Review & Giveaway: The Splintered Kingdom by James Aitcheson

Pub Date: August 5, 2014 | Sourcebooks | Hardcover; 300p

Acquired via Publisher/Edelweiss | Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Medieval

This brilliant second novel, featuring the hero of Sworn Sword, begins in June 1069 on the war-torn Welsh Marches and ends with William the Conqueror's brutal campaign known as the Harrying of the North.

The story begins on the Welsh Marches, where Tancred has been given land by his new lord, Robert Malet, in return for his services in the battle for York. Now a lord in his own right, he has knights of his own to command and a manor to call home. But all is far from peaceful. The Welsh are joining forces with the English against the Normans and when skirmishes turn into a full scale battle at Shrewsbury, Tancred is betrayed by a rival border lord and taken prisoner by the Welsh. Meanwhile the woman he loves is taken hostage by enemy English forces and the Vikings invade the east coast. Never has Tancred faced a more impossible situation.

Praise for James Aitcheson’s Conquest series

“Aitcheson skillfully blends history and fiction … Those who enjoy Bernard Cornwell’s books will also revel in the historical details and derring-do.” – Library Journal

“Brings excitement and intrigue to a bloody period of medieval history” – Publishers Weekly

“An addictive, bloody adventure across a fantastically realized historical setting.” – Shelf Awareness

“Action-packed ... More on offer here than just the clash of arms.” – Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

James Aitcheson was born in Wiltshire, England and studied History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. The first book in the Conquest series, Sworn Sword, was released in the U.S. in August 2013.

My Review

The Splintered Kingdom is the follow up to Aitcheson's follow up novel to Sworn Sword and picks up after the Battle of Hastings, where Tancred a Dinant made a name for himself as a fierce fighter. He is now happy and content as lord of his own lands until word comes that his enemy, Eadger the Aetheling, is teaming up with the Welsh and has a prize out for the capture of Tancred. Ever obedient to his Lord, Tancred picks up his sword again and joins the battle. What follows is non-stop action! 

I deemed this year to be the one where I read books that fall outside the box so to speak with my reading choices and so far I haven't regretted that decision. The Splintered Kingdom is another fine example, and I am very happy that I picked it up. Aitcheson's writing is impeccable and his battle scenes were very well done. This book is definitely not for the squeamish, war is a bloody business and Aitcheson doesn't shy away from bringing it to life in all it's grisly horror. Just as today in Syria, Iraq, and the Ukraine it's the innocents that are caught between the major powers that are the real victims and it was heartbreaking to read!

While The Splintered Kingdom is the second book in the series, I didn't feel lost despite not having read the first book. But, you can bet that I'll be picking up Sworn Sword very soon for more Tancred!

All in all, The Splintered Kingdom was a powerhouse of a novel and I highly recommend it for readers who enjoy medieval historical fiction, fans of Bernard Cornwell, and historical action/adventures!


Thanks to Sourcebooks I have one copy of The Splintered Kingdom up for grabs. Giveaway is open to US & Canada residents only. Giveaway ends on August 23rd.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for this fascinating and captivating giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. It is hard to imagine how tenuous life and loyalty was during this time period. I was not aware of this series. It sounds like a good introduction to a time we had to learn about in school but usually only remember the date and major battle. It is a time I would like to learn more about. Thanks for the review and the giveaway.

  3. This sounds great! I'm so impressed by the level of detail and the quality of research that the author seems to have brought to this series. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  4. I'm anxious to read this novel as well as Sworn Sword - both are on my wish list. I love this 11th century era. Thanks for the giveaway.

  5. I didn't get to read the first book, but this one sounds really good and I would enjoy it. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  6. Love Cornwall. I think I'd like this, thanks.

  7. I love medieval history. This author is new to me and I have added this book to my TBR list.

  8. I've read a lot of good things about this book and am very eager to read it now...thanks for featuring it and giving us a chance to win it, Amy. Your information about your relatively uncomplicated and good experience as a new reader jumping into this series on book 2 is especially relevant to me. I'm grateful for your information. --Kara


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique