In this second novel in the Wars of the Roses Trilogy, Henry VI is suffering from an illness that left him in a senseless state and unable to govern. The Duke of York is Protector. He is married to Cecily Neville making him a supporter of the Nevilles. Her brother Richard, Earl of Salisbury is one of his closest advisers.
Early in the novel the problems arising from the power of the Nevilles is demonstrated by the Battle of Heworth Moor. Northumberland, although he is married to a Neville, hates the influence they wield. He orders his son, Thomas Percy, to attack Salisbury at a wedding and kill them all including the bride. This incident sets the stage for the rest of the novel.
The Wars of the Roses were violent. Men didn't scruple at killing even members of their own family because of perceived slights, loss of estates, or being out of favor with the powerful ruler. I thought the author did an excellent job of showing what the period was like. It made the times come alive for me.
The historical detail in this book is excellent. The author obviously knows the period and keeps close to the facts. Where he does deviate, he describes the reason for it in the Historical Note at the end of the book. I highly recommend reading it.
If you enjoy historical fiction this is an excellent choice. However, it was a violent period so be prepared for descriptive violence.
I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.