“This is no game of thrones.” One of the principle characters pronounces in Conn Iggluden’s “War of The Roses: Margaret d’Anjou”. No, but “Game of Thrones” was based on the Wars of the Roses (minus the dragons and zombies, of course) so it’s no surprise that Iggluden, like Phillipa Gregory, got on the band wagon to tell the “real story”.
Where Gregory concentrated on the women in her “Cousins’ War” series, Iggluden focuses on the men. And where Gregory is pro-Yorkist, Iggluden’s characters are much more nuanced. The Yorkists aren’t angels, and the Lancastrians aren’t devils, King Henry is more than a catatonic prop, and Queen Margaret is a much more sympathetic character.; she’s a proud woman fighting for her throne and her only child. Best of all, Derry Stu—oops, I mean Derry Brewer is far more in the background here than in the first installment “Stormbird”, which makes him more realistic.
I know Iggluden is often *imaginative* with history, but he sticks closer to the real story here, and the battle scenes are vividly gory. (Let’s put it this way; it’s a good idea to wear armor.) If you’re a fan of Susan Higginbottam or Bernard Cornwell, then you’ll like this one.
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