‘Trinity/ Margaret of Anjou’ is the 2nd novel in Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses series. The first novel in the series is ‘Stormbird’ and the 3rd and 4th are ‘Bloodline’ and ‘Ravenspur: The Rise of the Tudors’. This novel covers the period from 1454 to 1460.
The novel opens with scenes highlighting the conflict between the Percy family and the Neville family. Henry Percy – Earl of Northumberland sends his son to attack a Neville wedding party with the aim of killing Richard Neville – Earl of Salisbury.
King Henry VI has existed in a dream state for over a year. Richard Duke of York has been acting as Protector and has favoured his supporters, especially the Neville family by awarding them land at the expense of the Percy family and others.
Henry eventually emerges from his dream state as a stronger King than he has ever been before and immediately takes back control from York and the Nevilles (Earls of Salisbury and Warwick).
Unhappy with their reduced status, it doesn’t take long for York and his allies to arrange a meeting. This turns into a dramatic battle which sees some of King Henry’s greatest supporters killed and Henry once again reduced to a childlike state. But Queen Margaret and the King’s spymaster Derry Brewer are not willing to let York regain control.
York and his supporters are eventually dispossessed and flee England. But in exile, they once again build support so that they can retake control. The Queen anticipates their return to England and builds her own army.
In the previous novel, my sympathies were very much with King Henry VI and his young Queen Margaret. This novel presented a much more balanced view and I found my sympathies moving around much more. Richard of York was presented as loyal and pragmatic until left with no choice. A much harsher side of Queen Margaret was shown and she was less likeable. Of the other lords, the Percy family were all presented in a bad light as was Richard Neville – Earl of Salisbury.
I don’t know much about this period of history and have been trying (but not always succeeding) to avoid independent research. I would prefer to immerse myself in Conn Iggulden’s story.
My copy of ‘Stormbird’ had a map and family trees at the front of the book. This would have been a useful addition to this novel – I often found myself referring back to book 1.
I have enjoyed the story so far and look forward to continuing the series with ‘Bloodline’.
Book Published 2014