The Fighting Man by Adrian Deans is a fantastic example of historical fiction.
As a whole I enjoy historical fiction but often dislike how the era that the story takes place is often romanticized, leaving the negative aspects of the world at the time out and replaced with only the grandest examples of the year. The Fighting Man does none of that. Early on, it makes the filth of the locations obvious. Though if you have a weak stomach for the lack of hygiene of the 1000s, you may have some difficulty reading some parts of the book.
Adrian Deans made a believable story of historical character as well as fitting his fictional ones comfortably in to the time period. Deans makes an entertaining story out of a portion of history that is full of holes. He switches between the first person view of the principal character and slides in to third person tales of the side characters. It’s a comfortable transition between the viewpoints and makes up for the complications often seen in first-person stories.
While the love story aspect of the tale felt a bit forced at first, Deans does a fine job of tying it in to the story as a whole and by the end of the book it feels as though it has found its place in the story as a whole. The characters are memorable and grow throughout the story, changing in appearance and personality, growing in to their own over the years of the tale.
The Fighting Man by Adrian Deans is a must read for fans of historical fiction, particularly those who are interested in early England, Vikings, and epic battles.