By James Wilde

1067. The conflict of Hastings has been misplaced; Harold Godwinsson is useless. The iron fist of William the Bastard has all started to squeeze the lifestyles out of britain. Villages are torched and males, ladies and kids positioned to the sword because the Norman king makes an attempt to impose his merciless will upon this unruly nation.

But there's one that stands within the means of the invader's savagery. he's referred to as Hereward. he's a warrior and grasp tactician and as adept at slaughter because the imposter who sits upon the throne. And he's England's final hope.

In a Fenlands citadel of water and wild wooden, Hereward's resistance is simmering.

His military of outcasts grows via the day - a devil's military that emerges out of the mists and the evening, leaving demise in its wake.

But William isn't really simply cowed. below the command of his ruthless deputy, Ivo Taillebois - the fellow they name 'the Butcher' - the Norman forces will do no matter what it takes to weigh down the rebels, no matter if it capability razing England to the ground.

Here then is the story of the bloodiest uprising England has ever identified - the start of an epic fight that would echo down the years..

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Underneath chalk skies, within the face of the blizzard’s the teeth, they loped alongside the outdated slender tracks and the hidden byways. at the banks of the outdated Ouse the place the water flowed black and sluggish among the ice-choked river-edges, they crouched one of the sedges and the reeds and watched a bunch of ten Normans on horseback trek towards Earith. The king’s males stored their heads down within the merciless wind, their black cloaks pulled tightly round them. ‘Call me thick-headed, yet there turns out extra of these bastards on a daily basis, they usually wend ever in the direction of Ely,’ Guthrinc muttered, urgent apart the reeds to get a greater glance. ‘Have their numbers swollen? ’ Kraki growled, casting an inquisitive look in the direction of Hereward as though the chief have been retaining secrets and techniques from him. The Mercian narrowed his eyes, observing the Normans till they disappeared into the swirling snow. ‘If so, then it really is performed by means of stealth. ’ ‘Unless they become aware of we have now eyes and ears between their very own and are conserving their tongues,’ Guthrinc stated. ‘What does this suggest? The king is sly, and at his most threatening while he seems to be doing not anything. ’ wanting to think the warmth in their home-fires, the English ran the ultimate miles south around the frozen marsh to the sting of Hempsals Fen. There the flint of the slim causeway best domestic glittered like shards of ice. No crowd greeted their go back as they undergone the gates of Ely. the folks all huddled round their hearths for heat, hearing the effervescent of the tangy stews that sweetened the chilly air of the payment. yet because the cheers of the returning warriors rang out around the thatched roofs, Acha emerged, swaddled in a thick cloak of gray. Her darkish eyes mounted upon Hereward’s for a protracted second, they usually either said the unusual, unfathomable bond that had arisen among them because the summer time rebellion. With a curt nod, Hereward moved on, understanding it used to be unwise to reside an excessive amount of at the which means of these emotions. He saved his gaze at the snowy course, struggling with the urge to seem again to work out if Kraki had saw that fleeting glance. close to the song to his residing, a undergo waited. It was once simply as he neared that Hereward discovered it used to be a guy, wrapped in thick furs, his wild hair nearly obscuring his ruddy, wind-chapped face. He didn’t movement, and rather a lot snow had fallen on him it appeared as though he were there for days. As he peered into the face, the Mercian was once surprised to determine it was once Dunnere the miller. now not for lengthy months had Hereward noticeable him. due to the fact that his daughter had vanished, he had saved to the confines of his dusty mill and purely those that fetched the sacks from his door had noticeable him. via all that point, it appeared he had no longer reduce his hair, nor, from the odor of him, bathed. His nostril had the damaged veins of a guy who drank an excessive amount of ale and the outside lower than his eyes sagged down like melted wax. ‘Dunnere. it truly is solid to determine you,’ Hereward begun. ‘I request a boon,’ the miller acknowledged, ignoring all pleasantries. ‘Only you and your males may also help me now. ’ ‘Your daughter. ’ The long-missing lady may be the basically factor at the man’s brain.

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