cover image The Time of the Wolf

The Time of the Wolf

James Wilde. Pegasus (Norton, dist.), $25.95 (400p) ISBN 978-1-60598-416-2

British fantasy writer Wilde’s historical covers the chaotic years of 1062 to 1067 as England convulses in civil strife, murders, and royal treachery while struggling to repel savage Viking raids and the feared Norman invasion. Saxon warrior Hereward (from Wilde’s Hereward: The Devil’s Army) and Christian monk Alric are on the run from Viking mercenaries and assassins because of the secrets they hold, secrets that threaten the throne of England. These unlikely allies face relentless pursuit and stunning betrayal from family, friends, and hired killers and are unwittingly involved in a dangerous conspiracy to seize the English crown. Wilde vividly describes those turbulent, dismal years known then as the End of Days, culminating in the bloody battle against the Vikings at Stamford Bridge, the butchery at Hastings days later between the exhausted English and the invading Normans, and the merciless cruelty of Norman occupation. Setting up an obvious sequel, Hereward and Alric are left outlaws and traitors, unable to trust anyone but each other, and even that is tenuous. This is a masterful tale, graphic and gory, and loaded with medieval history. Agent: Sheil Land Associates, U.K. (Dec.)