TAPESTRY: a splendid saga of Medieval peacekeeping

Posted: November 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

Like any historical fiction, Medieval historical fiction can easily fall into a series of tropes, and those tropes are most commonly as such: stereotypes of the Crusades and the Inquisition, with its subsequent witch hunts, among others.
However, TAPESTRY, the big, bold, beautiful behemoth of a book that I am about to review , being set much earlier than any of the two aforementioned periods, successfully avoids all of the tropes and stereotypes common to the fictional depiction of those eras. What is this novel about, then?

As the cover and title suggest, it’s a story of how the events depicted on the Bayeux Tapestry, crucial for the future of England, and not only that, came to be. The whole epic saga unfolds across decades, starting in 1035, when the protagonist, Lod, a Norman physically impaired boy who will go through several names(Cuin, Brother Augustine, Brother Ambrose, and so on), is nine years old, and is the advisor of young William, who will become The Conqueror of great fame.
Do not let the size of this book put you off. And do not worry that you’ll have to read through a lot of repetitive details about battles, with gore galore and characters who maim just for the sake of it(no offense to those who enjoy that sort of fiction, I occasionally do as well). This is not just a novel of medieval warfare. This is an epic saga of Medieval peacekeeping. The hero of the story is a very intelligent young man who grows into a highly-skilled diplomat, and believe me, there’s much to be fascinated about in the manner in which diplomacy was understood back then. There is, though, plenty of action as well. Assassinations, failed and successful, the intricacy of politics, travels to the end of the world, mesmerizing details about different religions and healing techniques, friendships being forged, tested and broken. This is an impressive work, a true labor of love, which rings with authenticity, and the research is impeccable. It’s safe to call it the best novel of early Medieval times that I have ever read, and I feel factually, culturally and spiritually richer for having done so.
Though I am greatly indebted to Mr. Largent for having provided me with a copy of his work, the views expressed herein, I claim to be my own entirely. Thank you, Mr. Largent. Solid, well-earned, 10 out of 5!

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