Skip to main content

The Dream of Kings by David K. Saunders: A Book Review

The Dream of Kings
Author: David K. Saunders
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Shadenet Publishing
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 486
Source: This book was given to me by Publishing Push in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: In the year 1464, the Kingdom is engulfed by civil war as the renowned houses of Lancaster and York fight to the death for the crown of England. 


     Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future ‘Richard III’, arrives, aged twelve, for the safety of Middleham Castle to begin his training for knighthood. His new companions discover he can change from kindness to cold rage within the wink of an eye. Men, it was said, watched him with wary eyes, for they knew when the young pup found his teeth, he would make a dangerous enemy. 


     Far in the north, Margaret of Anjou, warrior Queen to Henry VI, prepares to fight against the advancing armies of Edward IV. Why does she abandon her husband, and flee to France vowing never to return? Who blackmails her, seven years later, to join forces with her most hated enemy, to return and fight once again for the crown of England? 


     King Edward IV, tall, handsome, and clever, is a brilliant warrior, whose Achilles' heel is women ‒ he loves them all. What dark forces drive him into a secret marriage that rips his kingdom apart? He is forced to fight Louis XI of France, and the mighty Earl of Warwick, not only for his crown but also his life. 


     From the courts of Edward IV, Louis XI, and Margaret of Anjou, comes intrigue, betrayal, witchcraft, and love. The Dreams of Kings weaves plots and characters together to make a roller-coaster read of the period they call the ‘WAR of the ROSES’. 


     My review: A Dream of Kings is a fictional retelling of The War of The Roses. The main characters are Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Margaret of Anjou, and Edward IV. Each of them fight for the crown of England in what they believe is rightfully theirs. This epic retelling is full of battles, political intrigue, and romance.


     This story is filled with a full cast of characters. Each of them are very complex, and the reader is allowed to get into their heads. Yet the main characters whom all the other characters revolve around are Richard, Edward, and Margaret. Margaret is a strong queen. In the novel, she has the makings of a king. She rules for her mad husband, and it is she who is fighting for England, not her husband. She falls in love with Simon, and it is with him that she finds happiness and peace during her difficult time. One thing that I liked about Margaret is that she does not wish to be born a woman but a man. I found it quite fitting because she is very strong. I liked how the author humanized Margaret of Anjou because in most books I have read of her, she is usually not portrayed as a likable historical figure.


     Because this work is purely fiction, the author does take a few liberties in his work. Some of the liberties are rumors and gossip at the time that they believe is true. One example is that Elizabeth Woodville and Jacquetta used witchcraft to seduce Edward IV. While this is preposterous, I still found it an interesting plot device. Another plot device is that Margaret’s child, Prince Edward of Wales is illegitimate. I found this really creative and unique.


     Overall, this is an in-depth look into the psyche of the characters involved in The War of The Roses. While these characters are filled with vice, they have some redeeming qualities. I liked the love story not only between Margaret of Anjou, but also of the servants, Rose and John, which is simple and sweet. The story is very fast-paced. It is full of drama, scandal, political intrigue, danger, and battles. The characters are very complex, and it is clear that the author has done his research. I felt that the era came alive, and I was glad to be immersed in it. I recommend this book to anyone interested in The War of The Roses and Philippa Gregory.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem by Dave Tamanini: A Book Review

Tituba: The Intentional Witch of Salem Author: Dave Tamanini Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy Publisher: David F Tamanini Release Date: 2020 Pages: 317 Source: Publisher/Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: If you love historical fiction... come revisit Salem's terror in this provocative new telling of enslaved Tituba, no longer a caricature, but a fully human woman with magical powers.      Come! Let Tituba cast its spell with a unique and tantalizing tale that explores the wild emotions driving accusations of witchcraft in 1692.      A Promise and a Hope      Enslaved Tituba has been faithful to a promise to her dying mama in Africa. She has appeased the masters from Barbados to Boston to Salem and waited for her magic.      A Mother’s Agony      When Tituba’s only son dies trying to escape slavery, her life changes forever. After enduring the crush only a mother can feel, she rages and turns to vengeance.      Witches Tear into Salem      The villagers see wi

Blog Tour: Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles by Will Bashor

Marie Antoinette’s World: Intrigue, Infidelity, And Adultery In Versailles [history/biographical nonfiction] Release date: June 15, 2020 Postponed due to Covid-19: July 30, 2020 at Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Hardcover and ebook, 320 pages Author’s page | Goodreads SYNOPSIS Synopsis: This riveting book explores the little-known intimate life of Marie Antoinette and her milieu in a world filled with intrigue, infidelity, adultery, and sexually transmitted diseases. Will Bashor reveals the intrigue and debauchery of the Bourbon kings from Louis XIII to Louis XV, which were closely intertwined with the expansion of Versailles from a simple hunting lodge to a luxurious and intricately ordered palace. It soon became a retreat for scandalous conspiracies and rendezvous—all hidden from the public eye.       When Marie Antoinette arrived, she was quickly drawn into a true viper’s nest, encouraged by her imprudent entourage. Bashor shows that her often thoughtless, fantas