Monday, April 3, 2017

Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses, Conn Iggulden

I decided to try Conn Iggulden’s writing after his was one of the endorsements on Robin’s Hobb’s books.   He has written three historical fiction series and I dove in to the Wars of the Roses.  Four books (Stormbird, Trinity, Bloodline and Ravenspur) cover the thirty years after King Henry VI’s ascension to the throne when he comes of age (in 1437).  While his father ruled England with great power and battle skills, his son is struck with illness and the inability to clearly lead the realm.  Propped up by his wife, Margaret of Anjou, Henry’s rule is constantly threatened by House of York and its Neville allies, who also come from a line of royalty with a genuine claim to the throne.  

I have heard about the Wars of the Roses before but never knew any details, as all my knowledge of England’s royalty centred around Henry VIII and his six wives (from Year 8 history).  None of my Shakespeare studies ever covered any of the kings of these times either.  It’s a fascinating time, albeit bloody, nasty and traitorous, as you see King after King taken down and usurped by the next in line.   Be glad you didn’t live then!   The books do take a fair amount of concentration, and I found taking notes essential as almost every key figure was named Richard, Henry or Edward!

If you like historical fiction, you may well enjoy Iggulden’s writing. I am keen to move on to his series on Genghis Khan and Julius Caesar in time.

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