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Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army(2018)
A novel by Edoardo Albert
'If I was being invaded by raping, massacring Vikings, Conrad would be the perfect companion to lighten the mood.' - Stephen Clarke, author of 1000 Years of Annoying the French and The French Revolution & What Went Wrong
'...entertaining, memorable and often very funny.' - Historical Novel Society
'An engrossing plot, powered by a realistic measure of laughs - imagine Cadfael, if Ellis Peters had just had a long lunch with Terry Pratchett.' - Jem Roberts, author of Tales of Britain
Conrad is a monk, but he has become a monk through trickery and against his will. So, it is fair to say that his heart isn't really in it.
Conrad is also clever, charming, entirely self-serving, self-absorbed and almost completely without scruple - but in Anglo-Saxon England, when the Danish invaders come calling, those are very helpful attributes to have.
And so it comes to pass that Conrad finds himself constantly dodging death by various means, some reasonable, some... less so. His tricks include selling his brother monks into slavery, witnessing the death of a king, juggling his loyalties between his own people and the Danes, robbing corpses and impersonating a bishop.
By his side throughout is the gentle and honourable Brother Odo, a man so naturally and completely good that even animals sense it. He is no match of wits for the cunning Conrad but can he, perhaps, at least encourage the wayward monk to behave a little better?
Conrad Monk and the Great Heathen Army takes the reader on a hugely entertaining and highly informative trip through the Anglo-Saxon world, in the company of a persuasive and likeable - if frequently despicable - tour guide. It is a story that combines painstakingly accurate depictions of history with a fast-moving and often hilarious plot, and as such is bound to appeal to lovers of history, historical fiction and character-driven fiction alike.
Edoardo Albert is a writer of Sri Lankan and Italian descent based in London. He has written a number of full length novels, as well as shorter stories for publications ranging from Daily Science Fiction to Ancient Paths. He has written features for papers and magazines including Time Out, Sunday Times and History Today.
'I loved this book as a total immersion historical adventure. Conrad - the hero - is selfish, opportunistic, amoral, and he made me laugh over and over again.' - John Drake, bestselling author of the Fletcher series
'The pagans are coming...but Conrad is one shameless con man who will keep one step ahead of them, and charm you while he does it. He lies - he cheats - and I loved every minute of it.' - Wendy Bertsch, author of Once More, from the Beginning
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