Amy Licence ~ The York King
1464. Family conflicts, Lancaster against York, the fight for the English throne continues.
During the early years of his reign, Edward IV of York battles to bring peace and stability to the country, as Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, raises support in the north, attempting to return the Lancastrian king, Henry VI, to the throne.
With uprisings imminent, the Earl of Warwick pursues a marriage alliance with France, determined to bring about a friendship between the two countries and suppress support for Lancaster.
Unhappy with the match, Edward meets Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of a squire, and marries in a secret ceremony. With verbal agreements broken, friendships damaged and old divisions reappearing, Edward finds himself facing new enemies much closer to home.
While I am slightly obsessed with the Tudor period, my general fascination for history loves many different eras. One of those is the Wars of the Roses, and especially the enigmatic Elizabeth Woodville. There’s something about her that is mysterious and yet admirable; a widow with two young children, she was not the first choice of wife for the king.
The York King is the second in Amy Licence’s trilogy. If you have an existing knowledge of this time, then it works perfectly well as a standalone. However, if you’ve never heard of the York-Lancaster rivalry, then perhaps start with the first one.
The book was well-written and packed with information. I learned a little, but mostly it was the stories we’ve heard before. It did feel at times as though it was a non-fiction book, as the prose felt secondary to the facts and at times, the romance and drama of the story was lost.
I would also have liked a bit more character development. While I appreciate that there is a lot of history to get in, and there is much that is unknown, some events were rushed and I would have liked a bit more drama and pace towards the end. Some of the deaths seemed quite trivial, while Edward and Elizabeth’s separation was all but glossed over – he’d barely left before he was back!
But it is a good book and anyone who is interested in the drama of the kings and queens of yore will enjoy finding out more. I look forward to the final part of the trilogy.
Book from Random Things Tours and Lume Books. Opinions my own.