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Sarah Broadhurst's view...
October 2013 MEGA Book of the Month and eBook of the Month.
The first in a new series of the Wars of the Roses. Whereas the recent TV drama The White Queen looked at the period from the female point of view, this is the male’s angle. It tries to make sense of the truce between the French and English with Henry VI’s marriage to Margaret of Anjou, his death and the Duke of York protector of the realm. Conn creates a fictional character in Derry Brewer which shows how Henry was managed by those about him leading to the Wars of the Roses. This is excellent, fans of his ancient Rome series will not be disappointed and I’m sure this now popular period will bring him many a new fan.
The Lovereading view...
Historical fiction master Conn Iggulden retells the gripping story of the English civil war in his new Wars of the Roses series. Stormbird is a fast paced and brilliantly weighted historical thriller. With its juxtaposition of characters from the high nobility and ordinary peasants, it gives a full flavour of the age. Whilst the key events are true, they are expertly blended with the fiction to create a three dimensional and absorbing portrait of the momentous events of the period.
The action shifts at a breath-taking pace between France and England, between the royal chapel, rural farmsteads and all manner of detailed locations in-between. The complex politics of the era are distilled down and accessible to all readers and with no faction given undue weight what emerges is a set of strong and believable characters all flawed in their own way.
The mixture of fact and fiction is well balanced and the plot which emerges is engrossing and full blooded. Whilst it does not end on a cliff hanger it still hints at further turmoil to come, and we eagerly anticipate the sequel.
The first in the series, Stormbird is set to be a landmark piece of historical fiction writing. It's not published untill 10 October but you can read a extra long extract today.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Wars of the Roses: Stormbird a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'It’s an exciting story packed full of fascinating historical insight that sweeps you up, carries you along and then leaves you eager for more.' - Linda Rollins. Scroll down to read more reviews.
For more information about Conn Iggulden's Wars of the Roses series, direct from the publisher, click here.
King Henry V - the great Lion of England - is long dead. In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne.
His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king - Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom. Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England's territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real. As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what, can save the kingdom before it is too late?
We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review Wars of the Roses: Stormbird. You can read their reviews below.
Ruth Paterson - 'The first part of what promises to be a compelling trilogy set during the Wars of the Roses. The narrative successfully weaves storylines that occurred in history with fictional ones.' Click here to read the full review.
Evelyn Barrett - 'A compelling insight into a remote but defining era in our history,revealed through the experiences of the people who endured them.'Click here to read the full review.
Cyllene Griffiths - 'I am not usually a fan of historical novels but this one is so beautifully written and characterised, that it has renewed my interest in this period.' Click here to read the full review.
Magda North - 'Loved it. I wouldn't normally choose historical fiction, but I'm so glad I did...Really looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy.' Click here to read the full review.
Vanessa Wild - 'Combining fact with fiction, this is the first in an exciting new trilogy about the Wars of the Roses. It is full of adventure, action, battles and espionage with a smattering of romance.' Click here to read the full review.
Sarah Harper - 'I am truly amazed at how much I enjoyed this book and I'm happy that this exceptional story has converted me to a lover of historical novels. I will certainly be seeking out more of Conn's books.' Click here to read the full review.
Les Warriner - 'The best book I've read in a long time...From Page 1 I was transported back in time and taken on a rollercoaster ride through history. Love, hate, honour, deceit, bravery, cowardice, laced with a liberal dose of man's inhumanity to man are all here.'Click here to read the full review.
Lindsey Whittle - 'Imagine Jack Higgins or Frederick Forsyth writing books in the 1400s - vivid action, believable characters, political background and real people interwoven with the story - that's Stormbird.'Click here to read the full review.
Gill Wilmott - 'Conn Iggulden is an excellent storyteller and his description of events, and especially characters, make it easy to identify with their triumphs and disasters.'Click here to read the full review.
Carole Tuckett - 'Another first rate book from Conn Iggulden. He has brought fact and fiction together with his usual flair. Intrigue at court and unrest of the common man makes for a book I didn't want to put down. Cannot wait for book 2.'Click here to read the full review.
Suzanne James - 'A vivid, engrossing account of a period of history that deserves to be better known...The battle scenes were particularly well-written - conjuring up very vivid images.'Click here to read the full review.
Kath Martin - 'It's definitely a boys book! Lots of fighting and blood and guts! To my surprise, I found that even though I already knew how the story ended, I was galloping through the book to find out what happened next. An historical page-turner!'Click here to read the full review.
Cherrill Deans - 'As a work of historical fiction, I found this book entertaining and enlightening. The style and flow is easy going, and I learned more about what the War of the Roses was all about, and why it happened...The work is highly imaginative and a cracking good read.'Click here to read the full review.
Maureen Evans - 'A novel that intrigues from the start; travelling between France and England, court life and that of commoners. The reader is carried along with an absorbing tale that enthralls to the end.' Click here to read the full review.
Jillian McFrederick - 'A great read for anyone who likes a cracking tale with a mix of knights,war, love and family - with the added bonus of being based on fact!' Click here to read the full review.
Elisabeth Thomas - 'War of the Roses: Stormbird is a thrilling mix of historical fact and historical fiction...Stormbird introduces the reader to the very origins of the 1st English Civil War which was to become known from Tudor times onwards as the War of the Roses.'Click here to read the full review.
Sarah Musk - 'If you love historical fiction with fighting and intrigue then this is the book for you. An exciting, sometimes harrowing and, occasionally, heartbreaking read - I can't stop thinking about it.' Click here to read the full review.
Alan Brown - 'An exciting first instalment of historical fiction that describes the outcomes of battles between a weak king, stronger queen and noble English families that set up the Wars of the Roses.' Click here to read the full review.
Angie Rhodes - 'You want an exciting read? This is it! I have never read any of Conn's novels before and was lucky to be picked to get an advanced reading copy to review. Now all of Conn's novels are on my "to buy" list. Read The War of Roses:Stormbird, you wont be disappointed.' Click here to read the full review.
Caroline Mathews - 'A interesting blend of historical fact and fiction, set during the turbulent 1400s...The author deals with a very complex and turbulent period in English history in an exciting and very descriptive book.' Click here to read the full review. Marion McCaffery - 'Intrigue, treachery, medieval torture leads this book into 40 years of uprising in England all because of a weak King Henry VIh plus the marriage of Margaret of Anjou who is now known as a she-wolf.' Click here to read the full review.
'This is energetic, competent stuff; Iggulden knows his material and his audience.' Independent
'Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction.' Daily Mirror
'Iggulden ...tells an absolutely cracking story.' The Times
About the Author
Conn Iggulden is one of the most successful authors of historical fiction writing today. Following Stormbird, the Sunday Times bestseller, Trinity is the second book in his superb new series set during the Wars of the Roses, a remarkable period of British history. His previous two series, on Julius Caesar and on the Mongol Khans of Central Asia, describe the founding of the greatest empires of their day and were number one bestsellers. Conn Iggulden lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and children.
Dick Francis born 1920: A former steeplechase jockey, Francis is famous for his suspense novels as well as his championship career. Francis produced one novel per year, most of which are bestsellers. He died 14 Feb 2010. Read books by Dick Francis