Book Review: Enemies United by Barbara Anne Machin

Enemies United

William of Normandy set sail to arrive in England in October 1066 to take the throne and force his right above the Saxon King Harold. Successful in the battle and taking the crown his army of well-trained knights were rewarded with lands.

Mostly of lands that no longer had a Thegn, this is a story of how an elderly ailing Thegn where his lands were gifted to one of William’s most loyal knights Gilbert Bayeux, the struggle and lengths afterwards to protect his grandchild and how the two enemies united to bring peace to Alder-Sea and its villagers along with all of England. The child was disguised as a serf, the knight was intrigued and drawn to the boy’s beautiful lavender blue eyes.

My Review

When William of Normandy takes over King Harold’s throne, he gives land to his most loyal knights, and Gilbert is gifted Alder-Sea. Unlike some of the other knights, he wants to keep peace with the current thegn and his subjects. He quickly wins over the people but Lord George, the thegn, is elderly and dying and he takes measures to protect his grandchild, his only surviving relative.

I’ve always enjoyed historical fiction and Enemies United didn’t disappoint. It was well researched, and the characters were well-developed. As a teenager, Guy has gone through a lot but feels lucky to still have a loving and caring grandfather. Gilbert is refreshing as a conqueror who is considerate and wants to work things out rather than just take things over.

Enemies United is a book of history and romance and is difficult to put down.


  “This way, we will have carried out your grandfather’s wishes. You heard your Lord Gilbert. He intends to place you in some kind of work after they bury George,’ he said sternly, hoping that Guy would understand why he was insisting on the time being now. Godfrey knew if he left it until after the burial that Gilbert would place Guy in some sort of meaningful employment and that he would soon find out their secret, and had he not knelt along with George and Guy and sworn allegiance at Gilbert’s feet? No, he would sooner spirit Guy away than be looked on as a traitor. Godfrey was sure that his new master was a good man. He was torn by his pledge to George and although he liked and respected Gilbert, his loyalty was stronger to George.

The soldiers arrived and carried George to the chapel. Guy and Godfrey followed them to watch that George was laid in state in a caring manner, Guy being careful to whisper, ‘Sleep well, master.’ Godfrey stood and saluted him with his sword. One of the soldiers reported to Gilbert that there had been a suspicion of tears in Godfrey’s eyes as he left the chapel and that the boy Guy was struggling with the Lord George’s death. Strange for a boy so young.”

About the Author

Barbara Anne Machin was born in 1940 and is the youngest of eight children. She is married and has one son, and recently celebrated her diamond wedding anniversary. She has always been interested in writing but has never attempted to publish before. A friend and her husband encouraged Barbara to send her trilogy of stories to a publisher. She writes more for a hobby and has worked all her life and still works part-time.  She has held many managerial positions in large companies and does not like to be idle.

This is Barbara’s sixth book.  She has written “A Beloved Cousin” (2019), “Shadow of Guilt” (2020), “Don’t Look Back” (2020), “The Crime that Never Was” (2020) and “Nowhere to Hide” (2020).

“Enemies United” is available to purchase in hardback from Amazon UK at:

This novel is also available to purchase in paperback at:

The book can also be downloaded as an e-book from:

Press/Media Contact Details:

Darin Jewell (Barbara Machin’s literary agent)
Tel. 020 8292 5163