Wars of the Roses: Trinity (Wars of the Roses 2) by Conn Iggulden
|Wars of the Roses: Trinity (Wars of the Roses 2) by Conn Iggulden|
|Category: Historical Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: Now Henry VI is fully conscious again after over a year in a catatonic state; not good news for all. Oh yes, The second in Conn Iggulden's Wars of the Roses series is every bit as action packed, imagination grabbing, informative fun as the first. Let the factions align and battle commence!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 512||Date: September 2014|
|Publisher: Michael Joseph|
|External links: [www.conniggulden.com Author's website]|
A bewildered Henry VI has awoken from the catatonic state that took him away from the business of ruling – and living – for over a year. His job is now to regain the reins of his kingdom that was a little too ably ruled by Richard Neville, Duke of York in his absence. Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, thinks Richard enjoyed the regency so much he's plotting a permanent takeover. The bigger problem is communicating it to Henry as she's increasingly side-lined. The approaching storm is gathering momentum threatening the House of Lancaster and a convalescing king whose recovery may only be temporary, even if he lives that long.
As a reviewer I read a lot; some books feeling like work to wade through while others make me feel privileged to have a free copy. For me anything by Conn Iggulden is in the latter category. Hopefully I'm not being unprofessional by declaring myself a fan, as you'll realise by the end of this review.
In this, the second of his Wars of the Roses series we're again in the company of an illustrious cast. Once again my favourite is the fictional Derry Brewer. I still grieve the loss of the Duke of Suffolk (I know – I should be over it by now) as they were a great double act last time out but Derry's cynicism lives on as he's put into some awkward position as spymaster to the king.
Around him blusters, blunders and battles the Nevilles and the Percys along with respective sympathisers. Despite inter-marrying, the two families wage a constant vendetta of hatred and violence. In fact from the very beginning we're thrown into the action as Percy, Duke of Northumberland, sends his son Thomas of Egremont off to spoil a Neville wedding day with an army to back him up. The whole Percy family have a reputation for tempers and here Thomas takes that one step further as he seeks to show his father that he knows better - with alarming results.
Meanwhile back in the royal household, Richard is really annoying Margaret (and vice versa) while Henry needs to think on his feet to retain the crown. Margaret is frustrated, knowing she can help her husband rule but, being a woman is discounted. She's not going to give up though.
Not only can Conn create a good story and some great (and gory) battles, he also understands psychology. These are people reacting the same as we would in similar circumstances; or at least we feel as if we'd react similarly (except perhaps in battle when I'd be a total wuss). He also has a deft way of playing with us, using our knowledge almost as a wink between author and reader.
For instance at one stage Richard of York comments on how his wife Cecily dotes on their youngest son despite the lad being sickly and deformed. Richard expects his son (also named Richard) to die soon. Ahaa, but with the advantage of hind sight we know better and side with Cecily.
In a way the everyday insights combined with asides like this encapsulate the magic of Conn Iggulden as an author. The world is awash with historical fiction writers who invite us into stories populated by historical characters. Conn's different from most; he invites us into stories populated by people who just happen to be historical characters. This is a chap who can reanimate history and, in so doing, reanimates our imaginations.
Thank you, Michael Joseph for providing us with a copy for review.
Further Reading: If you haven't read Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Wars of the Roses 1) by Conn Iggulden then please read that first as you'll miss a lot if you skip it, both in history and entertainment value. If you've already read that, then basically anything by Conn Iggulden is a pretty good rule of thumb to continue with.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Wars of the Roses: Trinity (Wars of the Roses 2) by Conn Iggulden at Amazon.com.
Wars of the Roses: Trinity (Wars of the Roses 2) by Conn Iggulden is in the Top Ten Historical Fiction Books 2014.
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