Toby Clements was inspired to write the Kingmaker series having first become obsessed by the Wars of the Roses after a school trip to Tewkesbury Abbey, on the steps of which the Lancastrian claim to the English throne was extinguished in a welter of blood in 1471.
Since then he has read everything he can get his hands on and spent long weekends at re-enactment fairs. He has learned to use the longbow and how to fight with the poll axe, how to start a fire with a flint and steel and a shred of baked linen. He has even helped tan a piece of leather (a disgusting experience involving lots of urine and dog faeces). Little by little he became less interested in the dealings of the high and mighty, however colourful and amazing they might have been, and more fascinated by the common folk of the 15th Century: how they lived, loved, fought and died. How tough they were, how resourceful, resilient and clever. As much as anything this book is a hymn to them.
He lives in London with his wife and three children.
Divided Souls (2016)
(The third book in the Kingmaker series)
Lent, 1469. The recent wars between the House of York and the House of Lancaster seem over. The Yorkist King Edward sits on his throne in Westminster while the Lancastrian claimants are in exile or under lock and key in the Tower. But within the family of York, there is discord.
The Earl of Warwick conspires against his king, and while to one another’s faces they are all smiles, their household men speak in lies and whispers. No man comes to court unarmed. Thomas and Katherine have returned to Marton Hall, the only home they know.
But what lies buried in the past cannot remain so for long, and soon they are forced to take up arms once more in one of the most savage wars in history. The War of the Roses….
This is the 3rd book in this excellent series from Toby Clements, a series that has always surprised me from page one. I will admit to being fairly easy when it comes to a decent Historical Fiction book, give me a decent battle, with a good build up and great characters i can enjoy and i’m a happy reader. Conn Iggulden has done this period recently and just completed his series with Ravenspur, as ever he has dramatic prose and sweeping scenery and all the major players, the knights and lords and kings and queens. Toby on the other hand brings the same story down to a more earthly level, to the common man (and woman) caught up in events beyond his/her control, buffeted by the winds of power that change with the fickle moods of royalty and betrayal.
Thomas and Katherine as always find themselves buffeted by the fickle winds of fate, the great and the powerful searching for a way to oust the King. The Earl of Warwick returning to England to stir the pot and exact revenge for implied insults. More than in the previous two books Thomas and Katherine are dragged close to the flame of power, and we mix with the gentry, not just the common people. But the book never loses that common touch that is prevalent across the series, Thomas and Katherine always provide that intimately common touch, the villages, the farmers, the charcoal burners, the smiths etc…while they survive and navigate the corridors of power.
Old memories resurface, old enemies come back to haunt them, and old friends are a boon and a curse as they can be used against them.
Once again Toby Clements knocks it out of the park, even for a middle book the story, the characters and the writing is first class, there are no holes or weaknesses in the plot of this book that just powers along, holding the reader remorselessly in its grip
1. Winter Pilgrims (2014)
2. Broken Faith (2015)
3. Divided Souls (2016)
The No.2 Global Detective (2006)