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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Loyalty (White Hawk II) by David Pilling

The White Hawk (II): Loyalty - David Pilling, MoreVisual

This second installment in the White Hawk series makes it difficult to remain a Yorkist. Pilling has written a Wars of the Roses story that is as real and gory as it is heart-wrenching. As the reader watches the downfall of one Lancastrian family, the Boltons, it is difficult to not sympathize with these people whose worst crime is fighting for their anointed king.


After the surprise ending in Revenge, this installment focuses on Martin, James, and Mary Bolton as they are caught up in the unlikely alliance between Warwick and Margaret of Anjou (or Queen of England if you prefer). No matter how loyal, brave, or pious, there are few happy endings for devoted Lancastrians.


If you are hoping for a romantic, white-washed tale of chivalry and glorious knights defeating tyrannical villains, this is not it. This may be the most violent book I have ever read. And the most realistic. And the most depressing. It is tempting to believe that the author was there on the field at Tewkesbury, and he is one of the few to make the reader think hard about the consequences suffered by all involved in this brutal conflict between cousins.