Wars of the Roses #1 Stormfugl
Series: Wars of the Roses
Author: Conn Iggulden
Published in English: 2013
Dansk titel: Stormfugl
Dansk Udgivelsesår: 2014
Finished Reading: Februar 2020
Genre: Historical & Historical Fiction
This is my personal review without spoilers of the actual plot.
King Henry V – the great Lion of England – is long dead.
In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king -Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom.
Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England’s territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real.
As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what can save the kingdom before it is too late?
This was my first book by Conn Iggulden. I have felt tempted to read his other two series at some point, but never came around to do it. I might, after reading this, read some of his other works before continuing this series, not because it’s boring or bad, but simply because the amount of information you get. There’s too many characters in focus. Too many people you have to relate too, but the way he writes this, showing us each character’s situation in a manner, that suggests there is no wrong or right. It highlights that, both sides had a reason to fight, making it difficult enjoying one part more. I like how Iggulden portrays this without taking sides, he stays neutral to both sides, making us, as readers the judging part. We get to decide whom we like.
The big problem in this genre is that authors tend to show us the conflicts appearing from perspective noblemen, kings and other important people, but Iggulden somehow implemented the view of common people. This made the story even stronger in my opinion, because it shows how the people of rank made decisions and how it affected those of lower ranks.
The writing is flawless, and the plot is gripping. The way Iggulden made the battle scenes come alive is just marvelous. However, seeing as we had so many different characters to get to know and pay attention too, I felt confused at times. You really need to pay attention since it’s a challenging read.