Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Tudor #Histfic BRANDON by @tonyriches

Today’s team review is from Cathy, she blogs here https://betweenthelinesbookblog.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Cathy has been reading Brandon by Tony Riches.

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We first meet Charles Brandon as a twenty-one year old, newly appointed to the King’s Spears. His father, who was Henry Tudor’s standard bearer, died during the Battle of Bosworth, and Brandon had been brought up at the court of Henry Vll. He became good friends with the young Prince Harry, who was later crowned Henry VIII, teaching him to joust and was one of his favoured group of courtiers.

Always finding himself lacking funds, Brandon incurred huge debts from borrowing money, primarily from Thomas Wolsey and afterwards Thomas Cromwell. His first marriage was a means to an end—Lady Margaret Mortimer had wealth and much land.

I knew next to nothing about Charles Brandon, really only that he married Mary Tudor. It was interesting to follow his story and the research was obviously detailed. Brandon worked his way up the ranks until he became Duke of Suffolk. He and Mary took a huge risk by getting married before asking Henry’s consent, especially after Brandon had been warned not to unleash his charm upon Mary. Henry had someone in mind for his sister for political reasons. Incurring his wrath was a dangerous thing and could be classed as treason. As it was, Henry made his displeasure felt by excluding them from court and keeping his distance for a while.

Mary’s unwavering and public support of Queen Catherine of Aragon caused friction between Brandon and the Boleyn family, whose fortunes were on the rise, not to mention Henry’s new chief advisor, Thomas Cromwell. Brandon had to keep in mind his responsibilities to his family as well as loyalty to Henry when it became obvious Ann Boleyn would be the next queen.

The story centres around Brandon and I enjoyed the way Tony Riches incorporates details of life at court with all its intrigue and danger into the narrative. Brandon is a well fleshed out character who managed to navigate his way through the unpredictability of court politics. He led a full life and was lucky enough to marry twice for love.

Book description

Handsome, charismatic and a champion jouster, Sir Charles Brandon is the epitome of a Tudor Knight. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Brandon has a secret. He has fallen in love with Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, the beautiful widowed Queen of France, and risks everything to marry her without the King’s consent.

Brandon becomes Duke of Suffolk, but his loyalty is tested fighting Henry’s wars in France. Mary’s public support for Queen Catherine of Aragon brings Brandon into dangerous conflict with the ambitious Boleyn family and the king’s new right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.

Torn between duty to his family and loyalty to the king, Brandon faces an impossible decision: can he accept Anne Boleyn as his new queen?

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT English #Tudor #HistFic Trilogy Book #3 HENRY by @tonyriches

Today’s team review is from Noelle, she blogs here http://saylingaway.wordpress.com

#RBRT Review Team

Noelle has been reading Henry by Tony Riches

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Book Review: Henry – Book Three of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches     #RBRT #historical fiction

I have read parts one and two of this trilogy (Owen and Jasper) and enjoyed both books very much. I learned quite a lot about the War of the Roses and now had the opportunity to learn more about Henry VII, who for centuries has been overshadowed by his much more famous and flamboyant son.

After victory over King Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Henry is related to Owen Tudor, who was first a servant and then husband to a Queen of England, and Jasper, his son, who continued the fight to make his nephew Henry the rightful King. Uniting the houses of Lancaster and York with his marriage to Elizabeth of York is not an easy task, and Henry must now deal with rebels and a series of pretenders plotting to take his throne.

Different from books one and two, which were filled with swash and buckling, this third book is a sedate waltz through a quagmire of barons and earls whom Henry fears to trust. His mother, the doughty Lady Margaret Beaufort, is the only person in whom he has the confidence to help him keep peace and ensure the survival of his family. It is also the love story of Henry and his beautiful Plantagenet wife.

Thus this volume keeps a slower pace but is rampant with intrigue. Few probably recognize that Henry VII maintained peace for 28 years, married his daughters to a King of Scotland and an Emperor of Rome, and betrothed his oldest son Arthur, to Catherine of Aragon, thus setting in motion the tumultuous reign of Henry VIII and the magnificent times of Elizabeth I. Henry was a hazy, cold impression in my mind, but Tony Riches fills him out, gives him intelligence, compassion, human frailty, and a consuming love of country, and I ended the book with great admiration for this man.

As always with this author’s books, the historical detail is fascinating and complex. I think it is very fitting this book emerges on the heels of the discovery and reburial of the bones of Henry’s great adversary, Richard III.

Although my favorite book in the trilogy is the first one, Owen, this is a solid and compelling ending to the Tudor Trilogy and I recommend it highly to anyone with an interest in British history, or even just history.

Book Description

Bosworth 1485: After victory against King Richard III, Henry Tudor becomes King of England. Rebels and pretenders plot to seize his throne. The barons resent his plans to curb their power and he wonders who he can trust. He hopes to unite Lancaster and York through marriage to the beautiful Elizabeth of York. 

With help from his mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, he learns to keep a fragile peace. He chooses a Spanish Princess, Catherine of Aragon, as a wife for his son Prince Arthur. His daughters will marry the King of Scotland and the son of the Emperor of Rome. It seems his prayers are answered, then disaster strikes and Henry must ensure the future of the Tudors. 

About the author

Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full time author from Pembrokeshire, West Wales, an area full of inspiration for his writing. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya.

His real interest is in the history of the fifteenth century, and now his focus is on writing historical fiction about the lives of key figures of the period. Best known for his Tudor Trilogy, Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’. In his spare time Tony enjoys sailing and sea kayaking. 

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