Sunday, 3 April 2016

WARWICK: The man behind the Wars of the Roses by Tony Riches

4 out of 5 stars

Plantagenet historical fiction

On Amazon UK HERE
On Goodreads HERE

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!

James Frain as Warwick in 'The White Queen' ~ it's how I always think of him!

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.  
I wonder if Warwick trod the same paths on Hunsbury as I used to?

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.  Oh, and you'll be as interested as I was to see who a famous descendent of Warwick was, in the Author's Note at the back :)

The Eleanor Cross in Northampton, near Delapre Abbey

OWEN by Tony Riches reviewed HERE

  JASPER by Tony Riches reviewed HERE


  1. Thanks Terry - you are right, Warwick was a steep'learning curve' of how to convey the complexity of the Wars of the Roses and keep the narrative engaging. It was fun to portray Warwick as an enigmatic villain in The Tudor Trilogy!

    1. OH yes - which is how I think we all think of him! This is why I liked this so much, in particular the earlier parts - because he wasn't ALWAYS James Frain at his most dastardly; before that, he was just a young man with a lot on his shoulders.