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Search tags: Wars-of-the-Roses
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review 2016-11-28 12:01
Blood Sisters: The Women Behind the Wars of the Roses - Sarah Gristwood

An amazing biography, written in such lively style which makes it as easy to read as a good written high quality novel. I'm writing a review on this book for collage- it is a book that chose. For anyone interesten in english history, especially Cousins War and Tudor dinasty, I roccomend this book. It must have taken a whole lot of research to write this.

Beautiful.

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review 2016-10-16 17:47
Plantagenet Princess Tudor Queen - Samantha Wilcoxson

The end. The end was beautiful. I'm just going to go cry in a corner now. I don't even have my football team to console me today. Maybe I can go bake my feelings. 

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review 2016-09-28 14:48
Jane Shore by Mary Bennett
Jane Shore - Mary Bennett

This is another old novel being given new life in order to take advantage of the current surge in interest in the Wars of the Roses. I appreciate a Victorian era novel as much as the next girl, but not this one.

 

One of the problems that publishers tossing out these old books with new covers do not seem to have considered is that there is much stiffer competition out there than when these novels first hit the scene. In 1888, the story of Jane Shore as a 15 year old that various men are attempting to steal from her father may have been more interesting (and less gross). However, today dozens of other books tell the story in a more satisfying, and more historically accurate, manner.

 

Of course, I knew all this going into this read and still thought that the perspective of Jane Shore might have something new to offer. It didn't. The book is not really told from Jane's perspective. She is more of an inanimate object that people are fighting over. I will admit that it didn't take long for me to begin skimming, but Jane never seemed to do anything other than what was demanded of her.

 

Then there's the flowery Victorian language. Again, there are some books of this era that I love, but this book seemed to use a lot of words but never say anything. Characters were shallow and boring. Maybe it got better after I had lost patience and utilized speed-reading mode to get to the end, but I doubt it.

 

 

I received this from NetGalley.

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review 2016-09-13 17:51
Ravenspur (Wars of the Roses #4) by Conn Iggulden
Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors - Conn Iggulden

This is one of the best novels that I have read on the Wars of the Roses, and I do not say that lightly. Part of me is surprised that I can make such a statement about a book that does not necessarily portray each historical figure as I would have or highlight the events that I would feature, but, regardless of any differences in opinion that I might have with Iggulden, this book is amazing.

You know how one could be put to death in medieval times by being pulled apart by four horses? That's kind of how this book feels . . . . but in a good way.

In one corner, we have Margaret of Anjou, who Iggulden has attempted to force us to sympathize with throughout the series. In the first book, Stormbird, I would say he accomplishes this. Seeing Margaret as a hopeful young bride with little understanding of the greater political game being played around her, shed new light upon her. Unfortunately, I have yet to find an author who can justify the bloody acts perpetrated by Margaret in the name of her catatonic husband. In this book, she makes her last stand. I knew it was coming, knew what was going to happen, but for once wasn't thinking that she was finally getting what she deserved. No mother deserves what Margaret went through, even if she had caused so many other mothers to go through the same thing.

In the next corner, those irresistible Sons of York. So easy to cheer for despite their arrogance and weaknesses that eventually bring about the end of the Plantagenet dynasty. Iggulden shows us the closeness between Edward the warrior king and his devoted brother, Richard, while managing to realistically demonstrate how that could have easily evolved into self-preservation on Richard's part upon Edward's death. Edward and Richard were so well-versed in war that neither seemed to really know how to be a king of peace.

Then we have Richard Neville, earl of Warwick. To me, he is the real star of this series. Instead of being a wily kingmaker who puts whomever on the throne that will give him the greater power, he is portrayed as a man always trying to do the right thing - yes, the right thing for himself, but even more so for his country. He is haunted by the execution of his father and tortured by the idea of going to war with young men whom he thinks of as sons. Maybe that is why he made the poor tactical decisions that led to his death. I have never read a better characterization of this man who had such a vital impact on the Wars of the Roses. I wanted him to be victorious, for he and Edward to be reconciled and live happily ever after. Damn historical fact.

Finally, the Tudors were constantly sneaking around the edges of this story like that quiet contestant on 'Survivor' who is victorious in the end because everyone else has destroyed each other. Jasper is less gloriously and probably more realistically portrayed as a man who is unafraid of doing whatever it takes to protect his nephew. Henry's cold manner that he is so famous for is satisfactorily explained as the result of a childhood void of affection, but it serves him well when calmly leading men, unemotional in the face of horrible odds.

Each of these players was brought to life in a way that made me wish that none of them had to die. But they did, and often with an eerie quietness that gave me chills. Instead of the big build up and dramatic death scene often found in novels, these characters died like everyone else, from a chance weapon swing or unnoticed opponent. Felled by illness or a victim of their own impetuosity, they died without false glorification. I didn't even have time to cry for them before events moved on without them.

They all had faults. Margaret's ruthlessness. Edward's hunger for blood and adventure that could only be fed by drink when he was at peace. Warwick's reluctance to take the big steps that would bring about resolution. Each of them committed violent acts that would haunt them. They were each so real.

Usually an author lets you know who the hero of a story is. When we review books of this era, we say things like, 'This was a Lancastrian point of view' or 'a Ricardian novel.' This was the story of them all, and I wanted everyone to win. But there were so few real winners in the Wars of the Roses. After all, that's how Henry Tudor was crowned in the end. Nobody else was left.

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text 2016-08-26 16:58
Reading progress update: I've read 258 out of 420 pages.
War of the Roses: Bloodline (The Wars of the Roses) - Conn Iggulden

Iggulden's battle scenes in this novel are some of the best I have read outside of anything featuring Cornwell's Uhtred.

 

 

 

"Warwick could only watch as the king stalked forward, in balance, untiring. No one wanted to face the king any longer. There was something savage about him, leonine or lupine. Warwick shuddered as he struggled just to breathe and keep up. He no longer had any doubts that Edward was fit to be king. He had the bloodline and he was a Goliath on the battlefield. Empires had been built on less." pg 194

 

"To Warwick's surprise, Edward was grinning, lifted by some dark delight. His armor was spattered with mud and blood, his surcoat stained red over the royal ions. Yet in that moment, in his youth and grief and anger, Warwick knew Edward had never experienced such untrammeled joy. He was drunk on violence." pg 196

 

I think I'm in love with King Edward. Not that little blond boy from The White Queen television series. A King Edward who looks an awful lot like Khal Drogo. 

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