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4.1 out of 5 stars59
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 7 October 2014
I did enjoy this book! I may be biased: I love this period of history and enjoy reading fictional accounts about the era that explore thoughts and feelings and add flesh to the bones of characters I've come across in history books. This book did this for me and I really wanted to give it more stars.
I wouldn't question the author's wisdom in choosing the subject for this his second book. It is only surprising with all the recent crop of fiction on this era that one of the most important and colourful characters in any period of English history could have fallen below the radar of other more established authors currently 'turning medieval'. And it wasn't the typo errors, layout problems... the usual things that plague self-published books. I can live with that in small doses as here: fiction writers are employing the creative process after all, not the technical; and proofreaders and editors are restrictively expensive for most. I would rather have these books out with them than not at all, and it didn't spoil my enjoyment of this one.
But as I read on, I found I was making up for shortcomings in the plot with my own knowledge of the period. Far too many essential episodes in the history are missing here. The War of the Roses is a mind-boggling maze of political twists and turns and yes, it would be a challenge to write the missing episodes, even more so to sprinkle them about the text without the whole thing turning into an epic. But I found the central characters well-developed and with enough depth and potential to carry this off and if added the episodes would give substance and reason for the characters' actions and better engage the less-informed reader. It is a challenge that any author writing about the War of the Roses simply MUST face.
I like Tony Ritches' book, and his Warwick. I hope he will beat others to it by going back to it, fleshing it out to twice its length, and giving the book and his characters the full credit they deserve. But in its present form I couldn't rate it any more highly, and to paraphrase Shakespeare's Richard III, I found it 'unfinished, sent before its time into the world... scarce half made up!'
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on 14 July 2014
I enjoyed Warwick immensely, warming to the well portrayed character of Warwick himself. As a lover of history it was wonderful to be absorbed in a period I knew little of and the depth of Tony Riches' research shines through every page. I grew up in St Albans and felt ashamed that I was totally unaware of the battles which once raged there, and reading Warwick has prompted me to find out more.
It was the mark of a good teller of historical fiction that I was so absorbed with the story I felt an irrational annoyance of Warwick for changing sides so easily at the end and saddened by his demise ~ even though my rational brain kept saying, 'this is what actually happened!'
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on 4 December 2015
I have read so much about the Great Kingmaker in other historical characters stories, but never just about him. I found this book interesting and easy to read. It retell his life from his birth to his tragic death. He came from what seemed to be a happy family, beloved parents and siblings. It all seemed to come apart when the jealousy of the council of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou became greedy and wanted all the power and refused to share any of it with the powerful York family. The friendships and love between the family were pulled apart. Then Edward IV made his own decisions about marriage and ruling the country to Warwick's detriment. Elizabeth Woodville married her huge family into all the aristocracy and never forgave Warwick for her father's and brother's death and was bent on revenge. Edward seemed quite happy to hand over all responsibilities to Elizabeth which annoyed and upset his family including Warwick. He seemed to just enjoy 'wine, women and song', once he was crowned King. He could have been a good king who reunited all the factions of his extended family, instead he opted out and died at a young age. Warwick obviously felt that he should have had some say in the running of the country whereas Elizabeth thought otherwise. A sad story that persisted into the next generation as well. Well done Mr. Riches for another good read.
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on 10 July 2014
Phew, what a drag. I didn't get into this book at all - the characters were shallow and unconvincing and I couldn't work out what made them tick - or even what the author thought made them tick. I have read extensively about this period in history and this novel just didn't cut it - there was no passion, even in Warwick's relationships with his wife and/or mistress or his stormy relationship with Edward IV. Three snores.
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on 20 April 2014
Nice to see events from his point of view for a change, which seem to differ from how other people perceived him
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on 3 April 2016
4.5 stars

Most interesting; this book showed me another side of the fascinating Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, otherwise known as The Kingmaker. I liked Riches' portrayal of him as a man of intelligence and forethought, not just ruthless ambition. Certainly made me see why he was so opposed to Edward IV's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, too!

I read this hot on the heels of the author's latest book, about Jasper Tudor; it's clear from reading this that it's an earlier book, simply because his writing has improved, as most authors' work tends to; Jasper is something of a masterpiece, whereas this is more of a very entertaining historical adventure. I do enjoy the way Riches writes. He sets the atmosphere of the time so well, and I particularly like reading about the battles. This book gave me a clearer insight into exactly why the Wars of the Roses began and some bits made me smile for personal reasons: Richard and Edward at the ancient fort of Hunsbury Hill in Northampton, for instance; I used to live on Hunsbury, a residential area now built on that site. Also, the mention of King Henry IV being cared for in Delapre Abbey, nearby ~ I was there last year with my father, taking a look at the renovations.

The Wars of the Roses is such a massive subject for any novelist to take on, and Tony Riches has, once again, dealt with it very well. There were some parts of Warwick's history with which I was not familiar, and I didn't find them too confusing! Definitely worth the read, for anyone who wants to know more about this intriguing character.
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on 23 May 2014
A well researched historical novel which takes the reader from the 21st century, back to the 15th century in quite a unique and at times a spine chilling way.

It has increased my understanding of the tensions and rivalries behind the Wars of the Roses and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
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on 17 May 2014
I was slightly disappointed with the depth of this book. A lot of it was quite superficial and I never quite got to like Richard, Earl of Warwick. for someone who was apparently quite charismatic, this book failed to capture that. Nonetheless, it was quite a good light read.
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on 9 September 2014
I always know that I will enjoy a book when the opening paragraphs grab me. It is like watching the first five minutes of a movie; you either buy into the story or get up and leave.
Warwick is a detailed piece of historical fiction, in which the content provides an easy yet educational insight into a period in history that I had only briefly read into before.
The pacing and flow of the storyline is captivating, and although the story takes a number of twists and turns in relation to the plot, which at times felt a little overwhelming, I was easily realigned as comprehension was achieved through excellent story telling. Tales of knighthood, intrigue, political alliances and war alongside the love and loss experienced in his family and marriage build this into a life like tale set in a complex period of history.
I would highly recommend this book to historical fiction readers who are hungry for intricate plot development delivered in a thoroughly researched historical piece.
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on 3 January 2015
Whilst I admire the depth of research I am finding the transition to a novel difficult to swallow. In particular I find it difficult to accept that something written in the 3rd person is privy to the subjective thoughts of the different characters.
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