Author(s): Toby Clements
"An enthralling adventure story, honest and powerful. The Wars of the Roses are imagined here with energy, with ferocity, with hunger to engage the reader." (Hilary Mantel). England: October, 1463. The great slaughter of the battle of Towton is two years past, but England is still not at peace. The Northern Parts of the land remain in the hands of the Lancastrian king, while in the south, the princes of the house of York prepare for war. Uneasy alliances are forged and just as quickly broken: a friend one day might be your enemy the next, and through this land, pursued by the Church and the Law, a young man, Thomas, and a young woman, Katherine, must make their way, bearing proof of a secret both sides would kill to learn. Bent on revenge for a past outrage, Thomas and Katherine must turn their backs on their friends and journey to the mighty castle of Bamburgh, there to join a weakened king as he marshals his army to take up arms in one of the most savage civil wars in history: the Wars of the Roses.
Set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses, this is the second novel in an epic historical fiction series. If you liked Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, you will love Toby Clements' KINGMAKER novels.
"Toby Clements is an exceptionally good writer. His debut was a tour de force. His second novel outdoes that, bringing new depth to his characters, and continuing his vivid, blood-soaked insight into the real, grim, ghastly, and occasionally glorious human cost of the Wars of the Roses. This is history in the raw: powerful, potent stuff, always real, but always gloriously unpredictable. This is a gem of a book, one of my must-reads for this year." Manda Scott "The book glides along effortlessly, it's a simple excellent love story, bursting with action, intrigue and history. a real contender for book of the year." Parmenion Books "It's raw and heart-rending... A searing narrative that will definitely stay with you after you've closed the book." Fantasy Smorgasboard "It's raw and heart-rending... A searing narrative that will definitely stay with you after you've closed the book." Fantasy Smorgasboard "This is a wonderful series - violent, bloody, squirm-inducing and bleak... History and fiction mix so well in this series, bringing to life the period" For Winter Nights blog "This is cold, well hard but riveting historical fiction." Sunday Sport "Searingly good ... Immersive historical fiction at its best" Sunday Times "This is a miserable, vicious world, vividly recreated by Clements. Immersive historical fiction at its best." The Times "If you like books that grip you from the very start, that are fast-paced with fascinating characters, then this is the book for you. Beautifully written, with an exciting plot, this book kept me engaged on every page" Historical Novel Review "This is a wonderful series - violent, bloody, squirm-inducing and bleak. What saves it from sinking us into the despair of the times is Thomas and Katherine, both of whom are very easy to care for...History and fiction mix so well in this series, bringing to life a period that I am so happy to read about very relieved I don't have to live through. I look forward to book three very much indeed!" For Winter Nights
Toby Clements was inspired to write the Kingmaker series having first become obsessed by the Wars of the Roses after a school trip to Tewkesbury Abbey, on the steps of which the Lancastrian claim to the English throne was extinguished in a welter of blood in 1471. Since then he has read everything he can get his hands on and spent long weekends at re-enactment fairs. He has learned to use the longbow and how to fight with the poll axe, how to start a fire with a flint and steel and a shred of baked linen. He has even helped tan a piece of leather (a disgusting experience involving lots of urine and dog faeces). Little by little he became less interested in the dealings of the high and mighty, however colourful and amazing they might have been, and more fascinated by the common folk of the 15th Century: how they lived, loved, fought and died. How tough they were, how resourceful, resilient and clever. As much as anything this book is a hymn to them. He lives in London with his wife and three children. This is his second novel.