The Dreams of Kings
by David K. Saunders
My rating: 5 stars
Publication Date: June 14, 2014
Publisher: Shadenet Publishing
Genre: Historical Fiction
Print Length: 486 pages
In the year 1464, the Kingdom is engulfed by civil war as the renowned houses of Lancaster and York fight to the death for the crown of England. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the future Richard III, arrives, aged twelve, for the safety of Middleham Castle to begin his training for knighthood. His new companions discover he can change from kindness to cold rage within the wink of an eye. Men, it was said, watched him with wary eyes, for they knew when the young pup found his teeth, he would make a dangerous enemy. Far in the north, Margaret of Anjou, warrior Queen to Henry VI, prepares to fight against the advancing armies of Edward IV. Why does she abandon her husband, and flee to France vowing never to return? Who blackmails her, seven years later, to join forces with her most hated enemy, to return and fight once again for the crown of England? King Edward IV, tall, handsome, and clever, is a brilliant warrior, whose Achilles' heel is women; he loves them all. What dark forces drive him into a secret marriage that rips his kingdom apart? He is forced to fight Louis XI of France, and the mighty Earl of Warwick, not only for his crown but also his life. From the courts of Edward IV, Louis XI, and Margaret of Anjou, comes intrigue, betrayal, witchcraft, and love. The Dreams of Kings weaves plots and characters together to make a roller-coaster read of the period they call the WAR of the ROSES.
The Dreams of Kings by David K. SaundersStep back in time, to the days when knights were fierce, battles were brutal and personal and the prize was wealth, control and power. It’s the fifteenth century, and the battle to rule England is being waged on many fronts, including under the political machinations of the French. Power and Kings change hands with the slice of a blade and only by mighty allegiances or vile threats will there be forces large enough for battle. The pawns are the men forced to fight, over-taxed to raise the funds for campaigns and no one can be sure who is their friend or foe.
The women of the era are mere property to be married off for political gain, physically used and abused for male pleasure. Queens are in exile, heirs to thrones are unaware of what their birthright entails and murder, heartless torture and unmerciful deaths are used as deterrents to being disloyal.
From the moment I began reading, this century faded away and I watching the betrayals, the shattered dreams and the treachery that all played a part in histories wars and battles all in the name of power. David K. Saunders has filled each page with brutal frankness and vivid details as he unfolds his version of the great battles fought for the English crown and a title could buy loyalty. The clanging of swords, the ease with which lives were taken and the outrageous beliefs that all was done in the name of God’s wishes, is a rude awakening to what life was like long ago.
With rich and elegant descriptions provided by David K. Saunders, one would believe he had been there and was funneling his knowledge back through each page. Love, loss, vengeance and death are all splayed out in its most stark form. Battles were strategized by mental prowess, not a computer mock up in sight to predict the outcome.
The Dreams of Kings showcases David K. Saunders attention to detail, no matter how gruesome as he writes of days long ago with the ability to bring everything to life from each emotion to each action and reaction. No one is completely evil, no one is completely without faults or ghosts in their closets, but the breed of human that endured this life is far tougher than I could ever be and Mr. Saunders portrayal of this era is brilliant, basing his tale on a little fiction and a lot of fact.
I received this copy from David K. Saunders in exchange for my honest review.