The War Wolf - kindle ebook by Peter C Whitaker

England's Saga of 1066

In September of 1066 Saxon England basked in a late summer that promised a bumper harvest. The threat of war seemed to be receding as the Duke of Normandy was beset by storms that kept his fleet bottled up in their port.
King Harold Godwinson of Wessex enjoys the popular support of the people, the preferred successor to the throne of King Edward the Confessor, and he has delivered peace and stability to the kingdom since being crowned in January. The Anglo-Saxon civilisation remained robust and vibrant, it had survived for over 500 years, it seemed that it would continue for another 500 years too.

Coenred the Huscarl had followed the way of the sword for 20 years but now he found his thoughts turning to an easier life. Although in the prime of life his world had changed with the passing of his lord, Eorl Aelfgar of Mercia. A vow to the nobleman to see his sons, Edwin and Morcar, educated in the ways of the Saxon nobility kept Coenred in service as an elite warrior but his relationship with the young men is becoming strained. Edwin and Morcar are now men of power and authority in their own right and they begin to tire of their mentor who is, to all intents and purposes, a servant.
When the beautiful young widow Mildryth asks Coenred for his protection it is not only his sense of honour that prompts him to grant her wish. Retiring to his estate in Holderness becomes ever more attractive to Coenred, not least because peace seems ever more likely as the year slips into autumn and winter threatens to end the time for campaigns.

Mildryth, however, lives under a shadow and her presentiment of danger is not unfounded. Her husband was murdered by Tostig Godwinson, the exiled younger brother of the King of England, and she fears his return. In approaching Coenred she seeks protection, that is true, but as the days darken and danger threatens, the man she chooses reveals a noble heart that she comes to much admire.
The peace of the Saxons is shattered by the arrival the War Wolf, King Harald Hardrada of Norway, at the head of the largest Viking army ever to set foot in England. A fruitless war with Denmark prompts the greatest living Viking of his day to seek success in the pursuit of the English throne. Hardarada has allied himself with Tostig the Traitor and together they descend upon York, the capital of Northumbria.

Within the city Coenred and his lords, Eorl Edwin and Eorl Morcar, find that fate has put them before the spears of their ancient enemies. Coenred counsels closing the gates and manning the Roman walls of York but Eorl Edwin dreams of glory and believes that at Fulford Gate he can give battle to the Vikings and win.
Against his own judgement Coenred takes to the field with his brother warriors to face a Viking chief never defeated in battle, knowing that the woman he has grown to love depends upon him for her safety behind the walls of York. In London King Harold can only hope and pray that his kinsmen, Edwin and Morcar, are not foolish enough to attempt to cross swords with the War Wolf, to fight and lose would put the very kingdom in peril!

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