4 1/2-5 stars. The first book in Iggulden's "War of the Roses" series was a terrific read. This author came highly recommended to me and he wasn't on my radar before but he is now, Henry V of England, the Warrior King is dead, and his heir is a gentle and sickly young man, Henry VI. Surrounding him are greedy men who want his throne and who will stop at nothing to get it. Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, loves her husband and tries to keep the throne safe. The characters are well realized, there is lots of action and there is enough intrigue to keep me turning the pages. I also like that it wasn't just about the men of power, but also ordinary people whose lives are impacted by the decisions made by those in power and those who wanted that power. A great read and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Apparently this is the first in a series so not much time was covered. There's so much more to occur. The battles got a little too lengthy for me. So much brutality and gore Later I may try another in this series or other books by this author. He does well in his telling.
This book was well researched. Time moves quickly and at first I found that a big confusing because the author didn't really relay that information well. I found that it was a bit dull until the characters were set up, but then it got interesting. I wasn't into the long battle descriptions though. Sometimes I would skip ahead pages until the battles were over.
Took a while to get into this one. My advice is to not try to follow the family trees at the beginning - just read the book. People and their place in the story will become clearer as you proceed.
I have previously enjoyed Iggulden's books very much. I especially loved the 'Emperor' series about Rome. I was disappointed here and I think it was due to the vast array of characters and their changing attitudes and allegiances. It was a struggle
When 22-year-old Henry VI, scion of the House of Lancaster, takes the throne of England in 1437, the rival House of York sees an opportunity to unseat the gentle, pious king known as "the Lamb." Especially once Henry agrees to trade certain British territories to France in exchange for a royal bride, Margaret of Anjou, and a truce between their constantly warring nations. This opening installment of the Wars of the Roses series combines the intricate dynastic politics of Sharon Kay Penman's historical sagas and the fast-paced, visceral military action of Bernard Cornwell's novels. Historical Fiction newsletter August 2014.
I rushed right through Stormbird in a day.
Appreciated a lot about the book. There are extensive historical notes and family trees. All interesting and helpful. Good characters were to be found in Margaret of Anjou, Thomas Woodchurch, Derry Brewer & Lord Suffolk. The POV from the Frenchmen was well done. Nice to have more than one side of things.
Still ended up with only a 2 star from me. Parts of the story felt too slow. Especially the section about the marriage of Margaret and Henry. The negotiations and troubles and proxy and......after awhile I just wanted to get on with the story. Though without it all, I doubt I would have liked Margaret as much. Bit of a conundrum there for me.
The story of Jack Cade felt jarring at the beginning. I had no idea why it was there and it took awhile to sort out why we kept coming back to his tale.
I imagine the next book will be better as the subject matter will be more interesting. Bring on the Duke of York!
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