Sunday, July 20, 2014

War of the Roses: Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

book cover
by Conn Iggulden

ISBN-13: 978-0399165368
Hardcover: 496 pages
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Released: July 8, 2014

Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Book Description from Goodreads:
In 1437, the Lancaster king Henry VI ascends the throne of England after years of semi-peaceful regency. Henry is famed more for his gentle and pious nature than his father’s famous battlefield exploits; already, his dependence on his closest men has stirred whispers of weakness at court.

A secret truce negotiated with France to trade British territories for a royal bride—Margaret of Anjou—sparks revolts across English territory. The rival royal line, the House of York, sees the chaos brought on by Henry’s weakness and with it not only opportunity in the monarch, but also their patriotic duty in ousting an ineffectual king. As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home.

My Review:
Stormbird is a historical novel set in France and England from 1443 to 1454 AD. This book is the first in a historical series on the Wars of the Roses.

The time period and the characters were vividly described, immersing me in the story and making me feel like this was how it could have really happened. The characters were complex and realistic, and I always understood why they were acting the way they did. But I didn't like any of them enough to connect/bond/root for them.

The descriptions of life and war at that time were vivid, gritty, and sometimes crude. I'm not sure about how historically accurate this novel is since it's not a time I'm familiar with. I did question some aspects, especially how the marriage-by-proxy was so surprising to the participants.

There was some bad language--and not just "mild" bad words. There was a short sex scene, but it wasn't described in erotic language. There were a number of detailed, gory torture and killing scenes. The scene where an honorable man has his head sawed off while he's still alive just had too much detail for me.

If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.

Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.

1 comment:

English Lady said...

I know something about the Wars of the Roses and the events and figures who played a role in them. I have been thinking of reading this book actually, but I might reconsider in light of this review..