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Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.


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Historical Novel Society

Bloodline (Wars of the Roses #3) by Conn Iggulden

Bloodline: Wars of the Roses - Conn Iggulden

I love how Iggulden brings something new to the Wars of the Roses in each installment in this series. He has taken a story that has been told many times and adds in a few new details that other authors left in the background. An example: the opening scene at York's Micklegate with men struggling to place the heads of Richard of York, Richard Neville of Salisbury, and Edmund of Rutland on spikes. I think I was holding my breath.

Margaret should have taken the Duke of York's warning more seriously. In killing York and Salisbury, she thought she had vanquished her enemies, but she truly had "unleashed the sons." Warwick and March (now York) are able to do what their fathers had not. Rather than a triumphant entry into London, Margaret finds herself running into exile.

The portrayal of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, is particularly well done. I enjoyed the view of his inner struggle with the death of his father, the fight for his immature but undeniably kingly cousin, and his eventual fall. How he tried to do the right thing at every turn, but somehow things turned out disastrously wrong.

Edward's reign is filled with it's own drama, largely due to his choice of wife. The young king may have established his dominance as a soldier on the bloody field of Towton, but he is no equal to a manipulative older woman. Elizabeth Woodville manages to isolate Edward from everyone who had formerly supported him and turn them against each other. She is certain that the support of her own family will be sufficient to replace that of the Neville's, and as we watch Warwick limp into exile we can almost believe that she is right.

Except we know there is more to this story. Book 4,Ravenspur: Rise of the Tudors cannot get here fast enough.