Wars of the Roses: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden
Published October 10 2013 Penguin Michael Joseph
Having studied the Wars of the Roses for A-Level history and recently watched (and loved) the BBC adaptation of Philippa Gregory's The White Queen, so I was keen to read this book - and was not disappointed! Conn Iggulden is a new author for me and after reading Stormbird I will certainly be on the hunt for more.
The novel begins with King Henry VI of England's marriage to Margaret of Anjou. Iggulden mixes original characters like spymaster Derrihew Brewer seamlessly with historical figures such as William de la Pole and Richard Neville to tell the story of the marriage - and its consequences for England; the losses in France, the Kentish Men marching on London and the outbreak of unrest and war. The novel ends with the rise of the Yorks.
I studied NONE of this at A-Level (!!!) and so found this book fascinating. The characters, the detail, the descriptions all brought events to life in an uncomplicated and accessible way. Yes, there was some author timescale tweaking but its historical fiction people - and darn good at that! If, like me, you're riveted, you too shall toddle off to your local library and read up on the non-fic accounts too.
Stormbird is a gripping full-blooded beginning to Iggulden's new series set during the Wars of the Roses. I can't wait for the second instalment!