Bretwalda by Robert Else

The story of how two seventh century Anglo Saxon princes win back the kingdom of Northumbria.

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Christian Europe becomes a very dangerous place indeed. God's punishment for the sin of hubris, how can such a shattered world be repaired?

The children of King Aethelfrith of Northumbria (hammer of the north) have to flee for their lives on the death of their father in an ambush. Their mother; a formidable woman in any century; takes them to the monastic island of Iona, where they are to be brought up as Christians. Political pawns of Irish and Dalradian Scots chieftains. A special teacher for these boys is called for. He must knock the paganism out of them, yet teach them warcraft and how to be kings. A young Irish monk, a prince in his own right, is dispatched to Iona as tutor. Aidan, later to become Saint Aidan, and without doubt the architect of a European renaissance.

First however, the boys have to win back the kingdom of Northumbria. Not an easy task when it means doing battle with the likes of Cadwallon and Penda.




  • Classification: Moderate
  • Work is: Extract only on Authonomy
  • First submitted Sept. 16, 2008
  • Last updated Sept. 16, 2008
Bretwalda
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  • On 5 bookshelves
  • 76 comments
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  • Gruffling's avatar
    Gruffling wrote 2 years, 4 months ago
    I have been enjoying this, although I am only a few chapters in. My own writing is largely based in the Dark Ages and Early Middles Ages and you have captured much of the spirit of the times. I am pleased that you have given Oswald and Oswy such different characters, and I think you have got them right. I will not go into detail on the grammar, as others have been more than helpful on this score, but in ...
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    1 reader marked this as helpful

  • Retired user
    jrapilliard wrote 3 years, 2 months ago

    Hi,
    A very interesting story, well researched, worth backing which I shall do presently.
    Will you have a look at mine, Penrose - Princess of Penrith, which is set 2 centuries later?
    Best wishes,
    John

    1 reader marked this as helpful

  • Retired user
    kiddies wrote 3 years, 3 months ago
    Dear Mr. Else, Sorry it has taken me so long to get back; have been swamped. Am still very much enjoying Bretwalda. History is excellent. But I do have some crit on Ch 3 (and I sorry to have to eke this out one chapter at a time, but if I did any more than that, I wouldn't do my jobs that are outside of Authonomy). Roman Road: *2nd paragraph: "Eenfrith's duties...for possible delays,..." -- -- Possibly a semi-colon or ...
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  • Retired user
    kiddies wrote 3 years, 3 months ago
    Hello, Mr. Else, Am very much enjoying Bretwalda. Love the atmosphere. On my bookshelf, and 4 stars, right now. However, I do have some crits for your consideration on Ch 2: "His plan was take the fight..." insert "to" after "was". "Everywhere there was polished brass...". Something is missing here; comes off awkward. "Not that everyone...well dressed." Needs re-wording; sounds awkward. "Thrill of sneaking in past the, not..." Unnecessary comma after "the". "Merely gambits...in the shield wall." Something wrong or ...
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    1 reader marked this as helpful

  • Retired user
    kiddies wrote 3 years, 3 months ago
    Dear Mr. Else, So far have read ch 1, Description is good; have no trouble seeing the scene; did find a couple of typos, but those can be easily taken care. However, if you are trying to stay with the phraseology of the time, "voting with their feet" had not been coined yet. Also, if the two Prince Aethelings missed all the various preparations for coming war, then why would they look at their brother "in mock total amazement" -- ...
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  • Retired user
    strachan gordon wrote 3 years, 10 months ago

    Hello I've tried writing about this period with the Viking attack on Lindisfarne in 793 , I must say you've done a much better job than I did of re-creating the Anglo-saxon , which for some reason , I found very difficult. The milieu you have created is convincing and interesting . Would you have the time to read the first chapter of my novel 'A Buccaneer' which is about Pirates in the 17th century, best wishes , Strachan Gordon

  • Retired user
    AnneEvans [Retired] wrote 4 years, 1 month ago

    I love this time period and your description sounds very real. I kind of wish you could open with a bit more tension right at the start. Noah Lukeman's "The First Five Pages" and all that fun stuff.

  • Sandy Mackay's avatar
    Sandy Mackay wrote 4 years, 4 months ago

    I looked at your prologue and like the idea for the story. have added your book to my watch list and will return later. could you perhaps spare the time to have a look at When The Earth Moved. If you like the story I would appreciate any comments or feedback. backing would be a bonus. I will return all backing. Thank you in advance for your support. Sandy McKay

  • Retired user
    Andrew Burans wrote 4 years, 9 months ago

    You have written a very interesting and unique historical storyline, which I do like. Your story is character rich and your use of imagery is excellent. The dialogue is realistic and well written and the pace of your story flows well. All of this along with your descriptive writing makes your work a pleasure to read. Backed.

    Andrew Burans
    The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

  • CarolinaAl's avatar
    CarolinaAl wrote 4 years, 9 months ago

    A masterfully crafted, spellbinding historical. Taut. Compelling characterizations. Brisk dialogue that evokes the era. Quick paced action. Cunning writing. An addictive read. Backed.

  • Retired user
    Big E wrote 4 years, 11 months ago

    I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and happily read all 10 chapters, good work and i'm very happy to back it.

  • zan's avatar
    zan wrote 5 years ago
    Bretwalda Robert Else This is exciting, interesting and well written in a way which brings your scenes and characters to life. Impressed by the amount of research you have undertaken to write this so competently and confidently. The scene with Oswy and the little girl is beautifully done. The writing flows naturally and makes reading a pleasure. I like your use of language - "you're too stupid to think of anything worth a spit." The longer it takes for me ...
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  • Rusty Bernard 's avatar
    Rusty Bernard wrote 5 years, 1 month ago

    Hi there,

    If I have given you my backing I have read the pitch, loved it and then at least two chapters of your very fine work.

    Then, if you do not help me with my Psychiatric Evaluation it will be partly your fault that I am stressed out and can no longer spend time on this site.

    Lots of writers may than suffer breakdowns because of this!!!
    RB

  • olga's avatar
    olga wrote 5 years, 1 month ago
    Hi This is a great plot. Great characterisations. Your writing conveys the setting well. Your punctuation needs attention as I found commas in the wrong places. Just a few nits below... 'Oswy was ing reat pain...' I would suggest this be omitted as it takes out one of the 'pain' words and the next para better describes the pain. 'The young girl....better view...' POV now with the girl. This is intrusive as it is better to leave the POV with ...
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  • Splinker's avatar
    Splinker wrote 5 years, 1 month ago

    Backed. I didn't get a chance to read it, but Jesus told me to back it.
    Splinker
    B.D.S.T.

  • A Knight's avatar
    A Knight wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    Historical novels are always a delight, especially ones where the research shines through so clearly. This could only be improved by a quick polish to smooth out the occasional clunky sentence or repeated word. Otherwise, it's brilliant stuff, a leader in the field.

    Abi xxx

  • Retired user
    Sheila Belshaw [Retired] wrote 5 years, 2 months ago
    BRETWALDA: Bob, I enjoy historical novels and from the pitch this one looks as though it could be a winner. A fascinating concept, and a fascinating story. Very well told. Prose full of life and energy. But it will not attract an editor unless you fix the punctuation. Commas where there should be full stops, and full stops where there should be commas. The best advice a published writer ever gave me when I started writing was: Read your work ...
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  • Retired user
    Sheila Belshaw [Retired] wrote 5 years, 2 months ago
    BRETWALDA: Bob, I enjoy historical novels and from the pitch this one looks as though it could be a winner. A fascinating concept, and a fascinating story. Very well told. Prose full of life and energy. But it will not attract an editor unless you fix the punctuation. Commas where there should be full stops, and full stops where there should be commas. The best advice a published writer ever gave me when I started writing was: Read your work ...
    Read more
  • Retired user
    bonalibro [Retired] wrote 5 years, 2 months ago

    That first sentence broken up the way it is would never make it past a professional Reader doing triage on his daily stack. Suggest you clean up your punctuation and awkward sentence structures.

  • Godbout's avatar
    Godbout wrote 5 years, 2 months ago
    I have to say that I love the subject matter and the atmosphere, but I have to cry comma abuse. Try reading your pages aloud to yourself. Do you pause for breath at every three words? Try to write the way you would talk if you were telling a story to your family or something at a campfire. Read your work aloud to yourself as you write to see if it sounds natural. That's always really helped me. I want ...
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