The thrilling first instalment in the Wars of the Roses series - set at the beginnings of this turbulent period of English history which saw the throne change hands six times in 30 years.
The Swan sees Henry VI crowned King of England and married to the young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou - and so begins the extraordinary story of how England became a divided nation, where brother took up arms against brother. This was the war which defined the England we know today.
The Wars of the Roses series will be a landmark piece of historical fiction writing, with all the intrigue, drama, and action one expects from one of the biggest names in the genre. This is Conn Iggulden at his finest.
©2013 Conn Iggulden (P)2013 Penguin Books Limited
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"Fresh and vivid historical fiction."
I really liked this. I read a couple of Philippa Gregory's and while I enjoyed her portrayal of the women involved, and think she writes well, it remained 'women's' fiction,' which is fine. But I found this stronger on the broader picture of the war and the affairs of important men. I grew into the characters and particularly enjoyed the portrayal of Margeret of Anjou's progress from naive 14 year old bride to the woman she becomes. Excellent.
When I gave up on Robyn Young's Robert Bruce thing I thought it was, perhaps, the multiple viewpoints and a slightly tired format. Sorry Robyn, but this shows it was the writing; Conn Iggulden's characters are strong and the storytelling is vivid. The battles are more exciting and the writing is generally fresher. I'm looking forward to the next instalment already.
"historical fiction at its best"
I think Conn Iggulden is a natural storyteller and it comes through in this book, a perfect pace, where the history and fiction are interwoven to give a great listen. The Characters are great and you can feel the action, either as an archer facing a charge or a Queen getting married. If history was taught like these books are written we would have a nation of historians.
Historical fiction is not everyones cup of tea, but if we still lived in times where stories were passed down in an aural tradition this would be how we learnt history and the powerful characters like Margaret of Anjou, and Jack Cade would be better known.
Derry Brewer was my favorite character mainly because he is who the story runs through, he is made up as is pointed out but there must have been someone who existed and did similar things, but Margaret of Anjou makes me want to find out more about her real history.
to me the reader is not as important as the book, It is true a bad or boring reader can ruin a story, but Roy McMillan does a great job keeping the story moving, better than Richard E Grant, who has a voice that is to know which distracts.
The Silent son of the lion king.
"War of the roses"
Oh I think he makes the story so much more exciting, I would not have read this in book form.
This is my first book I have listened to by Conn Iggulden, and I loved it ,even though there was a lot of fighting,blood and gore. The historical content was so interesting . Will look for more by Conn.
"It must be just me!"
I just did not like this book - I thought I was reading the script of a tv pseudo historical drama series complete with a Robin Hood character with bow and arrow and a James Bond person who performed almost superhuman feats of appearance and disappearance - the narration was OK but I wanted more about Henry and Margaret and their relationship with each other and the Court - I finished the book still thinking I might have picked a "young person/children's" book by mistake.
"Usual high quality by Conn Iggulden"
Informative and a really good listening, puts this period of history into perspective. Also not a lot of novels cover this period
Hard to say
He flowed with story made the characters seem real.
If you think politicians are bad today
Looking forward to the rest of the books.
"I am biased....."
Yes. I would recommend not only this book but any written by Conn Iggulden. So far he has not written a bad one (I suppose at some time in the future he will but hopefully not)
Possibley the Bernard Cornwell Grail Quest series. Simply because it is set in a similar historical setting
He allows me to pass many hours of driving with out either getting bored or listening to inane chatter interupted by a mix of good, bad and awful music
Yes the appearence in front of Rueben by a man he considered if not a freind at least a supporter who was now his judge and determined to make Rueben confess to his "crimes" despite knowing the accusations were false.
Can't wait for the next installment
"Excellent book, well read."
Pleasantly surprised by this book. A great story based on historical fact. The fictional characters are well conceived and merge very believably with the historical.
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