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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story had elements reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy
A narrative describing what took place between 1450 and 1495 and how the Tudors came to the throne of England.

I have either read or listened to a number Conn Iggulden's historical fiction books and CD audiobooks. They have all been, for me, very well done and highly entertaining. Dare I say that his books set a high standard across the board for `historical...
Published 21 months ago by Susman

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stormbird
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...
Published 16 months ago by Keen Reader


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stormbird, 29 Nov. 2013
By 
Keen Reader "lhendry4" (Auckland, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A story had elements reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy, 8 July 2013
By 
Susman "Susman" (London Mills IL) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
A narrative describing what took place between 1450 and 1495 and how the Tudors came to the throne of England.

I have either read or listened to a number Conn Iggulden's historical fiction books and CD audiobooks. They have all been, for me, very well done and highly entertaining. Dare I say that his books set a high standard across the board for `historical fiction'. Mr Iggulden's first presentation was a book called `The Gates of Rome'; this was to be first of a series of five books of what is known as Emperor Series. The series is based around the life of Julius Caesar, from juvenile to his eventual betrayal and death (The Gods of War). The author's ability to cleverly entwine fact and fiction, in seamless fashion is truly flawless in my opinion, and this really makes his books work. This range of books has proved so popular that a film company has optioned the rights.

For me Wars of the Roses `Stormbird', proves to be just as promising a title as the ones mentioned previously. Without giving spoilers and regurgitating the plot summary, this current tale has the attention to historical detail that makes the narrative, ooze with history, and seems as if a newly discovered parchment from the past had just been discovered and published giving vivid new insights.

The tale of centres around `The Wars of the Roses' that were a series of dynastic wars fought between factions of two competing branches of the royal House of Plantagenet; the houses of Lancaster and York. A rather weak Henry VI's, who is plagued by both mental and physical ill health, has his right to the crown challenged by one Richard, Duke of York, who seems on the face it -initially away- being purposely marginalised by the Kings Court. The characters within the tale are all well rounded and you get a real feel for their predilections warts and all, such as the powerful and antagonistic Margaret of Anjou - King Henry VI's consort. She protected her husband, and eventually, protected her son, as well. The story had elements reminiscent of Shakespearean tragedy.

This is an author who has gone into history and teased out great stories about real people in conflict. It barely matters in which century or locale they're set, so long as they deal with inner and actual conflict. It's the human condition that counts, and that is what drives this author. For me this book was really good reading pleasure and I am rather impatient for the rest of the books in the current series to be 'published'. This is audio-book is well worthy of full four stars in my estimation.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conn Storms Back, 10 Oct. 2013
By 
You know, if you half closed your eyes you could be reading a Bull-Dog Drummond or Richard Hannay yarn, such is the ripping tone of Conn Iggulden's latest adventure.
If they'd taught history like this at school we'd have been fighting to get into class, not fighting the will to live.
Iggulden's a man who knows how to press all the buttons that make a British-born man's blood course and thrill, his juices flow, his mind run riot in a world where actions speak louder than words, and the words are pretty damn loud.
He did it with his Julius Caesar and Genghis Khan series, and now he's taken what is for many a subject as dull as ditchwater and turned it into living, bleeding, aching, loving, scarred flesh.
Stormbird delivers the background and build-up to the Wars of the Roses: A limp-d***ed king, a b*****d of an enemy within, a well-fit and feisty queen, an uppity French noble, a loyal but doomed diplomat and a home-grown troublemaker with a rag-bag army hell-bent on violent revolution.
Thrown into the boiling pot are characters made up to drive the tale along and keep it gripping your mind and guts: An all-action, dangerously devious spy, and a dispossessed war veteran with a mighty longbow arm.
Though historians might quibble, every inch of this book is believable, not least the battle in the stinking streets of London at night...you can feel yourself slipping in the filth and blood.
This is a serious MUSCLE book with just enough gore to satisfy the animal within and enough intrigue to keep readers eager.
In short, it's yet another masterpiece by Conn Iggulden.
The Wars of the Roses may be just beginning but he's already won the prize...King of Historical Fiction.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The War of the Roses as it has never before been told!, 10 Oct. 2013
By 
I've read novels about the War of the Roses before, but never like this one - with so much detail. In this first novel of the series, Conn Iggulden drills down deep into the history of this war, bring forward details about how it began and why. What makes this book so successful is that the author has time to develop each character, bringing their motivations and issues to the forefront.

It is the story of King Henry VI, a man plagued by frailness and a strange illness that renders him mute. His weakness demands others run the kingdom when he is incapacitated, and it is these men who are at the root of the problems. The English held territories in France are also at risk, with France working to seize back their lands. To bring peace, he marries Margaret of Anjou, the French king's daughter. As their marriage progresses, Margaret must take a stronger hand in guiding the kingdom's affairs.

Impeccable historical detail, coupled with compelling, well draw characters, and a fascinating period in history makes Conn Iggulden's version a must read. There are plenty of brutal and detailed battle scenes which contrast nicely to the gentler, kinder, or harrowing domestic scenes between the king and queen. This is definitely the book to read if you want a greater understanding of the cause and effects of the War of Roses on England and its people. Great pacing, fascinating people, and vibrant descriptions make this a must read!
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1.0 out of 5 stars If you like history and good writing, avoid this stinker, 28 Mar. 2015
I read and enjoyed the Caesar and Genghis series, which seemed (usually) well researched and appropriately balanced between known historical fact and reasonable speculation in the gaps.

This one is different. I can only assume Iggulden has become overconfident, because this book is rubbish. The central (invented) character hudely distorts the true historical basis, and other characters' roles are twisted out of all proportion in order to accommodate this. This means that the opportunity to explore their real roles, motives and actions is completely lost

Add to that: this is not a particularly good read. The narrative is disjointed, attempting to introduce multiple overlapping plots without proper sequence or timing.

It's a mess. I've struggled 60% of the way through, but had enough. Now filing it in the round plastic container under my desk. If you are contemplating purchase don't bother.

The main concern in my mind is that there are so many ignorant clots out there who think this is good historical fiction!
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3.0 out of 5 stars STORMBIRD needs a hero!, 15 Mar. 2015
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This book is okay(ish). Unlike Conn Igguldens previous books there is no single central character therefore there is no one that the reader can latch onto and the story leaps about all over the place and left me frustrated and annoyed.

The Emperor series had Julius Caesar and the Conqueror books had Genghis Khan and his descendants ~ absolutely brilliant books. In fact the Conqueror novels are among the very best historical fiction (and a lot of it wasn't that far off fact ~ as far as it is known) that I have ever read. Superb!

'Stormbird' lacked something. It was as though Conn had started the book but didn't what to with it or where to go with it. If I was asked if it is worth reading I probably say 'Don't bother'!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting read, 21 Jun. 2014
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Having read both the Emperor and Genghis Khan series of books this was a must have when it was released.
Conn Iggulden's books are always very well researched and this one was no exception. I have read many books on the WOTR but this one is interesting in that it starts right at the beginning of the wars and will, no doubt, end with the death of Richard on Bosworth Field. It gives quite a personal insight into the lives of not only the nobles but also common people and for that reason is quite fascinating. If you are interested in this period of history I am sure that you will learn a lot that you didn't know - I certainly did.
Shame that I have to wait for the 2nd instalment to be released but will certainly buy when it is released.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Iggulden classic, 12 Oct. 2013
By 
Parm (A bookshop near you) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I have come to have some very high expectations for any book that Conn Iggulden produces, he is as I have described in the past a "natural story teller". I'm lucky to have met the man many times, he is one of those people who commands a room with his presence. Not with arrogance or volume, just with his natural ability with a story, to make you feel like the only one in the room being spoken to. His books have that same effect, they talk to you and you alone, written for you and you alone.

Unlike the boisterous, violent affairs that are the emperor series or the Genghis series, Stormbird is a more of a story of families, of alliances made and broken, of subtle politics and deadly schemes of rebellion and action. There are some brilliant scenes of war that would be expected in any Iggulden novel, and some archer friends of mine I think will be very happy with his portrayal of the deadly English archer.

The War of the Roses is something that many of my generation touched upon at school, but like many it was butchered by poor syllabus and a teacher who didn't love his subject. Give a classroom of kids a teacher like Conn (who was a teacher) and an education brought to life in the same way as this book brings the early stages of the War of the Roses to life, and you will have a country immersed in a passion for its own past. I had to deliberately slow my reading to savour every page, every paragraph, to experience the intrigue of the spymaster, the fear and exhilaration of a new young queen, the confusion of a sick king, the plotting of an ambitious Duke, the rebellion and fury of a public owed so much more by its king and nobility. This book is packed with so much passion, so much information and so many great characters that it inundates the mind and wraps you in another time.

very highly recommended, one of my favourite books this year.

(Parm)

More great Iggulden magic

Emperor
1. The Gates of Rome (2003)
2. The Death of Kings (2004)
3. The Field of Swords (2004)
4. The Gods of War (2006)
5. The Blood of Gods (2013)
Gates of Rome / Death of Kings (omnibus) (2009)
Emperor: The Gates of Rome / The Death of Kings / The Field of Swords / The Gods of War (omnibus) (2012)
The Emperor Series Books 1-5 (omnibus) (2013)

Conqueror
1. Wolf of the Plains (2007)
aka Genghis: Birth of an Empire
2. Lords of the Bow (2008)
aka Genghis: Lords of the Bow
3. Bones of the Hills (2008)
4. Empire of Silver (2010)
aka Khan: Empire of Silver
5. Conqueror (2011)
Conqueror and Lords of the Bow (omnibus) (2009)
The Khan Series (omnibus) (2012)
Conqueror Series 5-Book Bundle (omnibus) (2013)

Tollins
1. Tollins: Explosive Tales for Children (2009)
2. Dynamite Tales (2011) (with Lizzy Duncan)

Quick Reads 2012
Quantum of Tweed: The Man with the Nissan Micra (2012)

Wars of the Roses
1. Stormbird (2013)

Novellas
Blackwater (2006)

Non fiction
The Dangerous Book for Boys (2006) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Yearbook (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: How to Get There (2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys Kit: Nature Fun (2008)
The Dangerous Book for Boys: 2009 Day-to-Day Calendar(2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Facts, Figures and Fun(2008)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Know (2008)(with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Wonders of the World(2008) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys 2010 Day-to-Day Calendar (2009)(with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book of Heroes (2009) (with David Iggulden)
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48 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good page Turner, dodgy history., 14 July 2013
By 
Hamstead (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As with all Conn Iggulden novels, this one is a page Turner with an easy writing style that will draw you into the novel and keep you turning the pages. There is plenty of action and violence to keep the core readership happy, but also a very sympathetic portrayal of Margaret of Anjou. You can't help but root for her - even if you have a strong suspicion that she really wasn't like that in a lot of ways. However, in Iggulden's version she's likeable and it's interesting to watch her grow throughout the novel as she struggles with a husband who is three sandwiches short of a picnic, and a court riven by factions in a difficult political time. It's also good to see the common man represented here and to be able to cheer for Thomas of Woodchurch and his son Rowan.
There is a lot to enjoy in the novel, but I nearly wall-banged it when I read the prologue which was downright ridiculous if you know your Middle Ages. The death of a king without benefit of a priest, and without a chamber full of witnesses would not have happened. Having his sons sitting round having a what is known in historical fiction reader circles as an 'As you know Bob' moment where the exposition is set out in unrealistic dialogue, while their dad chokes his last is unbelievable. And how on earth did Alice Perrers all on her own manage to put a suit of armour on an insensible man, a stroke victim and almost dead? I am glad I read on, but it was touch and go. There were a lot of historical errors and cobbling together throughout the novel, but I managed to suspend my disbelief. I wondered too why all the baddies had yellow teeth - such a cliche.
All in all a mostly enjoyable read, but as with all historical fiction, if you want the facts, best to check them in a non fiction book written by a reputable historian.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disgusting, 3 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (The Wars of the Roses) (Paperback)
Had to abandon this book which I was given as a present, I found the brutality early on in it so upsetting and distasteful that I just did not want to read any more of it. In many ways I prefer History to Historical Novels and rate Alison Weir very highly, though less highly in her novels than in her pure History books. All books like this make me want to do is to read "War and Peace" for a third time. No wonder with this sort of stuff around that the beastly Jihadis go in for murder and torture!
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Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (The Wars of the Roses)
Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (The Wars of the Roses) by Conn Iggulden (Paperback - 24 April 2014)
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