*A magnificent and rich historical novel set around the events leading up to the Norman invasion.
On the Sussex Downs in 1066, the psychotic William and his gang of European mercenaries began the process which fragmented a civilisation. Walt, the last of King Harold's bodyguard, the one who survived Hastings, wanders across Asia Minor in the company of Quint, an intellectual renegade monk. On the way he unfolds the events that led up to the battle which affected the destinies of every English man and woman. With rare skill, Rathbone vividly recreates a civilisation that stubbornly remains alive in the collective memory to this day, and so identifies the roots of the still-held belief that every English person is born free and should stay free. Tender romance, savage war, courtly intrigue and some wry humour combine to make THE LAST ENGLISH KING an exhilarating roller-coaster ride into our past.
A rattling good story and with a plot which is gripping...superb, unforgettable - SPECTATOR
Rathbone is a very clever writer.. scenes of such solidity no reader will easily forget them - TIMES
A triumph... if there are echoes of I, CLAUDIUS that is a high compliment - INDEPENDENT
A magnificent historical novel to stand alongside Rose Tremain's RESTORATION - 'One of the very best story-tellers around'