Conn Iggulden: War of the Roses (Bloodline) Review

I was born in the normal way in 1971, and vaguely remember half-pennies and sixpences. I have written for as long as I can remember: poetry, short stories and novels. It’s what I always wanted to do and read English at London University with writing in mind. I taught English for seven years and was Head of English at St. Gregory’s RC High School in London by the end of that period. I have enormous respect for those who still labour at the chalk-face. In truth, I can’t find it in me to miss the grind of paperwork and initiatives. I do miss the camaraderie of the smokers’ room, as well as the lessons where their faces lit up as they understood what I was wittering on about.

My mother is Irish and from an early age she told me history as an exciting series of stories – with dates. My great-grandfather was a Seannachie, so I suppose story-telling is in the genes somewhere. My father flew in Bomber Command in WWII, then taught maths and science. Perhaps crucially, he also loved poetry and cracking good tales. Though it seems a dated idea now, I began teaching when boys were told only girls were good at English, despite the great names that must spring to mind after that statement. My father loved working with wood and equations, but he also recited ‘Vitai Lampada’ with a gleam in his eye and that matters, frankly.

I’ve always loved historical fiction as a genre and cut my teeth on Hornblower and Tai-Pan, Flashman, Sharpe and Jack Aubrey. I still remember the sheer joy of reading my first Patrick O’Brian book and discovering there were nineteen more in the series. I love just about anything by David Gemmell, or Peter F. Hamilton or Wilbur Smith. I suppose the one thing that links all those is the love of a good tale.

That’s about it for the moment. If you’d like to get in touch with me leave a comment in the forum or you can tweet me @Conn_Iggulden. I’ll leave it there for the moment. If you’ve read my books, you know an awful lot about the way I think already. There’s no point overdoing it.

bloodline

Buy a signed copy

Bloodline  (The third book in the Wars of the Roses series)
A novel by Conn Iggulden

Winter 1461 – Richard Duke of York is dead, his ambitions in ruins, his head spiked on the walls of York city. King Henry VI is still held prisoner. His Lancastrian queen rides south with an army of northerners, accompanied by warriors from the Scottish Highlands. Margaret and her army seem unstoppable. But his death has unleashed York’s sons.

Edward of March, now Duke of York, proclaims himself England’s rightful king. Through blood and treason, broken men and vengeful women, brother shall confront brother, king shall face king. Two men may claim a crown. Only one can keep it.

Review

The latest book from Conn Iggulden in his War of the Roses series and i have to say the finest in this series and quite possibly in his personal library of writing.  This book follows the next stage of the War of the Roses, Margaret of Anjou has killed Richard of York and defeated his army, but she makes her mistake by rubbing his son Edward Duke of March nose in it. She mounts York’s head on a traitors spike on the city gate. As nothing else this drives Edward to proclaim himself king, aided by his friend and mentor Warwick both of whom want nothing more than to defeat the killers of their fathers and retrieve their honour and heads.

Thus two great armies must meet on the great and bloody battlefield of Towton. If you know the history you know that this is a resounding win for Edward ending with the utter defeat of Henry’s forces, and leaving England with one strong king and thousands of dead bodies.

Throughout the entire lead up, battle and its aftermath Conn Iggulden tells his tale with an impartial insight and compassionate approach to viewpoint of the narrative. Margaret’s reasons seem sound when seen through her eyes, Edwards revenge vindicated, Warwick and the Neville’s decisions sound. even the reasoning behind King Edwards wifes persecution of certain nobels has a certain logic seen though her perspective. All of this leaving the way open for the reader to enjoy, be involved and interpret their own personal view of events.

I’ve always been a fan of Conn Igguldens style of writing, but this book is a new step in my opinion, one i wasn’t aware of the source until i read about his personal loss, something i think that has infused a certain extra depth and emotive layer which when coupled with the dramatic and extremely descriptive action packed style he has, makes this truly and exceptional book.

I doff my cap sir, i didn’t think you could out do wolf of the plains, but you prove me wrong again…. I look forward to you doing so again and again.

Series
Emperor
1. The Gates of Rome (2002)
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) (2011)
The Emperor Series Books 1-5 (omnibus) (2013)
Emperor Series Collection 5 Books Set (omnibus) (2014)

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)
Wars of the Roses
1. Stormbird (2013)
2. Trinity (2014)
aka Margaret of Anjou
3. Bloodline (2015)
Novellas
Blackwater (2006)
Fig Tree (2014)
Series contributed to
Quick Reads 2012
Quantum of Tweed (2012)
Non fiction
The Dangerous Book for Boys Yearbook (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Dangerous Book for Boys (2007) (with Hal Iggulden)
The Pocket Dangerous Book for Boys: Things to Do (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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2 Comments

Filed under Conn Iggulden, Historical Fiction

2 responses to “Conn Iggulden: War of the Roses (Bloodline) Review

  1. Hi Robin, is this the numbered edition? David. Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2015 08:35:58 +0000 To: magroodle@hotmail.com

  2. Pingback: Parmenion Books my 2015 in Review | parmenionbooks

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