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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rather good piece of historical fiction
I have either read or listened to a number Conn Iggulden's historical fiction books and CD audio books. 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...
Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars but I think it would probably would be a real blast for male readers who enjoy the period
I agree that this book is very detailed and well researched, but for some reason it came over as a very "blokesy" book and "not for female consumption". I was already aware it was not a a romantic novel full of relatrionships, but I kept reading the book hoping that there would be more a bright spark somewhere in the pages. However, it was not a page...
Published 12 days ago by Hectordog


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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A rather good piece of historical fiction, 8 July 2013
By 
Amazon Customer "Sussman" (London CA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
I have either read or listened to a number Conn Iggulden's historical fiction books and CD audio books. 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. 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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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conn Storms Back, 10 Oct 2013
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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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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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This review is from: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Kindle Edition)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars wars of the roses, 20 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Kindle Edition)
magnificent first book about the wars of the roses, well the events leading up to them, the battles really begin in the second book - Trinity. l think the title refers to the three suns (a parhelion) a freak weather occurrence causing the sun to appear as three suns - this happened over one of the battlefields, and the superstitious Yorkist soldiers thought it meant they were doomed, but their leader, Edward Earl of March said he would take the sign as his badge and afterwards had the sign emblazoned on his standard, and his armour and the sign of his house.
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3.0 out of 5 stars but I think it would probably would be a real blast for male readers who enjoy the period, 12 Nov 2014
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I agree that this book is very detailed and well researched, but for some reason it came over as a very "blokesy" book and "not for female consumption". I was already aware it was not a a romantic novel full of relatrionships, but I kept reading the book hoping that there would be more a bright spark somewhere in the pages. However, it was not a page turner for me, in fact it left me feeling quite flat. I am sorry I can't say anything more positive, but I think it would probably would be a real blast for male readers who enjoy the period!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars will buy sequel. slightly disappointing contra all previous books ..., 1 Oct 2014
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will buy sequel.slightly disappointing contra all previous books by this man.who has inspired my youngest son , now 18,to be studying classics at university.
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4 of 5 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 
This review is from: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Kindle Edition)
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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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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3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not stunning, 25 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (Kindle Edition)
I am a fan of Iggulden historical novels, few do them better. This one isn't his best, no where near as good as the Ghengis Khan series which is strange considering that the research should have been easier. Never the less there are some interesting characters inserted into history to help make the links to the various real life individuals. The story itself covers the known history well but comes across as a series of separate events with only tenuous links in his story. Over all an enjoyable book without being too exciting.
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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)   
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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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