Author: Anna Belfrage
Part of a Series: The King's Greatest Enemy
Type of book: 1328?-1330, Roger Mortimer, power, politics, death, conspiracy, Queen Isabella, jousts, Medieval Ages, marriage, friendship, loyalty, fighting, King Edward III, England, Scotland, wars
Year it was published: 2018
After Henry of Lancaster’s rebellion has been crushed early in 1329, a restless peace settles over England. However, the young Edward III is no longer content with being his regents’ puppet, no matter that neither Queen Isabella nor Roger Mortimer show any inclination to give up their power. Caught in between is Adam de Guirande, torn between his loyalty to the young king and that to his former lord, Roger Mortimer.
Edward III is growing up fast. No longer a boy to be manipulated, he resents the power of his mother, Queen Isabella, and Mortimer. His regents show little inclination of handing over their power to him, the rightful king, and Edward suspects they never will unless he forces their hand.
Adam de Guirande is first and foremost Edward’s man, and he too is of the opinion that the young king is capable of ruling on his own. But for Adam siding with his king causes heartache, as he still loves Roger Mortimer, the man who shaped him into who he is.
Inevitably, Edward and his regents march towards a final confrontation. And there is nothing Adam can do but pray and hope that somehow things will work out. Unfortunately, prayers don’t always help.
I admit that there are tons of characters, and a character sheet might have been helpful for me, but despite it all, the main characters are all memorable and unforgettable. Adam owes his loyalty and love to Roger Mortimer, but is now serving Edward III, which causes him to be between a rock and a hard place. Adam is loyal, resourceful and is very devoted to his loved ones. Kit is resourceful and often acts as Adam's soundboard so to speak. She is also talented in herbs and healing and will do what she can for those she loves, even if against her conscience. Edward III has quickly grown up and loves jousting and is often accused as either loving the good things about being a king without doing an iota of work, or else letting Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer run the kingdom for him. Queen Isabella is best described as a cold and a grandiose woman who takes duty very seriously, while Roger Mortimer is difficult to either love or hate and is heady with the idea of power and control. Edward III's wife, Queen Phillipa is also present and is tomboyish as well as someone who is not what she seems.
No one is immune from power
The story is written in third person narrative from Adam's and Kit's points of view. I feel that it immediately picks up from the previous book, and the atmosphere and time feel the same rather than go through massive changes. The things that shine to me about the book are characters which in essence feel the same as well as the story which is fascinating, especially when the characters go through different changes and we watch these changes through Adam's and Kit's eyes, and I also liked the game play politics which simplified the complex events of those years.
Anna was raised abroad, on a pungent mix of Latin American culture, English history and Swedish traditions. As a result she’s multilingual and most of her reading is historical- both non-fiction and fiction. Possessed of a lively imagination, she has drawers full of potential stories, all of them set in the past. She was always going to be a writer – or a historian, preferably both. Ideally, Anna aspired to becoming a pioneer time traveller, but science has as yet not advanced to the point of making that possible. Instead she ended up with a degree in Business and Finance, with very little time to spare for her most favourite pursuit. Still, one does as one must, and in between juggling a challenging career Anna raised her four children on a potent combination of invented stories, historical debates and masses of good food and homemade cakes. They seem to thrive…
For years she combined a challenging career with four children and the odd snatched moment of writing. Nowadays Anna spends most of her spare time at her writing desk. The children are half grown, the house is at times eerily silent and she slips away into her imaginary world, with her imaginary characters. Every now and then the one and only man in her life pops his head in to ensure she’s still there.
Other than on her website, www.annabelfrage.com, Anna can mostly be found on her blog, http://annabelfrage.wordpress.com – unless, of course, she is submerged in writing her next novel. You can also connect with Anna on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Previously I have read the first three books of the series, and I enjoyed the three a lot. Saying that, I don't feel the book best stands as a stand-alone novel because previous novels are a must, and this must be read immediately after the three novels rather than waiting a long time. I have to admire the author's ability at keeping the characters and the atmosphere the same as years (and books) pass because the essence felt familiar as if nothing is missing, and I also have to admire that she was able to keep up with the names and the characters who share the same names because it was difficult for me to keep track of who's who. At the core the characters of Adam, Kit, Edward III, Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer, it felt like coming back to an old friend and the series doesn't feel finished at all, despite it being the "last" book of the series.
This is for HFVBT
Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, February 26
Review at Historical Fiction Reviews
Tuesday, February 27
Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Wednesday, February 28
Review at A Holland Reads
Thursday, March 1
Feature at What Is That Book About
Friday, March 2
Review at Book Drunkard
Monday, March 5
Review at A Bookaholic Swede
Tuesday, March 6
Review at Beth’s Book Nook Blog
Wednesday, March 7
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Friday, March 9
Review at A Chick Who Reads
Monday, March 12
Review at Pursuing Stacie
Tuesday, March 13
Guest Post at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Thursday, March 15
Feature at Passages to the Past
Friday, March 16
Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Monday, March 19
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time
Wednesday, March 21
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Feature at A Literary Vacation
Thursday, March 22
Review at Back Porchervations
Friday, March 23
Feature at Button Eyed Reader
Monday, March 26
Review at Just One More Chapter
Wednesday, March 28
Review at Broken Teepee
Review at Impressions In Ink
Friday, March 30
Review at Bookramblings
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)