Book Review – ‘Stormbird’ by Conn Iggulden


Conn Iggulden 'Stormbird' 2013
Conn Iggulden ‘Stormbird’ 2013

Conn Iggulden, Wars of the Roses: Stormbird (London: Penguin Books, 2014), Paperback, ISBN 978-0-718-196-349

Genre/s: Historical / Action / Adventure

Setting: Calais, Anjou and Burgundy (France) & London (England)

Characters: Henry VI / Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York / Margaret of Anjou / Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick / William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk / Derry Brewer / Charles VII of France / Cecily Neville / Thomas Woodchurch / Yolande of Anjou / Jack Cale

Storyline: The story revolves around the reign of Henry VI, and his marriage to Margaret of Anjou, encompassing the Jack Cale rebellion against said marriage, and the rebel invasion of London. The fate of William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk, is also explored. The particular focus is on the rebellion, and the war with France at the same time.

Point of View: Third person really, but a combination of Margaret of Anjou, Derry Brewer, and Thomas Woodchurch.

Henry VI 1540 at the National Portrait Gallery
Henry VI 1540 at the National Portrait Gallery

Strengths: The description of the fight scenes, in particular the archers, is brilliant. I love the London invasion scenes with the rebels. The characterisation is interesting, and you can really connect to a lot of the characters. I really hope this will continue in the next book in the series. I love it. Really worth reading.

Weaknesses: The beginning of the novel is a weak point. It takes a while to get into it, and a lot of characters are introduced very quickly. The prologue is almost unnecessary, or its link to the rest of the novel needs to be outlined further. It only gets better. Margaret of Anjou seems the weakest character because she is the vaguest, and the one I am least able to connect to.

Overall Rating: 18 / 20

Recommend? Yeah, a really brilliant book, on a par with Hilary Mantel.

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