Broken Faith, second in the Kingmaker series by Toby Clements, takes place in the lull after the 1461 battle of Towton and 1464 when Edward IV marries Elizabeth Woodville. The history of these intervening years is subject to much confusion, guesswork and mystery, wonderful territory for an imaginative novelist. Clements gives Katherine and Thomas, who we first met in Winter Pilgrims, a secret which if revealed will change the succession to the throne of England. Exactly what the Yorkists and Lancastrians are fighting about. The battles are bloodthirsty, the battlefield surgery by Kit [aka Katherine in disguise] is gruesome but surprisingly modernistic, the betrayals of self-seeking lords are countless and amongst it all shine the people of genuine morals, driven by belief in what is right, with humble and generous natures. That brave and endearing pair Thomas and Kit are separated, not sure if the other is alive, and forced to do what is necessary to survive. Life in the 15th century was tough enough without living through war, Clements describes the life of a common soldier, the weapons, the methods of fighting, the battle tactics, the food, the smells. Although the detail is fascinating, Clements doesn’t leave the story languishing. Thomas and Katherine move north from one castle to another, one battle to another, as soldiers run from the battlefield and lords turn their coats. Thomas and Katherine though cannot turn back until a lost book is found and a lord is killed.
Mostly set in the north, while reading the northern scenes I pictured the Northumbrian castles of Alnwick and Bamburgh which makes the adventure come alive. An enthralling chapter in this War of the Roses story which at times, like the real history, is a tad confusing. Just go with the flow and enjoy it!
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Here’s my review of the first in the series, WINTER PILGRIMS.
If you like this, try:-
‘Cecily’ by Annie Garthwaite
‘The Pillars of the Earth’ by Ken Follett
‘Gone are the Leaves’ by Anne Donovan
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BROKEN FAITH by Toby Clements #bookreview https://wp.me/p5gEM4-5yE via @SandraDanby