By G. A. Henty
Review #5 for the reading challenge.
Yes, another Henty book. These can be hard to put down once you get caught up in the plot. This book was no exception.
Edmond had to flee his home in East Anglia (or was it Mercia) with his father and their kinsman, Egbert, because the Danes were invading much of Britain, and had plundered the land his father had formerly ruled over. There were scenes of battle, and of the murder and destruction of priests and monasteries. Edmond's father was killed in battle, and his older kinsman accompanied him to West Saxon, or Wessex, where Alfred reigned as a prince with his older brother. The Danes had not yet caused much damage here, so it was a place of comparative safety, for a while.
Edmond was promptly made a thane of the king and given lands to rule over, in spite of his young age (perhaps 15 years). He wisely built up the remains of an old Roman fort on his land. Under Albert's direction, Edmond also had a ship built. Albert was beginning to realize that England would need a navy to protect her from ongoing assaults by seafaring warriors, and he also arranged for the building of some ships, although they were not as large as the one built by Edmond.
Of course, the Danes did eventually invade Wessex as well, and many more battles were fought. Alfred's older brother died, and Alfred became king. He had to go into hiding for a time. Of course, the famous story of Alfred's forgetting to mind the cakes in the home of the lady who had taken him in is related here.
Of Edmond's capture by the Norsemen and the adventures encountered there, of the many battles fought, both on land and sea, and of Edmond's wise leadership of a small group of men personally trained by him, I will leave you to read for yourself. Suffice it to say that this was another riveting book taking place within the backdrop of an exciting time in Britain's history. I, and my family, thoroughly enjoyed the reading of this interesting book.