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The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England

Hereward, Book 1
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 11 hrs and 19 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (114 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A rousing historical novel that rescues one of England’s forgotten heroes from the mists of early medieval history and brings him to brutal and bloody life in 1062, a time many fear is the End of Days. With the English King Edward heirless and ailing, across the grey seas in Normandy the brutal William the Bastard waits for the moment when he can drown England in a tide of blood. The ravens of war are gathering. But as King Edward’s closest advisors scheme and squabble amongst themselves, hopes of resisting the naked ambition of the Norman duke come to rest with just one man: Hereward.

To some a ruthless warrior and master tactician, to others a devil in human form, Hereward is as adept in the art of warfare as the foes that gather to claim England’s throne. But in his country’s hour of greatest need, his enemies at court have made him an outlaw. To stay alive - and a free man - he must carve a violent swathe from the frozen lands outside the capital.

The tale of a man whose deeds will become the stuff of legend, this is also the story of two mismatched allies: Hereward, the dark angel of war; and Alric, a man of peace, a monk. One man will risk everything to save the land he loves, the other will strive to save his friend’s soul.

©2013 James Wilde (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling Story

Great historical fiction definetly worth the credit. Researching the norman conquest of britain after starting th ebook (the term researching used very loosey) its fits its purpose in retelling the story based on what little of the original account that actally existed(at the time or suqsequently). I find that european history during this time is quite enthralling given that with every ascendancy to power atleast a few of the aspirants will be killed before hand or after, and being an heir more subject to a "mysterious:" early demise, or kidnapping or exile or all 3 in various order.

And for the performance.... its Simon Vance, need I say more. As always his performance is spot on not overly theatrical, no annoying shrill irritating inflections or croaking old ladys voices booming through.

All in all worth the credit if your leanings aren't delusional enough to preclude violence from nature.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dennis
  • FORT PIERCE, FL, United States
  • 11-18-14

Old English history with a good story line

Where does The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I was some what familiar with this period but this shed a new light on many of the characters involved in this period of history

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England?

Once the Normans had won and a true resistance started I felt that history would change for the English

What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Without a doubt Mr Vance is a true professional who has a talent to bring the characters to individual life Enjoyed all of his books

If you could take any character from The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England out to dinner, who would it be and why?

King Edward to try and get him to see reality of his situation

Any additional comments?

I am sure I will read more in the series and learn something of time old politics from ruthless men

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful read and story is great

Love it. I felt like I was there with him. I can't wait to read more by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed the story and good performance

The story is interesting the characters are engaging. While the battle sequences are not as detailed as from other authors who write fiction based on historical figures the story is worth a read or listen nonetheless. I liked the story well enough to purchase The Winter Warrior by the same author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not good enough to keep listening

The opening scene made it clear what sort of novel this was going to be: filled with caricatures, unrealistic dialogue, and over-the-top action scenes that are more annoying than exciting. I like Simon Vance as a narrator sometimes, but he doesn't help this story enough to make it redeemable.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

One Dimensional

Wilde clearly has a passion for history and the extent of his research is apparent. While that aspect is crucial for most fans of historical fiction, it doesn’t make up for a lack of depth in the story.

The scope of the story was far too large and the description of so many events came at the expense of theme and character development. There are glimpses of the dimensional story Wilde intended to tell, but the attempts at subtlety and foreshadowing in the beginning only made it difficult to follow because they hinted at a depth that just wasn’t there. The classic “show don’t tell” element of character development is lacking and it gives the whole story an incongruous, one dimensional feel. As a result, the character shift twist revealed toward the end is more irritating than shocking because the basis for it was too thinly developed.

I also have to mention that the battle scenes seem somehow both over-simplified and greatly exaggerated. Admittedly, I did just finish Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles so the bar in my mind for comparison was pretty high.

Although flat, the story is entertaining overall. Its an interesting peek into the time period and some of the key players outside of William the Conquerer.

One last note: the insistent use of the poetic term “whale-road” gets annoying.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Formulaic, okay but disappointing

What would have made The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England better?

This book seemed to be a formulaic "buddy-road movie," with two opposites forced together by circumstances. The plot is credible, but the dialog is sometimes as contrived as a reality TV show. Things that Cornwell or Kristian would have developed through internal dialog or action were explained through forced (and unrealistically long) conversation. Apologies to the author, but it felt like he was given the plot points by his agent and filled them in dutifully.

What was most disappointing about James Wilde’s story?

The author seems to have forgotten that Saxons and Danes did not speak the same language. This makes fluid dialog difficult, but other writers have managed it. Also, the protagonist enters the story as a fully-formed hero-on-a-quest, already the best swordsman in the country, blah, blah. Another chosen one, rather than a believable human. The sidekick is a whining stereotype of the dogmatic "silly Christian" and adds little except to give the hero an opportunity to explain everything.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Simon Vance's masterful talents are squandered on this book. His handling of the protagonist's voice is just a booming stereotype, and the sidekick is a whinging wimp, but I felt that this was more the material than the delivery.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The period in which it is set is fascinating, but several authors are tackling it at the same time.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to like it, but was unable to.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • WT
  • 01-11-16

couldnt even finish it

What would have made The Time of the Wolf: A Novel of Medieval England better?

poor writing, poor dialog and story line even worse delivery.

What do you think your next listen will be?

nothing by this author or reader

How did the narrator detract from the book?

voice and delivery

0 of 4 people found this review helpful