Cometh the Hour – a book review

book cover of Annie Whitehad's "Cometh the Hour"
Book Cover

About the Author

Annie Whitehead is an award-winning writer, historian, and elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She has written extensively, both fiction and non-fiction, on 7th Century Anglo-Saxon history. Cometh the Hour is Book 1 of Tales of the Iclingas.

Story Line

If he could conquer Deira, he would be king of all the lands north of the Humber.  Aylfrith was ready…a pitched battle would not serve him. The Deiran kings had been more prolific…there were too many adult males of the royal line. The only way to ensure that enough of them died this day was to catch them off guard as they feasted… All around him, his men had settled into position…waiting…for his signal

It Begins – AD604 The Kingdom of Deira

Cometh the Hour is fiction based on history, a story of decades-long conflicts in 7th Century Great Britain.

Four kingdoms, each one with a ruler desiring to rule all of the lands. Battles must be fought and lives of many will be lost. Great sacrifices must be endured to acquire that control.

It is a brutal story of life and death struggles for power and control Men, women, and children die for the cause. Woven within we find the enduring love story of a would-be-king and a pregnant rape victim he meets on the roadside.

My Thoughts

Meticulously researched and expertly written, I was drawn into the story from page 1. At 344 pages it is not long but reads like 600; it is not to be skimmed but to be savored and enjoyed. I found myself having to stop and reflect on what I had read.

I admit to being a bit intimidated when I first opened the book to the extensive Royal Houses Family Tree and Dramatis Personae, but found the Tree and character list very helpful in following the story line.

Annie Whitehead also includes, at the end, Author’s Notes where she tells what is fact, fiction, or probability – An example of her meticulous attention to detail.

For anyone interested in historical fiction and/or early English history, I highly recommend Cometh the Hour by Annie Whitehead.