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Wars of the Roses: Stormbird

Wars of the Roses: Stormbird [Kindle Edition]

Conn Iggulden
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Historical fiction master Conn Iggulden retells the gripping story of the English civil war in his new Wars of the Roses series.

King Henry V - the great Lion of England - is long dead.

In 1437, after years of regency, the pious and gentle Henry VI, the Lamb, comes of age and accedes to the English throne. His poor health and frailty of mind render him a weakling king - Henry depends on his closest men, Spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, to run his kingdom.

Yet there are those, such as the Plantagenet Richard, Duke of York, who believe England must be led by a strong king if she is to survive. With England's territories in France under threat, and rumours of revolt at home, fears grow that Henry and his advisers will see the country slide into ruin. With a secret deal struck for Henry to marry a young French noblewoman, Margaret of Anjou, those fears become all too real.

As storm clouds gather over England, King Henry and his supporters find themselves besieged abroad and at home. Who, or what, can save the kingdom before it is too late?

The Wars of the Roses series will be a benchmark for historical fiction, showcasing Conn Iggulden at his finest.

Praise for Conn Iggulden:

'This is energetic, competent stuff; Iggulden knows his material and his audience' Independent

'Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction' Daily Mirror

'Iggulden...tells an absolutely cracking story' The Times

Conn Iggulden is the author of the best-selling Emperor and Conqueror historical fiction series and also the co-author (with his brother Hal), of 2006's British Book of The Year, The Dangerous Book for Boys. Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full time writer. He is married and lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and children.

About the Author

Conn Iggulden is one of the most successful authors of historical fiction writing today. Stormbird is the first book in his brilliant new series set during the Wars of the Roses, an extraordinary period of British history. His previous two series, on Julius Caesar and on the Mongol Khans of Central Asia, describe the founding of the greatest empires of their day and were number one bestsellers. Conn Iggulden lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1636 KB
  • Print Length: 522 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399165363
  • Publisher: Penguin (10 Oct 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #440 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Born in London, Conn Iggulden read English at London University and worked as a teacher for seven years before becoming a full-time writer. Married with three children, he lives in Hertfordshire. Since publication of 'The Gates of Rome', Conn has written a further thirteen books including the wildly successful 'The Dangerous Book for Boys'.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn set in mediaeval times 23 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
There are lots of novels written about the Wars of the Roses. They tend to be by our female authors, and from what I can tell they tend to be heavy on "relationships". This is not one of those books. Iggulden is more into disembowelling and torture than anything so nambypamby as a relationship.

The king of England (Henry VI) has made a truce (for 20 years, in theory) with the king of France. Two counties, Anjou and Maine, have been handed back to the French, and the king gets to marry a French princess (Margaret of Anjou). Not everyone is entirely happy with this arrangement, in particular the English settlers in those two areas.

Henry VI is no great warrior, it seems. Much English territory in France is lost because the residents see no benefit in Henry's truce. Instead they fight to keep their farms. The French army used the resistance as a breach if the truce, and sweep over the English lands they have been granted and on into Normandy, and right up to the fortifications of Calais.

Dispossessed settlers and disenchanted peasants revolt, the men of Kent under Jack Cade prominent among them. They kill the High Sheriff of Kent, stick his head on a pole and advance upon London, fighting across the bridge over the Thames and sacking the Tower of London, forcing the king to flee.

There is something wrong with King Henry - he spends much of the book on his sickbed, and although his wife becomes pregnant, Henry dies before the child is born. Richard of York is appointed regent. Cue the sequel...

I missed all this stuff at school in Scotland - they didn't give us English history until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. So I don't know how much is true and how much is Shakespeare. The author appends a historical note in which he admits that he doesn't know either... But as a ripping yarn set in mediaeval times, it does the job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all of Conn Iggulden's books I was interested to read his take on this period in British history and the main characters who were involved. I enjoyed the book very much and Mr Iggulden does a wonderful job of fleshing out the main protagonists along with his own characters and his descriptions of the tactics, underhand plotting and the bloody slaughter on the battle fields is excellent. I look forward to his next offering in the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stormbird 29 Nov 2013
By Keen Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER
This is the first in an upcoming series on the Wars of the Roses, the struggle between Lancastrians and Yorkists for the throne of England and the right to succession following the death in 1377 of Edward III.

The author has written epic sagas before, but the fifteenth century English setting is a new departure for him I believe. I found this book a good novel of the prelude to, and beginning of the Wars of the Roses, but not great. The characters were largely historical figures, but there were `fictional' characters used by the author to expand on the historical sources, and these were drawn more fully than the historical characters I thought. I found the characters were rather shallow, and we never really got inside their heads - while we saw action, we never really understood motivation or intention.

The action is well portrayed, but I didn't ever really feel that I was drawn into the story entirely; personally I didn't feel an empathy for any of the characters, historical or fictional, and I never really felt like I was totally involved in the whole story. There's much more to be told of the Wars of the Roses, but I think that Mr Iggulden will not be able to entice me to read more of his saga. Good, not great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking Roses 20 July 2014
Stormbird is Iggulden's introductory novel to his latest epic historical saga; an arc encompassing the seemingly never out of print War of the Roses.

The difference with this book, is that the relationships of the protagonists are not on display here, fittingly, from the author of 'The Dangerous Book for Boys', this novel is more concerned with the rending of flesh, the clash of steel, and men fighting and dying. Whilst it is refreshing to approach the events from a different perspective, the characterisations are broad, often indistinct, and often it feels as though fact is not allowed to interfere in the rollicking tale.

Whilst Stormbird will not win the same plaudits or accolades as, say, Wolf Hall, it is a rocketing read, the protagonists race around mediaeval England and around the rest of the continent, Intricate plots and common uprisings abound as the events unfold, neatly setting up another epic series.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
When Henry the Lion dies unexpectedly, leaving a worrisome youth on the throne, sadly so unlike his namesake, the powers that be decide that on his coming of age the best way to avoid disaster is to unite with the enemy, France. The boy Henry is to be married to Margaret of Anjou. The property settled on England's archers, the victors of Agincourt, is to be returned to France. With the benefit of hindsight it is clear that this is a disastrous foreign policy, bringing nothing but unrest to these islands, the exiled fleeing from France with little but vengeful intentions left to call their own. As Normandy, too, threatens to fall under this avalanche of bounty for France, it is not just young Margaret of Anjou who arrives on English shores to stir the half-mad king. With her travels rebellion and anger, enflamed by those closest to Henry who, against nature, have least thought for his care. The Wars of the Roses take root, flourish and grow through the pages of a masterpiece of a novel - Stormbird by Conn Iggulden.

It is fitting that the cover of Stormbird is my favourite of the year. Its shades of gold shine; within the covers are beautifully drawn and coloured maps and family trees. This is a stunning novel to possess. But, not unexpectedly (it is by Conn Iggulden, after all), its story more than rivals it. The Wars of the Roses is a popular theme, boosted by the recent discovery of the remains of one of its most notorious protagonists Richard III, but Iggulden brings the origins of this conflict to life through the stories and experiences of a host of less familiar characters, both factual and fictional, both powerful and near destitute.

This is a novel full of violence, battle and shock, but, for me, despite that, the most memorable figure is young Margaret of Anjou.
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