‘Ravenspur’ is the 4th and final novel in Conn Iggulden’s War of the Roses series. After the throne changing hands several times between the Yorks and the Lancasters, the wars finally come to an end with Henry VII on the throne.
Edward IV was a great warrior when he snatched the throne and imprisoned the physically and mentally weak Henry VI, but he is a terrible king in times of peace. He misses battle and fills the void with excessive eating, drinking and womanising. He is bored with his wife and his kingly duties and goes hunting whenever possible. So it is easy enough for the Lancaster army to find him vulnerable, defeat him and force him into exile.
It doesn’t take Edward long to return and once again defeat his enemies, this time killing off many of those who have long been a problem to him.
Eventually his lifestyle catches up with him and he dies in his early 40s. His brother Richard sees an opportunity. He manages to trick Edward’s two sons into the tower, declare them illegitimate and crown himself king.
But Richard III doesn’t last long. Young Henry Tudor has been living in exile with his uncle Jasper just waiting for an opportunity to snatch the throne.
Both Richard and Henry know that when they meet it will be the last opportunity for their line to secure the throne of England.
This was a brilliant end to a brilliant series, although there was no-one in this novel that I really warmed to – except maybe Jasper Tudor. Events moved far too quickly to really get to know most of the characters and Edward and Richard weren’t particularly likeable.
Having known little about this period of history before reading the series, I have enjoyed it from a historical perspective. But most of all I have loved Iggulden’s writing and his ability to bring his characters to life.
I look forward to Iggulden’s next novel and also hope to read some of his older ones.
Book Published 2016