Article first published as Book Review: ‘William The Conqueror vs. King Harold’ by Jesse Lee Vint on Blogcritics.
“William The Conqueror vs. King Harold” by Jesse Lee Vint is an interesting read and might be an excellent intro to historical fiction for the young adult crowd. The book is a fast read starring William the Conqueror, King Harold and a lot of other supporting characters like the Green Knight, Konan the Kelt, and many others. While I am not familiar with the particulars about this battle or the rivalry between William and King Harold, I have read the Arthurian legends, and I enjoy how Mr. Vint uses the same writing style, and even references Arthur. The book has everything you would expect from such a story: action, comedy and romance. It is a fantastic and quick read that will be liked by anyone who enjoys history, fantasy and action.
It’s obvious that a lot of time, care and effort went into the story; however, at times it seems Mr. Vint sticks too closely to the writing style of stories like the legends of King Arthur or Beowulf, and this leaves the writing, in parts, feeling basic. This may actually be a plus for younger readers. The inclusion of pictures also felt a bit odd to me, especially since they were black and white and not particularly useful in understanding the story. They seemed more of a distraction to me than anything. These, however, are minor complaints, and overall “William The Conqueror vs. King Harold” is an excellent and entertaining read. I do wish that title of the book was a bit more captivating. It is a great introduction to historical fiction as well as William and Harold but the title sounds more like a section in a high school history book than anything some uninformed individual like me would want to read. That being said, I did like the artwork on the cover as it reminds me of the kind of book I might come across in some obscure corner of the library and just start reading for no real reason.
“William The Conqueror vs. King Harold” by Jesse Lee Vint is truly a fun read that anyone who enjoys medieval history or fantasy should check out. Mr. Vint should be commended for such a good first book. I feel young readers will probably appreciate the story even more than I did and I can see it easily being adapted into a TV series, or even the basis for an educational cartoon. The book was a blast to read and I am sorry it was over so quickly. Hopefully this book will introduce many young readers to an often overlooked period of history and maybe even historical fiction as a genre. Overall I give it 4 out 5 stars.