My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Iggulden writes a compelling historical fiction narrative, here as in the earlier books in this series, with a fine sense of timing and suspense. The story of the Tudor family’s emergence and rise to the throne of England is a complex and twisting tale, especially when it must blend into and flow out of the resolution of the York and Lancaster wars. The author keeps all the threads of this tapestry well in hand, however, and manages to bring it all vividly to life in the process. His characters are represented so that they seem real and human in the trials and triumphs of their own experiences, but he also brings out a sense of their awareness of the greater significance of the events unfolding around them. There is much in these events that is gritty, harsh and humbling. And there is much that is lofty and ennobling. History and hubris are usually inseparable in the recounting. In this case, it makes for a thrilling and a cautionary tale for the ages.