THE WINNERS! #TuesdayBookBlog #RBRT Bookreview team presents: The Gold & Silver 2016 Book Awards

The Winners!#RBRT Rosie’s Book Review Team presents: The Gold & Silver Rose Awards 2016

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*Cough* … On behalf of my team, I’m delighted to announce the winners and runners-up in the #RBRT 2016 book awards!

Books were selected from the several hundred submitted to our team for review over the past year, with the 24 finalists voted for by the reviewing team. These finalists were then offered up to the public for voting. Congratulations to the 8 winners and runners up!

A click of the book’s title will take you to Goodreads, where you can see reviews, and also leads to the Amazon, etc, buy links.

 

Fantasy / SciFi/ Horror

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Winner: The Prince’s Man by Deborah Jay

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Runner-up: Passing Notes by D G Driver

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Historical Fiction

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Winner: The Elizabeth Papers by Jenetta James

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Runner-Up: Back Home by Tom Williams

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Mystery Thriller

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Winner: On Lucky Shores by Kerry J Donovan

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Runner-Up: Rack & Ruin (previously titled Murder & Mayhem) by Carol Hedges

Contemporary

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Winner: The Disobedient Wife by Annika M Stanley

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Runner-Up: Scotch On The Rocks by Lizzie Lamb

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Congratulations to all the following finalists:

The Black Orchid by Celine Jean-Jean

Blood Of The Sixth by K R Rowe

Flesh by Dylan J Morgan

The Final Virus by Carol Hedges

La Petite Boulain by G Lawrence

When Doves Fly by Lauren Gregory

Jasper by Tony Riches

The Code For Killing by William Savage

Trust Me I Lie by Louise Marley

Wings Of Mayhem by Sue Coletta

Murder at the Lighthouse by Frances Evesham

Trust Me by Earl Javorsky

What Jennifer Knows by Wendy Janes

The Bad Girl by L Donsky-Levine

Silent Water by Jan Ruth

The Brazilian Husband by Rebecca Powell

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Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT JASPER by @tonyriches #HistFic #Tudors

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

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Alison has been reading Jasper by Tony Riches

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Jasper – Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

England 1461: The young King Edward of York has taken the country by force from King Henry VI of Lancaster. Sir Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke, flees the massacre of his Welsh army at the Battle of Mortimer’s Cross and plans a rebellion to return his half-brother King Henry to the throne.  When King Henry is imprisoned by Edward in the Tower of London and murdered, Jasper escapes to Brittany with his young nephew, Henry Tudor. Then after the sudden death of King Edward and the mysterious disappearance of his sons, a new king, Edward’s brother Richard III takes the English Throne. With nothing but his wits and charm, Jasper sees his chance to make young Henry Tudor king with a daring and reckless invasion of England.  Set in the often brutal world of fifteenth century England, Wales, Scotland, France, Burgundy and Brittany, during the Wars of the Roses, this fast-paced story is one of courage and adventure, love and belief in the destiny of the Tudors. 

I love well-written fiction that’s based on actual historical events and people. Bringing these characters to life in an interesting and entertaining way while still maintaining historical accuracy is a difficult balance, but Tony Riches does this brilliantly. It’s no mean feat to research as thoroughly as Riches obviously has for this book, and then to turn that research into a gripping and engaging tale. The past is really brought to life.

I very much enjoyed the first in this trilogy, so was really looking forward to this novel. It doesn’t disappoint. The characterisation works really well, the writing is skilful and, for the most part, technically flawless (a few issues with tense at times, but nothing that really spoiled the reading experience), and the passion the author has for history comes across in the way that history is portrayed.

My only issue was that, as I don’t know a great deal about this period, I was sometimes a bit confused as to who was who and what their relationships to each other were. To be honest though, I’m not really sure what Riches could do to make this clearer, and possibly in a book that covers so much intrigue and differing alliances and allegiances, this is just how it has to be. These were complicated times, and Riches can’t change history! He does a very good job of writing it though.

Four out of five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT JASPER by @tonyriches #HistFic #Tudor

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

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Noelle has been reading Jasper by Tony Riches

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Book Review: Jasper – Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy

The Tudor Trilogy follows the emergence of the Tudor dynasty from its beginning with Owen Tudor, the subject of the first book, through Jasper, his son, the subject of the second.

I reviewed the first book and welcomed the chance to follow the story. This time period is a particularly difficult one, dealing with the War of the Roses, symbolized by the heraldic badges of the two battling houses of the Plantagenet line: the House of Lancaster (red rose) and that of York (white rose). Each claimed the right to the throne of England. During the thirty-two years of this prolonged war (1455-1487), there were sporadic battles with enormous loss of life, and – as the book so clearly illustrates – various men popping on and off the throne.

Given this long and convoluted history, the author, Tony Riches, does a yeoman’s job of taking us carefully through the years of involvement of Jasper Tudor in preserving and saving the Lancaster (Tudor) line, established by the marriage of his father Owen Tudor of Wales to Katherine of Valois. Katherine was the widow of the warring Henry V and mother of Henry’s son Henry VI.

As in the book, the real Jasper fought in battles, sieges and skirmishes and faced challenges from many sides, including friends who became enemies and enemies who became friends. In the War of the Roses, people flipped sides to improve their lot or just to save themselves, a never-ending game of chess.

Jasper’s path to putting a Tudor on the throne was determined by his brother’s son Henry, who together with his mother, Margaret, was given to him for safekeeping. The brother, Edmund, died of plague in 1456. His father, Owen, whose story is the first book, dies at the beginning of the second, in 1461, as a member of Jasper’s army in the battle of Mortimer’s Cross. He is captured and beheaded by Edward of York, and in the book, his death drives Jasper through the next decades and is the basis of his decisions of life and death for his enemies.

Jasper’s life is written as a series of unexpected and seemingly impossible escapes from death as he is pursued by York forces from Wales to Ireland to France and back. Along the way, the reader meets any number of fascinating characters, some real and some created: Gabriel, an Irish warrior and horse whisperer, who serves as a connection between Jasper and home and as the author relates, is the probably combination of a number of servants and friends; Lady Margaret, who gave birth to Henry at age 12 and who becomes the consummate politician, guaranteeing her survival and that of her son through deliberate subsequent marriages: Henry VI, a deeply religious man who experienced a mental breakdown during the protracted war, and spent time on both the throne and in the Tower of London as a prisoner; Máiréad, a young Irish woman with whom Jasper falls in love and takes with him on his wanderings but doesn’t marry; and Francis, Duke of Burgundy, a wily player in the French political scene.

Jasper Tudor was the greatest survivor of the Wars of the Roses, a man whose perseverance changed the course of English history. The author’s attention to the details of the often brutal world of the fifteenth century is exceptional and provides a rich background to a fast-paced story of courage and adventure and love and strength of family.

For aficionados of historical fiction with a strong basis in fact, this is a book you will love.

4.5 stars out of 5

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT JASPER by @tonyriches #HistFic #Tudors #wwwblogs

Today’s team review is from Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry has been reading Jasper by Tony Riches

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JASPER: Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed by me as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team

I LOVED this book. It’s a terrific page-turner, a real adventure, from the time when the country was such a dangerous place, when men were men and women waited in castles for them to come home (not so keen on that bit, as I am sure many of the women weren’t!). It made me long (as I often do) to go back to those times; this book brings the England of over five centuries ago to life so well. Book One, about Owen, Jasper’s father, was jolly good, but this is what I love to see ~ a sequel that takes the story to another level.

There is so much written and on television about the Yorkist side of the Wars of the Roses, I find, but less about the Lancasters, so this filled in many gaps in my knowledge. It’s expertly planned; I was particularly interested to see how Tony Riches would write about events during which Jasper was far away and out of touch, like Warwick’s change of allegiance, but he did this most convincingly, using the fictional Gabriel, an Irish mercenary who becomes a close friend of the hero, as a reporter of events. Similarly, the disintegration of the Yorks following the death of Edward IV is cleverly accounted for via the messengers who visit Jasper during his exile in Brittany. I also enjoyed the first appearance of the Duke of Buckingham, whose son causes trouble for Henry VIII, and of other characters who appeared as Plantagenet made way for Tudor.

In my opinion this is a book for those who already know something of the history, as there are so many names and changing allegiances that, even being quite well versed in this period as I am, I had to stop and think a few times about who was who. This isn’t Riches’ fault; he has dealt with a long and complicated story admirably. On occasion I got confused about the passage of time and felt that there needed to be a gaps in the formatting of paragraphs to indicate that a year or so had passed, but I’ve rarely read a book of this length, covering so many events over a long period, that conveys the passing of years perfectly.

To all avid readers of books such as the Game of Thrones series, I’d say ‘read this too!’ ~ it’s every bit as magical, every bit as exciting—and it really happened! Loved it; highly recommended, a real achievement, and I’d just like to say that the author’s note at the end brought a tear to my eye. I shall be the first in the queue for the final part of the trilogy (and plan to read ‘Warwick’ in the meantime!).

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com