Sworn Sword by James Aitcheson – Blog Tour and Book Review

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I received a free copy of Sworn Sword from Sourcebooks for my honest review.

About the Book:

January, 1069: Less than three years after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the death of the usurper, Harold Godwineson, two thousand Normans march in the depths of winter to subdue the troublesome province of Northumbria. Tancred a Dinant,a loyal and ambitious knight, is among them, hungry for battle, honor, silver, and land.

But at Durham, the Normans are ambushed in the streets by English rebels, and Tancred’s revered lord Robert de Commines is slain. Badly wounded, Tancred barely escapes with his own life. Bitterly determined to seek vengeance for his lord’s murder, the dauntless knight quickly becomes entrenched in secret dealings between a powerful Norman magnate and a shadow from the past. As the Norman and English armies prepare to clash, Tancred uncovers a cunning plot that harks back to the day of Hastings itself. If successful, it threatens to destroy the entire conquest—and change the course of history.

This stunning debut sweeps readers into a ruthless, formidable world, where violent warriors seek honor in holy places and holy men seek glory in dark deeds. As the two opposing forces battle for conquest, the fate of England hangs in the balance.

About the Author:

James Aitcheson was born in Wiltshire, England in 1985 and studied History at Cambridge. Sworn Sword is his first novel, praised byThe Mail on Sunday, Historical Novels Review, Publishers Weekly, and bestselling author Ben Kane, among others. The second installment, The Splintered Kindgom, is forthcoming.

My Opinion:

Tancred is a knight following his lord as they move into Northumbria post Hastings. It’s 1069 and things are not settled for William the Conqueror in England, especially in the North. In a surprise attack while Tancred and some of his men are out scouting the town is attacked and his Lord, Robert Commines is killed. Wounded while fighting, he and two friends managed to escape and find help for Tancred’s wound the next town up. There Tancred reluctantly agrees to a task for a new lord despite wanting to stay, fight the enemy and be the one to kill Edgar the Aethling – the one who leads the rebels and therefore responsible for the death of his former master.

And the woman he continues to dream about. Who he knew for about six months, couldn’t communicate with because he speaks French and she spoke English but hey, the sex was good. He still mourns her. Endlessly.

His sword arm itches a lot too. In fact if it itched one more time I was going to take a sword and cut it off. I appreciate that Tancred is a warrior. I appreciate that Tancred wants to fight but seriously there has to be another way to express it other than his sword arm itching. I did read an ARC so maybe this was corrected in the final copy.

Maybe I shouldn’t type reviews when I have a headache. My two major complaints being expressed I can write that I did find the book readable.The author’s note in the back indicates that it is based in history and that many of the characters did exist. It’s a first book for Mr. Aitcheson and I would imagine that he will get better with Tancred as he goes forth in the world. Tancred needs some maturity. For a man that leads men into battle he has a very short fuse and he is really not too bright. He is a warrior as we are told ad nauseum and he wants to fight – see arm itching – but there is a lot more to a good book than battles. Characters need depth and scenes need development. I’ll give the next book in the series a try – I’m not ready to give up on our hero just yet.


You can read an excerpt of Sworn Sword

You can follow the Sworn Sword Tour Schedule:

July 31 – Mina’s Bookshelf
August 8 – Devourer of Books
August 11 – Radiant Light
August 12 – Broken Teepee
August 13 – My Reading Room Blog
August 15 – Bibliophilic Book Blog
August 23 – Booksie’s Blog
August 26 – Booked and Loaded

You can purchase Sworn Sword on Amazon.com

Disclosure:  I received a free copy of Sworn Sword from Sourcebooks for my honest review.  I received no compensation for this post.


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