Review: The Last Conquest – Berwick Coates

Hastings, October 1066. The Normans have landed in Sussex, ready for battle. They have prepared for everything about the English – except their absence…

Their enemy, King Harold and his fyrd, are hundreds of miles away, fighting to expel the Viking host in the north. But they have heard that William has landed and rumour is that they are marching back, triumphant and dangerous – and spoiling for a second victory.

Back in Sussex, Gilbert, a young scout in William’s army, is sent out in search of the enemy. He is dedicated and ambitious, and determined to be the first with news for his leader. Deep in the English countryside, Edwin, houndsman to King Harold, longs too for glory. He has missed the first battle against the Vikings, but he will not miss the second. He knows his king is about to make history, and he is going to be part of it. And as the action sweeps up towards the hilltop close to Hastings where Harold will plant his standard – defying the Bastard of Normandy to come and get it – the ground is laid for battle.

This is the story of the greatest battle ever seen on British soil and of the men who fought it. This is the story of the Battle of Hastings.

My thoughts:
This book takes place during a few days, leading up to the famous battle where England’s fate changed forever.

There are two leading POVS, but there are also a lot of other POVS, real and not real historical figures. The two leading POVS are those of Gilbert and Edwin. Gilbert is a young scout in the Duke’s army. He is trying to find his place and does not always have it easy. He also wants revenge on a man he does not even know.

Then there is Edwin, who takes care of King Harold’s hounds. He brings in a few other characters. A Saxon family living near the famous battle grounds. And they will meet the war firsthand.

A few hectic days, all while the saxon family that Edwin knows try to live as they always have. The book was interesting, but I also wanted more. I think it would have been better if the story would have focused solely on Edwin and Gilbert. Instead there where lots of POVS as the author wanted to show what happened, as these two were not always nearby to know. And I did like some of those POVS, like Baldwin de Clair. I wanted to know what he did after the war. Actually I wanted to know what everyone did after the war. Instead it ended, we got a few moments as people scattered, but I wanted to see. Now I can only hope they all got happy…well sort of happy.


This one is for the historical fiction fans.
Historical fiction

Hardcover, 560 pages
Published April 1st 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 1st 2013)
For Review



36 thoughts on “Review: The Last Conquest – Berwick Coates

  1. Carole Rae says:

    I'm the same way…I not only want to know…but I need to know what happens to the characters. It drives me crazy if they just leave it to your imagination. lol

  2. Jenny says:

    Hmmm I usually have trouble when there's lot of POVs because I just want to stay with the main two, but I can see how it might be a benefit in historical fiction. Glad you enjoyed this one!

  3. Blodeuedd says:

    I did google two of the guys too, to see what they were about after the war. And I recognized names that I have seen around in books 100 years later, cool

  4. Melissa (Books and Things) says:

    Sometimes a lot of POVs work when you need a lot of information, sometimes it's just too much. Often the 2 POVs as you suggest are usually best. Not overwhelming. Still, glad it seemed to be working for you and I might have to think about this one.

  5. Diana Leigh says:

    Ah, poor doomed King Harold. I've always been fascinated by this battle. Have you read The Wind From Hastings by Morgan Llywelyn? I enjoyed that one.

  6. Lauren Elizabeth says:

    Aww I hate when the author doesn't focus enough and the POVs are all over the place. Still this sounds like an interesting read, even if it did leave you wondering what happened to everyone after. Lovely review!

  7. Staci says:

    Love historical fiction but don't want to get too bogged down with too many details. However, I would give this one a shot.

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