In September 2014 I read Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims by Toby Clements; the first book in this War of the Roses trilogy. A gripping read which left our protagonists on a real cliff-hanger so I simply had to find out what happened next in the second book, Kingmaker: Broken Faith.
We return to our apostates Katherine and Thomas two years after the bloody slaughter at Towton. King Edward is now upon the throne but England is still not at peace, as King Henry and his beleaguered Lancastrian supporters are hold up in the northern reaches of the land. After much death and loss, and the promotion of their enemy Katherine and Thomas find their faith in Edward dwindling. So bent on revenge they head north to the mighty castle of Bamburgh; one of the last great strongholds of King Henry. They carry with them a powerful secret and the hope of finding justice at last.
This is not a story about the rich, powerful lords and kings. What I love is that this story is about the terrible effect this bloody, civil war has on the common man; told through the eyes of Katherine and Thomas. Katherine was once a nun which has made her strong, practical and clever. Since then she has become a capable surgeon and goes about disguised as a boy called Kit. Thomas was also once a monk and unlike Katherine he has often pined for his old, quiet life back. Since then though he has become a strong archer and shed much blood, for which he has received little thanks. Now they are both bent on revenge against the man who caused them so much pain and suffering. I like Katherine and Thomas, for me them and their growing relationship is what makes this book so readable.
I am pleased I read this second book by Toby Clements; I think I may have even liked it a little more than the first and I will certainly want to read the third book now too. I have read many historical novels full of detail and drama however this is one of the few authors that has really immersed me into the action of the time. Clements describes intimately how Katherine and Thomas feel, what they see and all the gritty detail of what they do in the heat of battle; fighting or operating. This detail might not be for everyone and isn’t what I usually go for but Clements has done it very well and clearly knows what he is writing about.
Kingmaker: Broken Faith is a bloody, gripping and detailed historical adventure – an emotional rollercoaster which is not for the faint hearted. I hope to read more from Clements and this trilogy in the future. Good read.
Thank you to the publishers for providing a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Have you read this? What books have you read set during the War of the Roses?