Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Stormbird by Conn Iggulden

“He suddenly remembered his mother telling him the mistle thrushes were the last birds in the air before a great storm. Country folk would see them flying alone on the wind and know a tempest was on its way.”

I was hugely excited to be offered the chance to review this book. As a historical fiction fan I have surprisingly never read a Conn Iggulden book until now! Stormbird is the first in a landmark series about the War of the Roses.

In this first book, two families cause civil unrest in England for thirty years. King Henry and his supporters are threatened from all sides and the kingdom is at risk. We are introduced to a wide range of characters and we are privy to their actions and how the consequences interlink with the other players.

There are the royals and noblemen fighting over the throne and making shady deals amongst each other. There are the wives and families who also muscle in on the politics that surround them. Then there are soldiers fighting the wars for the rich, and the common folk who either run or rebel.  All the main characters are well described and each has a fascinating story to be told. The action is spread across cities, in the countryside and even at sea.

Stormbird is incredibly well researched, and even though there are a huge number of characters and important events that take place, the story is engaging and very easy to follow. With buckets of action, drama and romance, this book ticks a lot of boxes.

The War of the Roses is a fascinating period of history. It is even more relevant right now given the fairly recent discovery of Richard III’s bones and also the nation’s obsession with epic TV series Game of Thrones, which draws on some events from this era. I could definitely see the similarities with GoT, of which I am also a huge fan, so this made me enjoy the book even more!

Bursting with period detail and jam packed with action, Stormbird is an excellent start to a promising historical fiction trilogy from a bestselling author. I definitely recommend this for Iggulden fans old and new and anyone that loves history. I am eagerly awaiting the next instalment.

If this review has piqued your curiosity, check out the book trailer below for more info!

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