Sorrow Song

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© 2018 Peter C Whitaker

Peter C Whitaker

The Sorrow Song Trilogy recounts England’s Saga of 1066.


When Harold Godwinson, Eorl of Wessex, took the crown of England in January, 1066, following the death of King Edward. With no named heir to the throne the threat of war hung heavy over the kingdom. However, Saxon England passed for the most part peacefully through the ill-fated year. Foe some it seemed that the danger had passed.


This threat was made real though when in September the land was invaded. It was not Duke Guillaume of Normandy who struck the first blow. King Harald Hardrada of Norway, the most famous Viking of his day, invaded the north of England with the largest Norse army ever to set foot in the kingdom. He was allied to Tostig Godwinson, King Harold’s own brother.


The war for the Crown of England begins with the forgotten battle of 1066, at Fulford Gate. It is there where Coenred, Captain of Huscarls, counsels his lords Eorl Edwin and Eorl Morcar, to shut the gates of York and await the coming of King Harold. The brothers are young, seek glory, and are determined to defeat the War Wolf of legend. Coenred must stand with his brother warriors, fighting to defend his people and his new love, the young widow, Mildryth, who lives in York and who has already suffered at the hand of Tostig Godwinson.


After the fall of York Coenred leads what remains of his men to Tadcaster while Edwin and Morcar flee to Durham. King Harold moves swiftly to meet with the survivors of Fulford Gate. Coenred returns once more to York to ensure the safety of his new love, Mildryth, who has had her own battles to fight. Then, once the city is safe, he follows the Fighting Man banner of the King of England to meet the Vikings at Stamford Bridge. Many will die, left as Rapture for Ravens.


While King Harold celebrates his victory in the north the Duke of Normandy lands in the south. Racing back to London Harold brings with him Coenred and all the fighting men that can be called to their ranks. Urged to let winter take its toll Harold is spurred to the fight following the atrocities committed by the Normans on the Saxon people. Coenred never looked for this fight. He longs to return to the north and his estate where Mildryth now waits for him, but his honour could never allow him to desert their king before such a foe. At Sentlache Ridge near Hastings the Saxons meet the Normans in battle. The fight is not a foregone conclusion. The two side struggle all day. The outcome is unsure, it takes the Blade’s Fell Blow to decide the outcome.


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