, but Tostig, next in line, was not so lucky. Harold would have been surprised by Tostig's vindictiveness, if he had ever given his brother a second thought. And that was the problem. Tostig's love/hate relationship with Harold would eventually destroy everything they worked for, leaving the country open to foreign conquest.

©2016 Mercedes Rochelle (P)2020 Mercedes Rochelle

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Credit Worthy Historical Fiction

The author's note at the end of this insightful historical fiction explains the unknown elements between historical fact and the credible fictional conclusions. Mercedes Rochelle fills in the blanks to give a complete history of the Earl of Wessex' family and the Duke of Normandy before the Norman Conquest of England. The narration was excellent. I look forward to the next book in this series.