Wednesday, 30 March 2016

JASPER: Book Two of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

5 out of 5 stars

Plantagenet/Tudor historical fiction

On Amazon UK HERE
On Goodreads HERE

Reviewed by me as part 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 to go back to those times (as a man!); 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. 

Jasper with Henry the boy, and Margaret Beaufort: 'The White Queen'

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, which 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 happenedHighly 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!)

OWEN: Book One of the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches reviewed HERE



  1. Fabulous review Terry, sounds like a great read.

    1. I'm still reeling from it a bit, Rosie - can't quite bear to start another book so have just downloaded another of his! (Warwick)