The Dreams of Kings is set in Medieval England during the late 15th century and cleverly manages to mix an exact timeline of events that match up with the fight for the throne between the people who were involved in the thirty years of civil unrest historians refer to as, “The War of the Roses”
The battles that took place were perhaps some of the most bewildering periods in history for England and Europe as it involved a timely power struggle between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists, in their fight for the crown.
David K Saunders skilfully steers the reader through the complexities and controversies that occurred in this period of history by bringing to life a number of authentic historical characters’. Each character has their own thoughts, theories and strategies including, treason, adultery, murder, blackmail, torture, kidnapping, theft of land and even witchcraft while cousin fights cousin and brother fights against brother in this savage conflict.
Out the many characters’ in this book, I found I was intrigued with was Simon Langford, who continued with his father’s service to restore King Henry to his rightful throne by acting as a spy at Middleham Castle in an attempt to get information on Warwick’s strategies, troop movements and anything else that would aid the Lancastrians in their victory to retrieve the crown. Although the author did admit in his closing notes that the love affair between Simon and Margret of Anjou was purely fictitious, it was still highly engaging and a stroke of genius to add this slant as Margret did seem to have a sexless marriage to Henry.
The torture scenes are not for the faint hearted, especially with John de Bothall, as he was sentenced to a traitors death, which included many of his body parts being cut off and burnt in a brazier in front of his eyes, his arms and legs hacked off and then finally his head.
All of which leaves me to close, that David K Saunders knows his subject very well and writes with considerable insight into the power struggle and battles fought by the clashing fractions for the reigns of kings in the 15th century.
My Ranking: 5 Stars
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