Plot: Our hero is an ever-good lad, trying to reach knighthood, and his constant companion is a monk who cannot abide his chosen style of life. Together they live in the fifteenth century, during a war between Wales, Scotland and England. The two do not meet until Oswald, our hero, is accepted in the service of Sir Henry, also known as Hotspur. Oswald meets Roger, our dear bad monk, when he wishes to take some reading and writing lessons, which are taught to him by Roger.
Oswald is recruited as an esquire; his main duty is to run messages to other people for Hotspur. One of his first missions includes taking a secret message to a lord in Scotland, with Roger by his side. Though quite dangerous, Oswald performs it well and escapes when nearly caught. It is soon after this daring mission, that Hotspur obtains leave of monk hood for Roger and sends him to a neighboring lord as a man-at-arms .
Several months later our daring hero is sent to Hotspurs brother-in-law, Mortimer, for short period, in which he may, with the help of twenty men-at-arms and his uncle and Roger, assist Mortimer against Glendower. The Welsh have started an uprising to support Glendowers claim for the Welsh throne; Glendower does have royal blood after all. Only a few weeks after arriving, Mortimer captures Glendowers castle; he soon finds that Glendower escaped upon seeing their approach. Much to his disappointment Mortimer cannot find any of Glendowers daughters; after posting guards around the grounds, Mortimer goes to his home to await the news of whether or not Glendower will try and recapture his castle. Oswald and Roger are on duty together, when they see two figures rise from some bushes and run toward the forest. Catching them quickly Oswald demands they surrender, only to find they are women, daughters of Glendower; they offer the men jewels in return for their freedom. Oswald declines their offer, declaring such a thing would not be honorable; after several moments of discussion with Roger, he decides to let the girls go free. His only reward being a small charm which he could show to any Welshman, should he find himself in need, and they would take him to the girls. Oswald and Roger return to their posts, no one being the wiser for their doings, since he did not want the girls to go to an English prison for many years.
Oswald performs his battles well during the Welsh uprising and highly praised by Mortimer when sent back to Hotspur.
Positive: When one reads a G.A. Henty, it is sometimes difficult to get into the story, not so with this one. In the first chapter he draws you and keeps your nose in until the end. Mr. Henty gives a lot of information about the time period, and does an excellent job in describing the battles and scuffles our good people get into.
Negative: I can’t say much of anything negative about it, no bloody descriptions, no swearing. So this paragraph is rather small, but that’s good!
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed this Henty book, it kept my nose in the pages after the first paragraph. The history is fun to learn, and completely worth the time spent reading it. I highly recommend it to all ages.