This is a well-written book of the events in 1066 that ultimately lead to putting William the Conqueror on the throne of England. The book starts by chronicling the recent history leading up to 1066 and culminating with the death of King Edward.
We learn the life of a common thane, his values and the scope of his world. It then expands into the justice system, their decision-making process, and ultimately how they choose their kings.
The book then follows events for each of the major players, King Harold, Harald Hardrada of Norway, and Duke William of Normandy. Filling in their backgrounds, motivations, and actions as each interacts with, or nearly misses the others.
The author builds on a series of events, each which could have changed the course of history, but collectively, led to the conquest of England. In the end, he brings it back to the thanes, and how it affected his world.
The story is very well told, contains a wealth of information and was difficult to put down. It provides a new perspective and great insights into an area of history most of us know too little about.