What I'm Reading
A story of conspiracy during the Medieval period and the Plantagenet family.
Anne O'Brien is an expert in the Medieval period and it shines through everything she writes. Every detail is accurate without being textbook dry.
The story opens with monk who is also a fortune teller. Here the future is laid out that bad times are ahead without anything specific being foreseen. It is quite a slow start while the scene is set for the start of the Wars of the Roses, the conflicts between the brothers and their families beginning to take shape. Too long is spent discussing the loveless political marriages that the women endure. Unfortunately, Medieval women had only the power of plotting and manipulation in those days, so all stories from women's perspectives are a tad short on action.
Having said that, Constance of York is a real person about whom most of us know nothing. She is a fascinating character. From the side of the House of York we see the rebellions and treason from her point of view. As the story develops it becomes fraught with danger with so many ruthless, ambitious and unlikable men all vying for power.
This is a rich book, full of vivid history and expertly written. The Plantagenets are one of England's most colourful royal dynasties and it makes a nice change to read about one of the women as she plots against Henry IV. At times it is gripping: this is history threaded with disloyalty, disappointment and yes, treason .
Published by HQ on 22 August 2019. Advanced reader copy supplied by the publisher.