Kingmaker: Kingdom Come: (Book 4) by Toby Clements
|Kingmaker: Kingdom Come: (Book 4) by Toby Clements|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: The fourth and final volume of the War of the Roses Kingmaker stories ties tantalisingly loose ends and leaves us with a warm glow. Once again a hist-fict/imagination meld at its finest.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: August 2017|
1470 dawns and the next chapters of the War of the Roses are ready to play out. King Edward thinks that the future has been settled but treachery is still lurking. Meanwhile Katherine and Thomas also have their world turned upside down when that ledger and a chance comment threaten all they have, including their lives.
This may be Toby Clements' fourth and final outing in the excellent Kingmaker series but he proves he hasn't run out of steam, or story line, or, indeed, shocks come to that! The War itself may be written in history's stone but he takes advantage of anything being able to happen to Thomas, Katherine and their companions. Oh yes, Toby's ability to disabuse us of any notion that we know what's coming next makes for a thoroughly enjoyable bumpy ride.
The only downside is that, as in the previous three books, not all whom we've loved and travelled with will make it to that final page. The other bright side is that by finishing the novel in 1471, Toby manages to end on a note of glowing optimism for the monarchy.
The dangerous waters in Thomas' and Katherine's lives deepen showing us another talent from Toby's armoury. I shan't give anything away, but watch out for the after-effects of their meeting with a particularly unwelcome face from the past. The outcome is delayed in a wonderfully written moment of understatement, proving a denouement doesn't have to be bash-crash-obvious to make us gasp.
We're also taken abroad - it's not only King Edward who has to look further afield for safety. Katherine and Thomas head for Belgium but trouble does tend to follow them so it's no second honeymoon.
It wouldn't be a Katherine and Thomas book if Katherine didn't get a chance to practice her medical skills and that's not the only thing following us through the series. Little passing moments from previous books return to become a more important focus, turning into missing pieces of the series' jigsaw. This includes including one huge revelation about Katherine's own origins.
Toby's battle scenes remain some of the best in hist-fict. This time alongside his usual of translation of history into exciting action, he provides us with a ringside seat to observe the huge disadvantages of fighting in a 15th century English helmet for those who aren't used to it.
Here and there in the series have been little clues about the author's personality when he imparts his vision for the characters. Our main deduction is that this is a guy with a humorous twinkle, demonstrated by his characters' names. No matter how much we've grown to adore side characters like Jack and Nettie (a lot in my case) by name alone, the one to beat all is John Who-was-stabbed-by-his-priest.
Clements should be awarded laurels for this historical fiction series and I for one bet – and hope – he's not resting on them. Although sad to see Kingmaker finish, the eager anticipation of what comes next will keep us company beside our series memories.
(Thank you, Century, for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If you haven't read the series from the beginning, do go back to Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims and treat yourself. If you're already a fan and looking for more historical fiction, we recommend the alt-hist Napoleonic England of False Lights by K J Whittaker or The Silvered Heart by Katherine Clements centering on the 17th century's Lady Katherine Ferrers, a reputed highwayman… err… woman.
You can read more book reviews or buy Kingmaker: Kingdom Come: (Book 4) by Toby Clements at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Kingmaker: Kingdom Come: (Book 4) by Toby Clements at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.