Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Owen: Book One in the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

Today my review is for the first in the Tudor Trilogy – Owen by Tony Riches. I have actually just finished all three books in the trilogy and will review the other two books at some point in the near future. I can however recommend all three books and enjoyed reading them back to back.

About Owen – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy.

Based on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man’s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.

England 1422: Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V. Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.

They fall in love, risking Owen’s life and Queen Catherine’s reputation—but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history – the Tudors?

This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great-grandfather of King Henry VIII. Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen’s story deserves to be told.

My review for the book.

I loved history at school but it was never taught in depth. Central figures such as Elizabeth I, Queen Mary of Scotland and of course Henry VIII were mentioned, as were major battles or events in their lives. But you never got to know the person behind the crown or those around them in great detail.

I discovered Bernard Cornwell at an early age and have read all his books. And that is why I am delighted to have discovered Tony Riches, who writes his books with the people as the focus, with the events being incorporated into their story, rather than the other way around. This accomplished with not just superb story-telling but by giving Owen Tudor his own voice.

It is 1422 a few years after the Welsh rebellion led by Owen Glendower against Henry IV fails, and his supporters, including his cousins the Tudor family, have also lost lands and titles.

Owen Tudor has been a soldier serving in France, but is now a servant in a privileged position at Windsor castle when the young widow of Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois arrives with her baby son, Prince Henry later to be King Henry VI. Their first meeting was to be fateful, and during the following years of civil war in England, would lead to the founding of the Tudor dynasty.

Tony Riches takes us through the next 40 years in this first book in the trilogy. It begins as a love story that would change the course of history, but it also provides a clear and engrossing background to the beginning of the hostilities between the Houses of York and Lancaster.

Alliances change rapidly with the English throne as the ultimate prize.  What might be dismissed as minor engagements are given the respect they deserve, as integral moves in a chess game that spans decades, and is played adjacent to, and part of the 100 years war between the English monarchy and the French House of Valois.

The characters, even those with a less regal role, are richly drawn and deliver a much enjoyed respite from the destructive and violent events of the time. Sympathy grows for the young royal brides barely in their teens who are traded for land, alliances and truces. The cost of disloyalty is harsh and usually brutally extracted, unless there might be more to gain from clemency.

I would recommend the book as one that brings the cast members of this long drawn out struggle for power into the spotlight. History is a wonderful subject; but can be very dry and indigestible in the wrong hands. That is not the case with the Tudor Trilogy and whilst Tony Riches has created additional fictitious characters and events within the story, they serve to bring the lead cast members to life.

I highly recommend the following two books in the trilogy as well.

Read some of the 300 reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Owen-Book-One-Tudor-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B011YBZU8U

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Owen-Book-One-Tudor-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B011YBZU8U

A selection of other books by Tony Riches

Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOXA

And Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Tony-Riches/e/B006UZWOX

Read more reviews and follow Tony Riches on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5604088.Tony_Riches

About Tony Riches

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.

Connect to Tony Riches

Website: http://www.tonyriches.com
Blog: http://www.tonyriches.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tonyriches
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tony.riches.9

Thank you for dropping in today and hope you have enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed the books in this trilogy.

 

 

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32 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Owen: Book One in the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches

  1. I have been awash in a sea of epic fantasy for the last couple of years, but your glowing review of Owen makes me want to read this book VERY soon! I believe it’s already on my Kindle in my TBR folder, but if not, it soon will be. I’m very much looking forward to learning more about British history, with a slant toward the actual people involved, rather than a dry list of dates and battles. Off to see whether I’ve already got this, and to move it up in the stack, if I do. Sharing, too! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on The Write Stuff and commented:
    Just grabbed my download of Owen (by Tony Riches), based on Sally’s great review. I’ve been indulging in a lot of epic fantasy in recent years, and it could be time for a change of pace with some drama that actually happened. Check it out. I bet you’ll be intrigued, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll definitely be adding this trio to the bloated TBR Sal. Once again, a fabulous review.
    I’ve always been fascinated with Tudor history and the monarchy. And as you said, most books talk about the events more than the characters when it comes to historical tales. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sally’s Book Reviews – Owen: Book One in the Tudor Trilogy by Tony Riches | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  5. This is a great review Sally that brings your enthusiasm for Tony both as an author and historian to the fore. The way you said it was a novel primarily about people against the backdrop of events caught my imagination- too often people get overlooked in the great events. The Tudors are fascinating as the dynasty that brought Britain out of the Middle Ages and changed to face of the world. I will definitely be giving Tony a go on your recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds so good, Sally, and I love that it spans such a long period of time. I read a similar book about Troy and just loved the focus on character with history as the backdrop. This is definitely on my TBR list. Congrats to Tony on the awesome review. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round Up – Christmas Promotions, ABBA, 1984, Garlic and Onions and a cast of many | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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