My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to the author Dan Jones and the publisher, Faber & Faber.
I personally gained an interest in the Tudors after watching the TV series of the same name that started in 2007. Always having been interested in royalty, whether fictionalized or real, the TV show offered a look into the lives of people I hadn’t heard about. My interest in the Plantagenets, the Wars of the Roses and the Tudors had started. Dan Jones’ The Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors was pretty much a small present waiting to be devoured by a history lover such as myself.
The book starts with the description of how Margaret Pole, daughter of Isabel Neville and George Duke of Clarence, loses her life after imprisonment in the Tower of London. It is a brief glimpse into what the future holds and then the book travels back to where all trouble begins. The book offers occurrences in history that are noted as the start of the Wars of the Roses and the rise of the Tudors and takes you on a ride through the lives of several monarchs, their battles, their marriages and deaths.
This book offered simple facts and insight into situations where there really wasn’t a ‘bad guy’ VS ‘good guy’ scenario – so many things happened in that time that the author simply provides you with facts, backed up by evidence and if not, poses the reader with theories that you’ll wonder about. There was a nice balance between ruling monarchs and their troubles and the common folk’s issues.
What I love about this book is that, although the contents were sometimes confusing (what with pretty much everyone having the same names!), the writing style made it easier to understand and offered simpler translations to make it easier on the reader. There were certain cliffhangers, if you will, making me want to read on and I was also very happy with the pacing of the story.
One of annoyances was the constant battling and beheading – but that’s hardly something you can blame on the writer! The reason why this book wasn’t a full five star rating for me was simply because it was a lot of information to go over and remember, possibly very confusing at times and it ended up giving me quite a headache, despite the author making it infinitely easier to process with the pleasant writing style. I’m a fan of the times, so I kept on reading and enjoyed it all the same, but others who are going into this with less interest and enthusiasm might be bothered by this more.
Considering the amount of information given in the book, I do have to compliment the author for his thorough knowledge and research and turning it into a solid book. This could’ve easily gotten boring, and that never happened for me.
Four stars for Dan Jones’ The Hollow Crown: the Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors – an amazing piece of history bound together in a book full of battles, monarchs, life and death.
The Hollow Crown: the Wars of the Roses and the Rise of the Tudors is set to be published on September 4th.