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Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims: (Book 1)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims: (Book 1).pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Toby Clements(Author)

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Set in the bitter winter of 1460, Clements's much acclaimed novel follows a young monk and a nun who are forced to flee their priory after a shocking act of betrayal, but find themselves in mortal danger amid the warring factions of the Wars of the Roses.

Set in the bitter winter of 1460, Clements's much acclaimed novel follows a young monk and a nun who are forced to flee their priory after a shocking act of betrayal, but find themselves in mortal danger amid the warring factions of the Wars of the Roses.

3.2 (4992)
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Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Toby Clements(Author)
  • Century (April 10, 2014)
  • English
  • 9
  • Other books

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Review Text

  • By ARW on April 24, 2015

    As a female reader, I find it odd that some people feel that the women’s view of the Wars of the Roses has been underrepresented in fiction. I think the situation is exactly the reverse, with a plethora of books to be found (usually featuring Richard III in some fashion) written from the point of view of the mistress, wife, mother, or sister of one of the important players. The problem with those books (some of which are quite good) is that the majority of the most dramatic events must take place offstage.This novel is a welcome change from that approach. It’s true the author writes in detail about battles and strategy, but the year or two he covers here involved a number of critical battles, including the bloodbath at Towton. I found it so much more compelling to be plunged as a reader into these events rather than finding them happening offstage and dispensed with in a sentence or two. (To take an example, one of the “chick lit” books I mention above refers to Edward IV having “trounced” the Lancastrians at Towton. “Trounced”? Really? Even if one is confined to the use of a single word to describe that horrific slaughter, surely there’s a verb that captures it a bit better than that.)As long as a reader knows what to expect, the battle scenes, and the details about combat techniques and so forth, are a major strength of this book. The descriptions of the battles are exceptionally vivid, intense, and clear. Moreover, the author actually conveys what was at stake for the participants (unlike some other novels of this period).Positives:• Wonderful sensory detail throughout – completely immerses a reader in the time and place (unlike “The White Queen” or “The Sunne in Splendour”, to take two examples)• The dialogue is good – plain and direct, with no cringe-worthy attempts to sound “medieval”• Also on the subject of dialogue: authors of historical novels must find a way to convey gobs of historical facts without sounding wooden and unnatural, and Mr. Clements meets this challenge successfully• In writing about historical events, the author does not seem to depart seriously from historical facts (a writer of fiction can do that, of course, yet I find it amazing that writers feel the need to invent stuff about well-known historical events when this period has more than enough drama without that)• I admire the author for taking his research to the level of actually learning how to use a pollaxe, among other things – it really pays off in immediacyNegatives• I was not completely caught up in the story of Thomas and Katherine• I would have liked more physical descriptions of figures such as Hastings and Edward IV• I disagree to some extent with the characterization of Edward IV – was he really so lacking in self-confidence that he needed Thomas as a good-luck charm, or required Warwick to inspire him? I’m not sure the historical record supports that interpretation, but I also recognize that one of the things that makes this period interesting to read and write about is that there are enough gaps in our knowledge to afford novelists the freedom to come up with their own interpretations.

  • By M. Harffy on May 24, 2016

    I have to confess to knowing next to nothing about the Wars of the Roses, and have never been overly interested in the period. I am always amazed that people can get so het up about whether Richard III was a good king, or a ruthless despot. So, despite having heard great things about this book, I had put off reading it for longer than I should have. In the end I picked up the audio book on Audible, and I cannot believe I waited this long to "read" it.Following my admission that I was not interested in the period in which the story is set, the audio book got off to a shaky start with a rather clunky introduction that set the scene of who was fighting who, but it seemed very forced and there were too many names mentioned in a couple of paragraphs making it impossible to really follow, unless, of course, you already knew the history. But then why would you need the intro? I would much have preferred a historical note at the end of the book, but alas, there isn't one.After the short introduction, the story started and to my dismay, it was in the present tense. But it happened hundreds of years ago, I said to myself! How can this be in present tense? I was all prepared to give up on the book then, almost before it had started, but of course I didn't. And you know what? As if some magic spell had been cast on me, the tense the prose is written in ceased to be an issue for me as, within minutes, the book leapt to glorious life. The immediacy of the writing, the rawness of the characters, the details of the historical context, the gory battles, the touching relationships, the jeopardy, the horrors of war... After those initial moments, the book was almost perfect.I couldn't stop thinking about the story when I wasn't listening to the book. I felt that I knew the protagonists and I shared in their anguish as each terrible incident befell them. When I got to the end, I was desperate to know more and immediately bought the second in the series, Kingmaker: Broken FaithNarrator:Jack Hawkins adds a near perfect narration to a near perfect book. I don't often think that a book benefits from being narrated, but in this case, I think it does. Hawkins hits just the right note of earthiness and solidity in his delivery. He manages to give each character a distinct voice and accent without overdoing it. The only slightly weak accent was for the Welsh characters, but they seemed to improve as the book progressed.My verdict:An astounding novel. A gripping, blood-soaked trek along the muddy tracks of fifteenth century Britain.Overall rating: 5 starsMatthew Harffy, author of The Serpent Sword: Volume 1 (The Bernicia Chronicles)


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