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The Dragon and the Raven by G. A. Henty, Fiction, Historical

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In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen. King Alfred was learned, wise, brave, prudent and pious; devoted to his people, clement to his conquered enemies. He was as great in peace as in war; and yet few know the tale of Alfred's reign. . . George Alfred Henty was a prolific In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen. King Alfred was learned, wise, brave, prudent and pious; devoted to his people, clement to his conquered enemies. He was as great in peace as in war; and yet few know the tale of Alfred's reign. . . George Alfred Henty was a prolific English novelist and war correspondent. He is best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century. In the days of King Alfred, when the whole country of Britain was for years overrun by hordes of pagan barbarians, who slaughtered, plundered, and destroyed at will. From this terrible state of subjection and suffering the Saxons were rescued by the prudence, the patience, the valor and wisdom of King Alfred. In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen.


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In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen. King Alfred was learned, wise, brave, prudent and pious; devoted to his people, clement to his conquered enemies. He was as great in peace as in war; and yet few know the tale of Alfred's reign. . . George Alfred Henty was a prolific In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen. King Alfred was learned, wise, brave, prudent and pious; devoted to his people, clement to his conquered enemies. He was as great in peace as in war; and yet few know the tale of Alfred's reign. . . George Alfred Henty was a prolific English novelist and war correspondent. He is best known for his historical adventure stories that were popular in the late 19th century. In the days of King Alfred, when the whole country of Britain was for years overrun by hordes of pagan barbarians, who slaughtered, plundered, and destroyed at will. From this terrible state of subjection and suffering the Saxons were rescued by the prudence, the patience, the valor and wisdom of King Alfred. In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen.

30 review for The Dragon and the Raven by G. A. Henty, Fiction, Historical

  1. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    Number 10 on my Progressive Reading Challenge list, The Dragon and The Raven Or: The Day Of King Alfred is a story of England before it was England, back in the years when the Saxons were dealing with the marauding Danes in the mid- to late 800's. Our hero Edmund is just fourteen years old as the story opens, but he quickly becomes a man and a warrior, and we follow his adventures as he does his share in the battle for his God and his country. I was vaguely disappointed with the book for a couple Number 10 on my Progressive Reading Challenge list, The Dragon and The Raven Or: The Day Of King Alfred is a story of England before it was England, back in the years when the Saxons were dealing with the marauding Danes in the mid- to late 800's. Our hero Edmund is just fourteen years old as the story opens, but he quickly becomes a man and a warrior, and we follow his adventures as he does his share in the battle for his God and his country. I was vaguely disappointed with the book for a couple of reasons. I was expecting more focus on King Alfred himself, but although we meet him now and then (once in a delightful scene when he was hiding in the swamps and was being scolded by the woman of the house for burning some oat-cakes he was supposed to be tending; she had no idea he was the King) he was very much a background figure and young Edmund was the star of the show. Understandable, since it seems that most of Henty's books were written to introduce and explain a bit of history for schoolboys, but I personally would have enjoyed seeing more about King Alfred. Also, parts of the story felt more like a history text than a story. There are ways to weave historic details into a story without having them feel like intrusions, but at least in this book, I do not think Henty managed that. In the opening chapters when Edmund is waiting for the return of his father, he goes out and checks his fish traps and such, and the descriptions of them are very interesting. But then when the father arrives we get a chapter or so of conversation that gives us the background to the story. It is not smooth and natural, it feels like Henty hit the Pause button and added The History Lesson. There are a couple of other titles of his I would like to read, one set at Agincourt and the other in the Crimean War, so I hope in those he manages to make the blend between history and story a bit smoother. When the action does get started, Henty is an exciting writer, so I can almost forgive him his clunkiness otherwise. I especially enjoyed the naval battles between the Danes and Edmund's men on their ship the Dragon. I thought these bits were the best part of the book. There is a bit of romance, and quite a lot of moralizing about how civilization was saved thanks to King Alfred. I could have done without most of that, but when it became too thick, I just skimmed over it. I was tickled by all of the names beginning with E. I know it is from the old Saxon language, but because of the way Henty revealed his background, there were a few early paragraphs full of Edmund, Ethelbald, Ethelwulf, Ethelbert, Ethelred, and Egbert. Later Elswitha is mentioned (King Alfred's wife) and even later we meet Freda, who eventually becomes Elfrida. Oh, and I mustn't forget the battle of Ethandune, that showed up later too. But when you read all those E names in one clump, they can be real tongue-twisters. Overall for me, this book was an introduction to this period of history, and I would like to learn more about King Alfred and his day. Which of course is exactly what Henty intended, isn't it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Steve Hemmeke

    My first read of G.A. Henty’s 140 or so books, I came away somewhat satisfied. The main character, fictional Edmund, is placed in the historical events of King Alfred’s early reign when the Danish Vikings were plundering and overrunning divided England. Edmund, through discipline of himself and his men, helps push back the Norsemen. He acts with honor and courage even when captured. He thinks ahead and plans wisely, fighting in defense of his country, but never for his own aggrandizement. I read a My first read of G.A. Henty’s 140 or so books, I came away somewhat satisfied. The main character, fictional Edmund, is placed in the historical events of King Alfred’s early reign when the Danish Vikings were plundering and overrunning divided England. Edmund, through discipline of himself and his men, helps push back the Norsemen. He acts with honor and courage even when captured. He thinks ahead and plans wisely, fighting in defense of his country, but never for his own aggrandizement. I read after finishing that Henty was a war correspondent, and that makes sense. Sometimes his writing is rather factual and historical – not always an engaging plot-mover. But he writes mainly for young boys, both to convey history and encourage their personal virtue – a uniquely edifying purpose in books for young readers these days. Three themes I appreciated: 1. The contrast of Viking to English worldview. Do the strong take what they can for themselves, or use their strength to protect and provide for the weak? Henty more shows and assumes this by how the (his)story goes than preaches about it. 2. Strength and dominance is not always with the virtuous and the Christian. Living at this point of time in the West we can forget this point, though events are pressing it upon us again as we become more and more post-Christian. 3. Unity and teamwork are a critical element to being strong. Edmund’s soldiers don’t succeed until they work together and follow orders in the middle of battles. Coordinated plans with multiple fronts acting together succeed. May God give us the strength in these days to be self-controlled, work together for the good of others, and to look to our good Lord Jesus Christ for mercy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Because_I'm_Batman

    This was a book I had to read for school and I must say I enjoyed it, it was a nice story that told the history surrounding that time period in a fantastic way. It was a rather straight forward style of writing with okay dialogue, the further I got the more sucked in I was.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jed

    I read a lot of Henty when I was around twelve. This is classic brit lit for boys jingoistic and sensational. Lots of fun if you are the right age.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    Had so much fun listening to this with Ryan. :)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Conrad

    Should note that children’s action-adventure isn’t my genre—I’m 77 and write character-driven novels—but I try to reach outside my tastes to see what the rest of the world is like. This 1892 novel is set in Saxon England, charting the battles with the ravaging Danes in the days of King Alfred. It’s full of battles, noble patriotic sentiments in stilted dialogue, good vs. evil, pitting English patriots against wolfish Danes. Henty has been criticized for his racist and imperial sentiments—this re Should note that children’s action-adventure isn’t my genre—I’m 77 and write character-driven novels—but I try to reach outside my tastes to see what the rest of the world is like. This 1892 novel is set in Saxon England, charting the battles with the ravaging Danes in the days of King Alfred. It’s full of battles, noble patriotic sentiments in stilted dialogue, good vs. evil, pitting English patriots against wolfish Danes. Henty has been criticized for his racist and imperial sentiments—this really doesn’t contain much of that, other than a general sense of the nobility of the Christian Saxons and the nastiness of the Pagans. It’s a pedestrian formula thing, effective in drawing us forward along a familiar path, with no complexity of character that interfere with the carnival ride. A bit too many battles that are “desperate struggles, but at last…” I would have enjoyed it when I was a kid, though I’m very glad our own kids never read it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Issabella

    This has an amazing plot, however, it brushes over plot in favor of more detail to historical fact that as far as a work of fiction, I found it sorely lacking, but as an informative historical work with fiction, it is very precise and enlightening of the time that built ours. If it were a bit better written, it would be amazing.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Going to check out the unabridged audio at the library for Jacob. He is studying Asser's King Alfred in AO Y7 term 1...krb 9/26/19

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katja

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I love this book so much. Edmund is such a great character—so mature and manly and steady. I love Freda too, and Seigbert, and Egbert too. (Can we just appreciate all the lovely Saxon names? :D). I also really love King Alfred—such a hero. And then it’s all about the Vikings/Danes, which I also love... There is one kiss mentioned in passing and a mention that a man had the honour of a woman in his power. There was a lot of history in this book but the history is so stirrin 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I love this book so much. Edmund is such a great character—so mature and manly and steady. I love Freda too, and Seigbert, and Egbert too. (Can we just appreciate all the lovely Saxon names? :D). I also really love King Alfred—such a hero. And then it’s all about the Vikings/Danes, which I also love... There is one kiss mentioned in passing and a mention that a man had the honour of a woman in his power. There was a lot of history in this book but the history is so stirring/exciting that I enjoyed it.  A Favourite Quote: “From this terrible state of subjection and suffering the Saxons were rescued by the prudence, the patience, the valour and wisdom of King Alfred. In all subsequent ages England has produced no single man who united in himself so many great qualities as did this first of great Englishmen. He was learned, wise, brave, prudent, and pious; devoted to his people, clement to his conquered enemies. He was as great in peace as in war; and yet few English boys know more than a faint outline of the events of Alfred's reign—events which have exercised an influence upon the whole future of the English people.” A Favourite Humorous Quote: “...their desire to renew the fight vanished when they saw that the Saxons were equally ready.”

  10. 5 out of 5

    ellie garrett

    This book was TERRIBLE. The timelines were skewed, the characters shallow, the plot (if you can even call it a plot) incredibly boring and repetitive. We spent more time learning about ninth century battle formations and battlefields than we did any sort of story. There was a forced and completely random romance that consisted of one short dialogue debating Christianity and then marriage. There was a dog who randomly disappeared with no explanation after two chapters. The main character was figh This book was TERRIBLE. The timelines were skewed, the characters shallow, the plot (if you can even call it a plot) incredibly boring and repetitive. We spent more time learning about ninth century battle formations and battlefields than we did any sort of story. There was a forced and completely random romance that consisted of one short dialogue debating Christianity and then marriage. There was a dog who randomly disappeared with no explanation after two chapters. The main character was fighting literally every battle in the war, which is completely unrealistic. And, every character but two's names started with E, which made the book even MORE confusing. I honestly could summarize the book in one sentence. The Danes invade, so Edmund the 14 year old takes them on, wins a bunch of brief battles, and then they win. The end. I wish I could give this zero stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Eustacia Tan

    G.A Henty's stories are aimed at boys and are super patriotic, to the point of offending those that aren't British. As a result, all his heroes are blond boys. Thankfully, this is believable in The Dragon and the Raven, unlike The Cat of Bubastes (really, a blond boy in Ancient Egypt?). Apart from being suspiciously similar to English boys, his characters also approach the Gary Sue character, being brave and heroic and .. and ... zzzz. I actually read it more for the descriptions of the period o G.A Henty's stories are aimed at boys and are super patriotic, to the point of offending those that aren't British. As a result, all his heroes are blond boys. Thankfully, this is believable in The Dragon and the Raven, unlike The Cat of Bubastes (really, a blond boy in Ancient Egypt?). Apart from being suspiciously similar to English boys, his characters also approach the Gary Sue character, being brave and heroic and .. and ... zzzz. I actually read it more for the descriptions of the period of the time than for the characters. The Dragon and the Raven is set in the period of King Alfred, where the Saxons were fighting against the Danes (the Vikings). It's got a lot of fighting scense, which are long and to be honest, kind of boring, but is quite an interesting read nonetheless. However, early on in the book, our protagonist (not even a supporting character) speaks against equality. There is always a romance in these books, and thankfully, the romance between Edmund (the protagonist) and his love interest is more believable because it wasn't added last minute. I actually knew it was coming, although I'd have liked it to be a bit more developed (well, at least he fought for her). "Why father" Edmund exclaimed in astonisment, "surely you would not have all men free and equal." "The idea seems strange to you, no doubt, Edmund, and it appears only natural that some men should be born to rule and others to labour.... their race is no doubt inferior to our own, Edmund." But compared to the mis-understood theory of Christianity in the book, the racism is almost excusable. Although all characters claim to be Christians, they don't seem to have any real love of Christ or understanding of Christianity. There is no reference to the changing power of the Grace of Christ, but rather, the main impetus for conversions would be the "peacefulness" of Christianity. It's not the peace that surpasess understanding, but mainly the lack of war. I think this next quote sums up the author's understanding of Christianity, that it is for civilised people rather than being Truth that is for everyone: "So long as men's lives are spent wholly in war they may worship gods like yours, but when once settled in peaceful pursuits they will assuredly recognise the beauty and holiness of the life of Christ." Seriously, "beauty and holiness"? It should be something like "Christ died for all men, and we believe that when you experience the truth of this, you will come to love him as we do". But then again, none of the characters appears to have understood the heart of Christianity (but they definitely have the trappings of religion down pat). First posted at Inside the mind of a Bibliophile

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Enfield

    I found this book while wandering the aisles at my local library a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I don't go with a certain book in mind. I just walk passed the search computers (remember when you had to know how to use a card catalog?), and just start looking at books at random. I've stumbled across a few gems that I might have otherwise never even thought to search for in the computer. The Dragon and the Raven artfully blends history and historical fiction in an entertaining way. It weaves a compell I found this book while wandering the aisles at my local library a few weeks ago. Sometimes, I don't go with a certain book in mind. I just walk passed the search computers (remember when you had to know how to use a card catalog?), and just start looking at books at random. I've stumbled across a few gems that I might have otherwise never even thought to search for in the computer. The Dragon and the Raven artfully blends history and historical fiction in an entertaining way. It weaves a compelling drama about characters you can come to care about into the tapestry of pre-Battle of Hastings British history. If you are interested in medieval battles, both on land and sea, this book is for you. Travel all across Britain, including many places you can still find on a map and some that have new names since then, and 'see' them through the prose as they once were long ago. Then, up to Norway and as far South as the Southern coast of Italy. I'll not give away any of the plot as the twists and events in the plot are quite compelling, especially when you don't already know what will happen next. I'll just say that even if you know nothing of history, you'll still enjoy this book as much as any fantasy story.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Rabe

    All I can say is: I'm so glad we're finally finished with this book. I have heard so many homeschoolers rave about G.A. Henty, and we have tried off and on over the years to read him. The problem is I just don't find him an inspiring writer. He includes so many details and descriptions that are not necessary, and none of them are the kind that make the reader's heart soar. Yes, we learned many facts about the battles between the Saxons and Danes, a glimpse of King Alfred, and a taste of life in All I can say is: I'm so glad we're finally finished with this book. I have heard so many homeschoolers rave about G.A. Henty, and we have tried off and on over the years to read him. The problem is I just don't find him an inspiring writer. He includes so many details and descriptions that are not necessary, and none of them are the kind that make the reader's heart soar. Yes, we learned many facts about the battles between the Saxons and Danes, a glimpse of King Alfred, and a taste of life in England in the late 800s, but it was far too unsatisfying a reward for plowing through the bland writing and lame dialogue. Remind me of this the next time I am tempted to pull another Henty off the shelf for our readaloud time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Ricker

    Part of my lack of enthusiasm for this book is probably due to the audiobook narrator, who managed to make even the exciting bits sound terribly dull, and who dragged out the last couple words of his sentences in an oddddd fashiooon. But the story itself lost me at points, especially since the book alternated between following one main character's story and going off on long summaries of historical events. Good historical fiction makes you feel as though you were present, not as though you're si Part of my lack of enthusiasm for this book is probably due to the audiobook narrator, who managed to make even the exciting bits sound terribly dull, and who dragged out the last couple words of his sentences in an oddddd fashiooon. But the story itself lost me at points, especially since the book alternated between following one main character's story and going off on long summaries of historical events. Good historical fiction makes you feel as though you were present, not as though you're sitting through a lecture of the most significant events of the time period.

  15. 5 out of 5

    momma.hailey

    Historical fiction from a biblical world view. Does it get any better?!? The Dragon and the Raven Dramatic audio (lamplighter publishing style) by G.A. Henty. We recently listened to this epic story of King Alfred of Wessex standing against the Danes as they invade England in the late 800s. I cannot recommend this enough. You don't be disappointed. My entire family listened (ages 1-39) and we all loved it......well.....the 1 year old napped during most of it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bill Tillman

    Great children's tale as told by one of the 19th century's great authors.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kent Keifer

    I love books about the middle ages, so I would have enjoyed this book no matter what. Although this is considered a classic, and Henty is known for his historical accuracy, I wouldn't rate this as a great book. Henty wrote in Victorian times and his characters speak like they're from Victorian times. They are very proper in their speech and it's pretty hard to imagine this formal speech in the heat of battle. Henty definitely favors the English in this book, with the main character being a flawl I love books about the middle ages, so I would have enjoyed this book no matter what. Although this is considered a classic, and Henty is known for his historical accuracy, I wouldn't rate this as a great book. Henty wrote in Victorian times and his characters speak like they're from Victorian times. They are very proper in their speech and it's pretty hard to imagine this formal speech in the heat of battle. Henty definitely favors the English in this book, with the main character being a flawless Hero, and the English being completely good and the Vikings bad. I'm used to modern books with flawed heroes, and it's hard for me to imagine someone being as perfect as Edward and King Alfred are presented in this book. The book did take me back to the books of my childhood though, when the world was very black and white, and I could really believe and celebrate the noble deeds of the brave knights in conquering evil. I still feel we can celebrate the great patriotism and bravery of these men, while considering that there is always another side with their own set of heroes and tales of lore. I believe the story of the Danish invasion of the British Isles and the many efforts of the Saxons and others to push them back is fascinating, and if you don't mind the strongly English bias, this is an inspiring tale with a cross-cultural love story as well.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    On my third attempt I have finally made it through this book. Kindle, paper, and finally audio did it. This book is good for what it is, (a historical fiction war account) I simply don't like descriptions of war. Not my cup of tea. The front of this book is mostly long and detailed battle retellings and those are really hard for me to read. I just can't get into them. The back half of the book however is much more interesting. Lots of sea voyages, some kidnapping, and a sweet romance. The milita On my third attempt I have finally made it through this book. Kindle, paper, and finally audio did it. This book is good for what it is, (a historical fiction war account) I simply don't like descriptions of war. Not my cup of tea. The front of this book is mostly long and detailed battle retellings and those are really hard for me to read. I just can't get into them. The back half of the book however is much more interesting. Lots of sea voyages, some kidnapping, and a sweet romance. The militant Christianity was kind of difficult for me, but when I was able to read this book as simply a telling of what the people thought at the time instead of trying to read it as the way Christians *should* think I was able to enjoy the rest of the book and have some good thoughts sparked too. I do always like to know and understand what people were thinking when they made a decision even if it is not a thought I would ever have or condone.

  19. 5 out of 5

    GeekZone

    The Dragon and the Raven is a book about a man named Edmund. He is a young Saxon who finds his home in Britain during the time of Vikings and warriors. He is a valiant fighter, who proves himself time and time aging in the duration of the book. The Dragon and the Raven is a Christian set war book that deals with many Christian themes, such as, how Christians can fight in wars, and Christian marriages. The author is an articulate writer using a delightful fantasy tale to depict a Christian view o The Dragon and the Raven is a book about a man named Edmund. He is a young Saxon who finds his home in Britain during the time of Vikings and warriors. He is a valiant fighter, who proves himself time and time aging in the duration of the book. The Dragon and the Raven is a Christian set war book that deals with many Christian themes, such as, how Christians can fight in wars, and Christian marriages. The author is an articulate writer using a delightful fantasy tale to depict a Christian view of war. I very much enjoyed this book, and almost prefer it over C.S. Lewis' The Last Battle or J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. It's a great middle-level read even though, just like C.S Lewis adults or advanced readers can enjoy it just as much. Even if you are not keen on Christan type books, this fantasy novel is an amazing story I think any person could benefit from it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ron Smorynski

    Yah know... at first I was like... this is weird... the pacing was... weird! It sure ain't like modern fiction methinks. There would be narratives then suddenly months or years would pass by in a sentence or two! I'm like... wow. But I guess you gotta do that. Its about 1 young earl who fights vikings and kind of feels almost like my Alfred book series in a way. He comes up with novel ways of fighting and the vikings ability to defeat farming England really sets up an untenable & interesting sit Yah know... at first I was like... this is weird... the pacing was... weird! It sure ain't like modern fiction methinks. There would be narratives then suddenly months or years would pass by in a sentence or two! I'm like... wow. But I guess you gotta do that. Its about 1 young earl who fights vikings and kind of feels almost like my Alfred book series in a way. He comes up with novel ways of fighting and the vikings ability to defeat farming England really sets up an untenable & interesting situation. Definitely gives interesting and somewhat probable notions of what folks back then thought and how they acted. I've actually never read anything like this, it kind of felt more like the writing of a graphic novel than a novel. If I may so. But left me with lots of invigorating imagery and action sequences.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Sheaffer

    The first half is rather slow with plentiful battle scenes. The second half gets more exciting as the reader becomes more devoted to Edmund and his noble strength. He is a brave and chivalrous hero who is "fighting for his country and his people" (page 71) and who "loves not war nor strife" (page 71). Instead, Edmund pursues "kindness, charity, unselfishness" (page 73). * This book was written in 1886 by G.A. Henry. The story is set in the late 9th century during the rule of Alfred The Great. I The first half is rather slow with plentiful battle scenes. The second half gets more exciting as the reader becomes more devoted to Edmund and his noble strength. He is a brave and chivalrous hero who is "fighting for his country and his people" (page 71) and who "loves not war nor strife" (page 71). Instead, Edmund pursues "kindness, charity, unselfishness" (page 73). * This book was written in 1886 by G.A. Henry. The story is set in the late 9th century during the rule of Alfred The Great. I am curious about how much of the story is actual history as opposed to fiction. * Best for 8th grade and up due to the complexity of the language. A mastery of history helps to bring the story to life.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I had to read this for school and I surprisingly enjoyed it. Im not usually a fan of war focused books so it was the only on of that genre i've somewhat liked. I however thought that in some parts the story was a bit slow or the text was packed with historical information. I do like the overall style of G.A. Henty's writing so that and listening to it on an audiobook helped get through the boring bits. I loved that it included a story line and wasn't just focused on the historical aspect all of I had to read this for school and I surprisingly enjoyed it. Im not usually a fan of war focused books so it was the only on of that genre i've somewhat liked. I however thought that in some parts the story was a bit slow or the text was packed with historical information. I do like the overall style of G.A. Henty's writing so that and listening to it on an audiobook helped get through the boring bits. I loved that it included a story line and wasn't just focused on the historical aspect all of the time. In the end, I personally enjoyed it a lot and am now interested in reading other books by him.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ross Anderson

    Not bad. Not particularly spectacular, either. I have a feeling this would constitute a gripping novel 150 years ago, but it is hard to climb out from behind today's standards. I felt dissatisfied at not seeing what modern fiction is rated on: hearing characters' mental monologues, careful precautions against info-dumping, and a climactic conquest of the villain by the hero. Still, worth reading, especially to gain a good understanding of 19th-century historical fiction or what an adventure stor Not bad. Not particularly spectacular, either. I have a feeling this would constitute a gripping novel 150 years ago, but it is hard to climb out from behind today's standards. I felt dissatisfied at not seeing what modern fiction is rated on: hearing characters' mental monologues, careful precautions against info-dumping, and a climactic conquest of the villain by the hero. Still, worth reading, especially to gain a good understanding of 19th-century historical fiction or what an adventure story set during the time of Alfred the Great would entail.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I listened to this as an audiobook during work. I picked it at random from a list of Duke Classics at the library. It was painful get through. More a work of historical information than a novel with a plot. The constant stream of Danes, Saxons, Edmund, and battles was drawn out and exceedingly boring. It took me a month to get through this. I only finished it because I was stubborn. Henty is not for me. Honestly I don't know if I'd even count this as a book I read. I couldn't keep my attention a I listened to this as an audiobook during work. I picked it at random from a list of Duke Classics at the library. It was painful get through. More a work of historical information than a novel with a plot. The constant stream of Danes, Saxons, Edmund, and battles was drawn out and exceedingly boring. It took me a month to get through this. I only finished it because I was stubborn. Henty is not for me. Honestly I don't know if I'd even count this as a book I read. I couldn't keep my attention and spaced out through so much of it. At the end I put the audio on double speed.

  25. 4 out of 5

    La Haynes

    It was slow reading through the Introduction, Preface, and first-second chapters. Since I was generally unfamiliar with the geography of England (and France), and this time of history, I spent a good amount of time studying maps, which I enjoyed. I am glad to have Henty’s word pictures filling in this part of history. So glad that I don’t have to slog through marshes, or travel with warriors. This story showed me that the “English” section of my heritage is more likely a complex mixture of Europ It was slow reading through the Introduction, Preface, and first-second chapters. Since I was generally unfamiliar with the geography of England (and France), and this time of history, I spent a good amount of time studying maps, which I enjoyed. I am glad to have Henty’s word pictures filling in this part of history. So glad that I don’t have to slog through marshes, or travel with warriors. This story showed me that the “English” section of my heritage is more likely a complex mixture of European ancestry. Misleading: The illustrations make the Danes look blonde, instead of dark haired.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rick Stuckwisch

    Another great book from Mr. Henty, this one focusing on the Norman invasions of Engalnd in the 9th Century. As usual, a fictional main character is featured with a narrative woven through the historical events. While my young listeners are somewhat amused by the similar patterns to be found in the fictional elements of Mr. Henty's book, we enjoy his stories very much, and we are finding them a great way to become familiar with actual history.

  27. 4 out of 5

    George

    This historical adventure novel opens in 870 and quickly moves to 875 (continues for another 20 years) England when Danes are overrunning the Saxon kingdoms and a Saxon King Alfred must fight to save his ravished land. It opens with then 14 year old Edmond and the story unfolds through his eyes. He becomes Alfred's friend and and grows into a major Saxon warrior and leader.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This was an interesting read to learn more about the time period and King Alfred (to the small extent that he appeared in this story). (view spoiler)[The ending was anti-climatic for me. Why did they get married? Why did he love her? That wasn't developed, which stood out against all the rich imagery and historical details in the rest of the story. (hide spoiler)] This was an interesting read to learn more about the time period and King Alfred (to the small extent that he appeared in this story). (view spoiler)[The ending was anti-climatic for me. Why did they get married? Why did he love her? That wasn't developed, which stood out against all the rich imagery and historical details in the rest of the story. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I am still trying to understand if there are two levels of the storyline or some strange method of descriptive narration. It seems to be too cold for non-fiction and too emotional for documentary. Hope that was the idea.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Bill Suits

    This was a lot different than I thought it would be. I liked the first part and the Siege of Paris storyline but then it went somewhere I did not want to go. Background for further reading is there though.

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