Took a while to get into this one. My advice is to not try to follow the family trees at the beginning - just read the book. People and their place in the story will become clearer as you proceed.
I have previously enjoyed Iggulden's books very much. I especially loved the 'Emperor' series about Rome. I was disappointed here and I think it was due to the vast array of characters and their changing attitudes and allegiances. It was a struggle
When 22-year-old Henry VI, scion of the House of Lancaster, takes the throne of England in 1437, the rival House of York sees an opportunity to unseat the gentle, pious king known as "the Lamb." Especially once Henry agrees to trade certain British territories to France in exchange for a royal bride, Margaret of Anjou, and a truce between their constantly warring nations. This opening installment of the Wars of the Roses series combines the intricate dynastic politics of Sharon Kay Penman's historical sagas and the fast-paced, visceral military action of Bernard Cornwell's novels. Historical Fiction newsletter August 2014.
I rushed right through Stormbird in a day.
Appreciated a lot about the book. There are extensive historical notes and family trees. All interesting and helpful. Good characters were to be found in Margaret of Anjou, Thomas Woodchurch, Derry Brewer & Lord Suffolk. The POV from the Frenchmen was well done. Nice to have more than one side of things.
Still ended up with only a 2 star from me. Parts of the story felt too slow. Especially the section about the marriage of Margaret and Henry. The negotiations and troubles and proxy and......after awhile I just wanted to get on with the story. Though without it all, I doubt I would have liked Margaret as much. Bit of a conundrum there for me.
The story of Jack Cade felt jarring at the beginning. I had no idea why it was there and it took awhile to sort out why we kept coming back to his tale.
I imagine the next book will be better as the subject matter will be more interesting. Bring on the Duke of York!
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