Ravenspur by Conn Iggulden

England, 1470. A kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. The Yorkist king Edward IV is driven out of England, his wife and children forced to seek sanctuary from the House of Lancaster. Yet rage and humiliation prick Edward back to greatness. He lands at Ravenspur, with a half-drowned army and his brother Richard at his side. Though every hand is against them, though every city gate is shut, they have come home. The brothers York will not go quietly into banishment. Instead, they choose to attack. Yet neither Edward nor Richard realize that the true enemy of York has yet to reveal himself. Far away, Henry Tudor has become a man. He is the Red Dragon - 'the man of destiny' who seeks to end the Wars of the Roses. His claim will carry him to Bosworth Field. There will be silence and the mourning of queens. There will be self-sacrifice and terrible betrayals. Two royal princes will be put to death. There will be an ending -- and a new royal house will stand over them all.

Previous books in the series are Stormbird, Trinity and Bloodline.

This book is a fitting and well written end to a brilliant series. Am I ready for it to end? Not at all. Iggulden writes beautifully and brings history to life and if he'd chosen to carry on writing about the English monarchy and its many troubles, I would have read every single word. But I shouldn't complain. I initially thought the Wars of the Roses series was a trilogy, so getting this fourth book was an unexpected gift.

This book is a bit more messy than the previous three as history becomes messier. We start out in 1470, and many things happen in a very short period of time and then barely anything happens for more than a decade - and then shit hits the proverbial fan once more as Red and White clash on the battlefield again and again as the Tudors finally rise. And I'm really just full of praise for Iggulden for navigating it, bringing it to life and steering the reader through it, coming out on the other side, having a far better understanding of what happened and quite possibly why. (And as always I revel in having just visited The Tower in London, having stood where history took place, seen buildings these historical figures saw, and so on and so forth. #nerd )

Once again Roy McMillan does a great job as the narrator, and the afterword by Iggulden (aka Historical Note) clears up any lingering questions you might have. All in all this series of historical novels are a thrilling read and makes you live and breathe history. I'm very sad to see it end, but can't wait for Iggulden's next project and where ever he may take us next.

Wars of the Roses #4
by Conn Iggulden
ISBN13: 9780718181420
469 pages / Published in spring 2016

Review by Iben Jakobsen, Borough of Books, 2016


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