'Housecarl' is a fitting tribute to the housecarls of Saxon England, argueably the finest infantry of Europe at the time. Their most effective battle tactic being the shield wall, housecarls were the professional bodyguards of the king and other nobles and formed the core of Saxon armies. While 'Housecarl' is not a great novel, lacking the deeper-etched characters and more intricate subplots of better fiction, it is a decent read and a good way to learn about a fascinating time in English history. Perhaps the best novel about the events of 1066 and one told from the Norman point of view is Cecelia Holland's 'The Firedrake'. Mr. Brown offers an excellent historical note at the end of the book, which discusses intriguing aspects of the history behind the story. One wonders, had Mr. Brown had written a history instead of a novel, if we might have had a very fine book indeed. With these caveats, I recommend 'Housecarl', especially to those who know little of the period.
An Amazon customer from Texas