Title: Heir to a Prophecy
Author: Mercedes Rochelle
Genre: Historical Fiction
Shakespeare's Witches tell Banquo, "Thou Shalt 'Get Kings Though Thou Be None". Though Banquo is murdered, his son Fleance gets away. What happened to Fleance? What Kings?
The road to kingship had a most inauspicious beginning, and we follow Fleance into exile and death, passing the Witches' prophecy to his son Walter. Born on the wrong side of the blanket and raised in disgrace, Walter was caught inside of a destiny he barely understood. In an effort to untangle Banquo's murder and honor his lineage, Walter moved through events that shaped the course of England and Scotland. His relationships with the great men of his time drove his destiny: Harold Godwineson, Alain of Brittany and finally Malcolm III. After a long and treacherous journey through Wales, England, and France, Walter fulfilled the witches’ prophecy as the first Steward of Scotland and ancestor of James I—for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.
A sweeping chronicle of the time period from the late 10th C through the 11th C on the British Isles. The author took on the monumental task of putting life into the snippets of historical record and the lore that represents that time. Truly this book would make an incredible 3+ hour feature movie done in the style of a Lord of the Rings. I can honestly say if you are a fan of Lord of the Rings you will enjoy this book.
Fans of early English, Welsh and Scottish history will also want to read this book. As a historian, I did find the technical work crafted by the author to be impressive and extensive.
If I had any issue with this book, it was the seeming lack of direction exhibited in the last 25% to 30% of this work. It really seemed that in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Hastings, the book could have been brought to a nice conclusion.
I had first thought this was a book that was led by the prophetic sayings of the three witches - it seemed to be up to that point. Another one of my issues is that after their last appearance, they just seemed to disappear from the story.
Overall a great read that sheds new light on an era usually left in darkness. A very well-done piece of scholarly fiction.
My Rating: 4.5 stars
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Mercedes Rochelle is an ardent lover of medieval history, and has channeled this interest into fiction writing. She believes that good Historical Fiction, or Faction as it’s coming to be known, is an excellent way to introduce the subject to curious readers. Her first four books cover eleventh-century Britain and events surrounding the Norman Conquest of England. The next series is called The Plantagenet Legacy about the struggles and abdication of Richard II, leading to the troubled reigns of the Lancastrian Kings. She also writes a blog: HistoricalBritainBlog.com to explore the history behind the story. Born in St. Louis, MO, she received by BA in Literature at the Univ. of Missouri St.Louis in 1979 then moved to New York in 1982 while in her mid-20s to “see the world”. The search hasn’t ended! Today she lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N