L.P. Hartley once wrote: “The Past is a foreign country, they do things differently there”, but people don’t change: they still want somewhere warm and dry to sleep, something to eat and someone to love. Conn Iggulden has taken one of the most important parts of British history and made it come alive with real and believable characters. This is so important when history is often perceived as dry and boring, 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. The peaceful, but weak and sickly King Henry and his young, courageous, French wife, Margaret are the pivotal characters of this novel which explains the start of the Wars of The Roses and some of the most interesting stories in history. Warring earls and lords fight for control of the King and eventually for the throne itself, with the delightfully dislikeable Richard, Duke of York and his Neville supporters sparring politically with the loyal supporters of the crown. But the political wrangling is tempered with a generous understanding into how a young fifteen year old French girl copes with moving to England to marry a man she has never seen. How hard working men react when they lose the lands they were given by offering their lives to fight for their King. And the realistic portrayal of a Medieval London, streets filled with slops (and worse) and a community which, from the richest and most powerful, to the lowest and poorest will fight to survive and defend itself.
WATCH THE TRAILER HERE: