- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 7373 KB
- Print Length: 308 pages
- Publisher: Preseli Press (17 Mar. 2017)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XQK1R6S
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 54 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,307 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£8.99|
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Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy Kindle Edition
|Length: 308 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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- The Tudor Trilogy (3 Book Series) to Henry - Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy
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The book, twenty-five chapters long, begins in August 1485 with the attention-grabbing admission from the main character that he never in fact wanted to be king. Riches’ sombre Henry proves to be a reluctant hero, a man who stepped up to the plate because there was nobody else to challenge the tyranny of Richard III. As his uncle Jasper puts it to his nephew, “if you were king, you could bring peace to this country”. This serves as Henry’s motivation throughout the book, something I believe was true of the historical Henry;
“The archbishop blessed their union and declared them man and wife. Henry lifted Elizabeth’s gossamer veil and kissed her. As he did so, a weight lifted from his shoulders. He’d finally united Lancaster and York and would never have to face life alone again”.
As is Riches’ well-established style, the story doesn’t dawdle or stutter, and remains fast-paced throughout the work. There is little time wasted on irrelevant minute details, but rather the book is very much plot-driven, from Henry’s coronation to the birth of his children, whilst major story arcs include the various pretenders who threatened his throne and the heart-wrenching deaths of his wife and heir. This is not to suggest the work is rushed and incomplete; before you realise it, you will have read far more in one sitting than anticipated, such is the struggle to extradite yourself away from the Tudor court and put the book to one side.
A significant part of the book is spent exploring the relationship between Henry and his wife Elizabeth; unlike other fiction books featuring the pair, Riches’ follows known historical fact and puts forward a warm, even loving, relationship between the pair. They play cards together, hunt together, plan their family and even discuss policy in private, very much a united power-couple. I particularly felt touched by Henry’s gradual alienation from his children, and the realisation at one point that he barely knew his seven-year-old son Arthur, having become preoccupied with matters of state. At one point, the young prince, a serious character, refers to his father as ‘your grace’ and is gently admonished by the king.
‘Father’. He corrected his shy son. ‘You must call me father’. Henry studied his son’s thin, pale face and glimpsed an echo of his himself at the same age. ‘You are growing into a fine scholar, Arthur’, he grinned, ‘but we must make time for merrymaking. We shall spend more time together. I will teach you how to lose your money at cards!’
Henry is a likeable protagonist, portrayed at odds with the cold caricature often found in similar works that is at odds with the real Henry. He is backed up a charming Elizabeth for whom it is easy to fall for, her attractiveness leaping off the page. What I enjoyed most, however, was how Henry was shown to be a real man; not a superhero, not infallible, not perfect, but just a flawed man trying to navigate his way through a chaotic life using his considerable mental faculties, innate determination to do the best and natural inclination for caution. The book is an easy-to-read escape and a fitting conclusion to the Tudor Trilogy series. There are far worse historical fiction books on the market, and with ones featuring Henry VII, there are few better than Riches’ ‘Henry’. I strongly suggest you pick up your copy soon, or, even better, get hold of all three instalments in the trilogy.
I reviewed this as a member of Rosie Amber's Review Team, via an ARC, but I'm a big fan of this author so I would have bought it anyway. I adored the second part of the Tudor Trilogy, Jasper, and was looking forward to this last part.
I love Plantagenet and Tudor history, but Henry VII is one of the characters I knew less about; I've always thought of him, I suppose, as a not very interesting link between the wars of York and Lancaster, and the great era of the eighth Henry and Good Queen Bess. This book showed, though, that the uniting of the two houses to end the Wars of the Roses, after Henry defeated Richard III at Bosworth and married Elizabeth of York, was far from the end of the story. He then had to deal with kingship itself, something that his mother, Margaret Beaufort, had always assured him was his right, though he was not one who sailed gallantly into such a role. His reign was beset by troubles with the Yorkist rebels, imposters like Perkin Warbeck, the Cornish rebellion, financial difficulties, and tragedy within his own family, with the deaths of children Edmund and Katherine and, of course, Prince Arthur ~ which gave way to the reign of the most famous of all English kings, Henry VIII.
I liked how Tony Riches has shown us the man behind the sombre portrait, and I warmed to his Henry Tudor very much. Even though some of his problems were of his own making, he seemed like an honest, self-aware, realistic person, rather humble, and very much like his mother ~ the 'Beaufort Steel' is much in evidence, though to my mind it skipped a generation, and didn't come out again until Henry's granddaughter, Elizabeth, was on the throne. Riches writes so well, and I read this book in almost one sitting. So interesting, of course, to read about the young Henry VIII, and I had forgotten the difficulties that came with his desire to marry Catherine of Aragon, his brother's widow. I couldn't help thinking that, given the events some twenty-odd years later, it might have not been meant to be.
Henry's story is not as thrilling as Jasper's, but this is a fine end to a superbly researched and well-written trilogy, one I would recommend to anyone with an interest in this period of history. And don't forget to read the Author's Note!
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