Hollywood Book Reviews
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Title: A Wandering Warrior
Author: Harry E. Gilleland, Jr.
Publisher: 4RV Publishing, ISBN: 978-0-9852661-9-6, Pages: 212, Genre: Historical Fiction Reviewed by: Lisa Brown-Gilbert, Hollywood Book Reviews, Date Review Completed: May 25, 2013
Author Harry E. Gilleland, Jr. takes readers on an action-filled excursion through life, as it was, in twelfth century England in his latest novel A Wandering Warrior. Mr. Gilleland is a lauded author and poet and A Wandering Warrior is his eighth published work. The novel centers on a soldier for hire - Thomas Beaumont. Thomas is young, handsome, fearless, loyal and a skilled warrior, who seeks to avenge the death of his older brother John which is what starts him on his adventure-filled journey across England.
As itinerant soldiers, Thomas and his brother John led nomadic lives moving from battle to battle fighting as temporary warriors for pay. It is during the course of a poorly strategized battle that Thomas is severely injured, barely survives his wounds and winds up far away from the scene of the battle. After a kind couple finds him close to death on his horse, they take him in and nurse him back to health. While on the road to search for his brother Thomas encounters a messenger, who was actually looking for any members of his family - the Beaumont family. The messenger carried the
unfortunate news of his brother’s brutal murder while in captivity, at the hands of High Sheriff Simon Mowbray of Thetford in Norfolk, which sends Thomas on a hell bent venture to Norfolk for revenge.
Along the route of his journey towards vengeance, Thomas encounters several fascinating characters, and situations leaving little room for dull moments in his life. Thomas learned from his life as a soldier, that bravery, and gallantry often caused him to become involved in situations that test repeatedly tested his mettle; including many impromptu, fierce battles as well as a bloody battle with the royal guard. Although always a considerable foe in battle, Thomas repeatedly comes close to death after his battles. In a few instances he is nursed back to health by the kindness of other commoners like him and one instance in particular leads him to a life lesson in love by virtue of his rehabilitation back to health by the daughter of the leader of a band of Travelers – the beautiful and determined Emalda. Eventually, Thomas does get to exact revenge on his brother’s murderer but it is what he learns and accomplishes along the way that brings his journey full circle.
Not being a big fan of historical fiction I did not expect for this book to be as engaging a read as it turned out to be. It was engrossing, thoroughly entertaining, a realistic representation of the time - period, with well-composed characters that are relateable, vividly detailed scenes - especially the fight battles and just an overall well told tale. I admire Harry E. Gilleland, Jr’s ability to write such a compelling story in A Wandering Warrior. I heartily recommend A Wandering Warrior to anyone looking for an absorbing read.