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Wars Of The Roses Book 1 Hardcover – International Edition, November 26, 2013

182 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Pacey and juicy, and packed with action Sunday Times Energetic, competent stuff; Iggulden knows his material and his audience Independent A novel that seamlessly combines narrative, historical credence and great knowledge of the period Daily Express Iggulden is in a class of his own when it comes to epic, historical fiction Daily Mirror Superbly plotted and paced The Times Conn breathes new life into the darkest and most dramatic of times, with a flair for both the huge scale and human interest of it all Star Exceptionally well-written and gripping Stylist Compelling reading Woman & Home A benchmark for historical fiction, showcasing Conn Iggulden at his finest Parmenion Books blog Full of period detail, the narrative weaves a glittering thread through the complex, political chaos of the time. It's been said that Game of Thrones is the Wars of the Roses written as fantasy: this is the real thing, more glorious, more passionate, far, far more gritty -- Manda Scott, author and head of HWA --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Conn Iggulden is one of the most successful authors of historical fiction writing today. Stormbird is the first book in his brilliant new series set during the Wars of the Roses, an extraordinary period of British history. His previous two series, on Julius Caesar and on the Mongol Khans of Central Asia, describe the founding of the greatest empires of their day and were number one bestsellers. Conn Iggulden lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and children.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Joseph; First Edition edition (November 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718159837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718159832
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #466,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Despite finding time to write historical novels and The Dangerous Book for Boys, Conn Iggulden is in some ways better known as a trainer of Tollins. His Tollin troupe, "Small and Mighty," are famous in Tasmania, where they often play to packed houses. "It used to be just a hobby," he says, "but when you've seen a display of Tollin synchronized flying, you realize it's your life's work. Also, they can be transported in shoe boxes, so it's pretty cheap to get around."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
In 1437, after 15 years of regency, Henry VI was declared of an age to reign. He proved to be a weak and malleable king, dangerously dependent on two men to run his kingdom. The two men are spymaster Derry Brewer and William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. Henry VI has decided that peace with France would be a good thing, but with English territories in France under threat and rumours of revolt in England, not all of his nobles agree.

‘The whole country is waiting for young Henry to be half the man his dad was, to finish the glorious work that took half of France and made their precious Dauphin prince run like a little girl.’

A secret deal is struck by the Duke of Suffolk and Derry Brewer for Henry to marry Margaret of Anjou, a young French noblewoman. This deal involves returning English0held territories back to France. Richard, Duke of York (amongst others) is outraged. Unrest in England leads to the rebellion led by Jack Cade, and it isn’t at all clear whether Henry will prevail.

This is the first book of a trilogy Conn Iggulden has planned on the Wars of the Roses. The focus in this novel is on the politics and warfare, on the intrigue and infighting, on the treachery. It was a turbulent period, and while Conn Iggulden has taken some liberties with the history, he breathes life into the people and events. Most of the characters are based on real historical figures and those that are not – such as Derry Brewer - help to bring the various strands of the story together.

‘Historical fiction sometimes involves filling in the gaps and unexplained parts of history.’

I enjoyed the novel for its pace and found Conn Iggulden’s depiction of both Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou more sympathetic than in some other novels I’ve read. If historical accuracy is more important to you than a rollicking good read, then this may not be the novel for you.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Shaun J on October 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once again Conn Iggulden delivers, and more. Simply a brilliantly written and researched novel.
As a history teacher I was always faced with the problem of making history come alive. The answer is to read Conn Iggulden.
I must admit this is a period of history that I never really paid much attention to. Stormbird gripped me from the first page, and since I have finished reading it, I have spent sleepless nights reading about the War of the Roses. I think you will too.
I became an addict with The Conqueror series, even more addicted with The Emperror series, and I am hooked again with this gem about medieval England.
Anyone who loves brilliant, accurately written historical novels, will submerge themselves in this tale of violence, intrigue, betrayal and revenge.
It is history alive!
An absolute page-turner that leaves you begging for more as the last page is turned.
It leaves just one question, when can we expect the next one?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Elspeth G. Perkin on July 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There seems to be a slew of books appearing in 2014 about the Wars of the Roses and why not with all the ingredients laid out by history for an imaginative mind to compose an impressive array that brings the 15th-century English and French events and names alive for their eager audience. Who doesn't want to read about the pious mentally inept king, a she-wolf from France, the devious dukes, an epic battle for a crown and an author's interpretation of the princes in the tower? I know every time I see a new book about the Wars of the Roses I hear my name called and enthusiastically await the release date. It's like a firework show, you wait with anticipation and then the show starts. Even though you have attended dozens of firework shows and know what to expect you have to see one more to see if more can be added. Stormbird (Wars of the Roses #1) became that one more show I had to see. After reading multiple reviews and watching the book trailer this was the book I just had to read and sadly I think I was expecting more than what was presented.

There is no doubt Stormbird (Wars of the Roses #1) is entertaining but it seems to be more suited for those readers who desire non-stop action and precious else. Although the battle scenes, the details about the importance of English longbows, superstitions, the depictions of archaic medical techniques and effects were entertaining at first and overall fascinating there just seemed to be a lack of characterization. I was hoping for a little more in terms of multifaceted characters and for the names from history to come alive. The beginning of the novel had promise and contained exactly what I wanted to see but then veered and tilted down a long succession of action scenes that just didn't stop and the names, dates and places began to blur for me.
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23 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Brown Heinz on November 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book has just come out and is getting heavily promoted here in London, where I am on vacation. So I bought it at Hatchard's, looking forward to a really terrific read. I'm sorry to be disappointed in this hope. Iggulden is no prose stylist; his writing is plain and uninspired. The characters don't come alive and their unrealistic conversations are burdened with having to convey the whole complex sociopolitical setting. You wish there'd be a narrative voice that would just tell us the necessary background and then let the characters have believable conversations. I keep asking "Who's this talking now?" and thumb back to the charts and maps. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Hilary Mantel. Perhaps this is a less familiar piece of English history. Still, the burden is on the author to create believable and engaging characters, and from that viewpoint, this book is a disappointment.
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