Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Independent publishing
Pub date: 22 July 2015
I first read this trilogy in the summer whilst on holiday but I forgot how much I enjoyed it.
It is 1422 and Owen Tudor waits to meet Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of Henry V, in the hope of securing a position in her household.
For years Owen works loyally for Catherine knowing he is in love with her and can’t believe his luck when the feelings are reciprocated. There’s only one problem, Catherine is forbidden to marry without the consent of her son the king who is still a child. The couple risk everything and marry in secret.
In 1437 the secret is out and Dowager Queen Catherine dies, shortly followed by her new born daughter. Realising he will be arrested Owen rides for Wales but is stopped before he can make his escape. After seeking sanctuary in Westminster Abbey until the king reaches his majority, Owen requests permission to leave England to live out his days in Wales. He has no choice but to leave his sons Edmund and Jasper in the keeping of the Abbess of Barking.
Unfortunately Owen made an enemy of some council members and he along with his two companions Nathaniel and Thomas are arrested and escorted to Newgate. After being transferred to Windsor for a year Owen is finally released and in the employment of his friend Nathaniel.
As a free man he can now see his sons and presents them to their half brother King Henry VI.
Awarded the appointment in Normandy as Captain of Regnéville, Owen is responsible for keeping the harbour safe which he manages for five years before surrendering to the French.
On his return to England he finally makes his journey to his homeland, Wales.
With increasing bouts of mental instability for Henry VI, the War of the Roses ensues with York against Lancaster. Owens sons are now grown men, both Earls and Edmund is married to Lady Margaret Beaufort.
Sadly the war causes heartbreak for Owen who at 60 years old is determined to do all he can to protect Catherine’s eldest son and support his son Jasper.
I devoured this book! Tony Riches’ telling of Owen’s story drew me in from the start. Although the book is based on history it does have some fictional characters and I loved Nathaniel and Thomas!
It’s so hard to believe Owen and Catherine managed to keep their marriage secret for so many years! The book is a great insight in to the heritage of the Tudor dynasty. Everyone knows who Henry Tudor is and even his uncle Jasper but this shines a light on the parentage of Edmund and Jasper and the life of their father. This was truly a fascinating read and I’d recommend to anyone with an interest in the Tudor era. Owen Tudor was such an important part of the beginning of the Tudor dynasty so I am glad to see his life is being brought to the forefront in this book.
Owen is available on Kindle unlimited or to purchase here: