Tony Riches

‘Jasper – Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy’ by ‘tonyriches #bookreview #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I reviewed ‘Jasper – Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy’ for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

Riches 2

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

England 1461: The young King Edward of York has taken the country by force from King Henry VI of Lancaster. Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, flees the massacre of his Welsh army at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross and plans a rebellion to return his half-brother King Henry to the throne. 
When King Henry is imprisoned by Edward in the Tower of London and murdered, Jasper escapes to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. Then after the sudden death of King Edward and the mysterious disappearance of his sons, a new king, Edward’s brother Richard III takes the English Throne. With nothing but his wits and charm, Jasper sees his chance to make young Henry Tudor king with a daring and reckless invasion of England.
Set in the often brutal world of fifteenth century England, Wales, Scotland, France, Burgundy and Brittany, during the Wars of the Roses, this fast-paced story is one of courage and adventure, love and belief in the destiny of the Tudors. 

I love well-written fiction that’s based on actual historical events and people. Bringing these characters to life in an interesting and entertaining way while still maintaining historical accuracy is a difficult balance, but Tony Riches does this brilliantly. It’s no mean feat to research as thoroughly as Riches obviously has for this book, and then to turn that research into a gripping and engaging tale. The past is really brought to life.

I very much enjoyed the first in this trilogy, so was really looking forward to this novel. It doesn’t disappoint. The characterisation works really well, the writing is skilful and, for the most part, technically flawless (a few issues with tense at times, but nothing that really spoiled the reading experience), and the passion the author has for history comes across in the way that history is portrayed.

My only issue was that, as I don’t know a great deal about this period, I was sometimes a bit confused as to who was who and what their relationships to each other were. To be honest though, I’m not really sure what Riches could do to make this clearer, and possibly in a book that covers so much intrigue and differing alliances and allegiances, this is just how it has to be. These were complicated times, and Riches can’t change history! He does a very good job of writing it though.

4 stars

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#RBRT Book Review: ‘Owen’ by Tony Riches @rosieamber1 @tonyriches

Rosie's Book Review team 1

I read and reviewed ‘Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy’ for Rosie Amber’s book review team

owen

Amazon.co.uk   Amazon.com

I love a good, intelligent historical novel. There are so many out there, and I have to be honest and say that, on many occasions, I have bought a promising looking book, only to abandon it within the first few chapters. Very often, the detail won’t be right, or the characters will behave in a way that just isn’t realistic for the time. One of the main issues though is that the dialogue can be so hard to get right. I’ve read so many historical novels where the characters use words that just wouldn’t have been around in the period in which they are set, or, alternatively, where the writer is so keen to make the dialogue authentic that they overdo it and render the book unreadable.

I’m pleased to say that neither of those things were issues in this book. The historical detail was rich and informative. I felt as though I learned a great deal about this particular period of history while immersed completely in Owen’s story. And the language was spot on too. Nothing felt out of place.

The story is fascinating. Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, falls in love with Queen Catherine of Valois, the widow of King Henry V. I had never heard of Owen, and knew nothing of his remarkable story. Their romance, and the dangers it brings, is played out against the background of the conflicts, intrigues and betrayals of the time that led to the War of the Roses.

Riches certainly knows his subject. There was so much detail here. The reader is carried from Windsor, to Wales, to France, into battles and life at court, with rich detail at every turn.

I felt though, that there was so much detail here, so much going on, that Owen’s own story was a little lost at times – in terms of his emotions and feelings. I didn’t always feel connected to him, even though the novel is written in first person. It felt sometimes as though he was dashing from one event to another without pause for breath. When tragedy struck, I didn’t always feel that Owen’s feelings came across.

The novel is written in present tense which was a bit off-putting for me. While present tense can bring immediacy to a story, I do think this would have worked better in past tense. Having said that, the writing was solid.

I do recommend this to those who enjoy historical novels. It’s a thoughtful, intelligent book that doesn’t disappoint.

4 stars