|The beautiful cover of the Dutch|
It is 1454 and king Henry VI has been unable to rule due to his illness. He is completely lethargic and it is impossible to communicate with him. Richard, duke of York has been made protector of the realm and he rules in Henry’s place, against the will of queen Marguerite.
Richard of York is not a kind or a nice man, but he is an able ruler, he keeps the peace and restores the finances of the kingdom, that was almost bankrupt.
When the king recovers from his illness, York is put aside. The queen takes this opportunity to make sure York is banished from court and places the men who are faithful to her in positions of power.
This is the beginning of a bitter struggle. On one side there is York, with the help of the earl of Salisbury and his son, the earl of Warwick. On the other side there is the queen who keeps an eye on the king, afraid he may be ill again.
Each party tries to muster as many men as they can and prepare for battle, the outcomes of these battles will decide who will rule Engeland: a king too weak to rule or the duke of York.
We do not know exactly what illness Henry suffered from. People in those days looked differently at the symptoms and described them in a different manner. Therefore it is difficult to make a modern diagnoses with the descriptions from the sources. His grandfather from his mother’s side, king Charles VII of France was insane, so it may be a hereditary illness, or it may have been schizophrenia or depression.
Whatever is was, it made sure the throne of England was not secure and this caused trouble in the country. Still, it was not easy to depose a king, he was anointed by God and to rebel against the king was to rebel against God’s order.
You can say many things about Richard of York, but he was an able ruler who ruled England well during the king’s illness. Conn Iggulden managed to make not a complete villain of Richard of York, but a man in doubt. To go after the throne or not, support the king or not and when you finally have the king in your power, what do you do then?
He also had to take into account that his allies, Salisbury and Warwick had different ideas about their partnership and the possible outcome.
On the other side we have the queen who has to keep herself, the throne, her husband and her son and heir safe amidst the fighting nobles who all want a piece of the cake. She is convinced she will never be safe as long as York is a player in the game and tries everything she can to take him out. And of course this only increases the hostilities.
Trinity is the second part in the series about the War of the Roses by Conn Iggulden.
Just as thrilling as the first part, with an eye for details and historical facts, lively characters, battles that suck you right in and all this combined into a well written and amazing book to read. Conn Iggulden is a very good writer, I think.
I only hoped to see more of master spy Derry Brewer, since I love his character so much. But I am sure he will be present at key strategic moments again in part three.
And that is the only thing I have against this book, it will be very difficult to wait patiently for part three in this excellent series!
My review of Stormbird, the first book in the series can be found HERE
Published in 2014