Monday, April 2, 2018

Review: The Harrowing by James Aitcheson

The Harrowing
" Five strangers. Five secrets. No refuge. No turning back."

Aitcheson vividly recreates the events of this dark chapter in England's history and has shown a very personal side to the political events following the Norman Conquest. In this instance, events styled as "the Harrying of the North" whereby in order to subjugate to the north of England (1069-1070) and defeat the rebels, William the Conqueror laid waste to the north with the result being widespread famine, looting, slaughter, and a terrible loss of life.

In the style of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales", five very different people, escaping the both their own pasts and the onslaught of the Normans, find solace in their own company and in the telling of their own stories (told over a period of five days). All the while, they are fighting for survival - can our narrators (priest, lady, servant, warrior, minstrel) outrun their own fates and reach safety.

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