Kingmaker: Winter Pilgrims – Toby Clements

It isn’t often I review the “story books” I read but I really enjoyed this one and wanted to share my thoughts.

The book is set during the War of the Roses, an era of history I find interesting. The main protagonists are Thomas and Katherine and we follow their journey from rural calm to the middle of the action at the Battle of Towton.

When we first meet them Thomas is monk whose role is to write and illustrate texts. Katherine is an oblate at the nunnery next to the monastery. Katherine, at the nearby river washing is attacked by a band of horseman and Thomas comes to her rescue. Both end up fleeing religious life and the book follows their adventure to Calais, Wales, Northampton and, finally, Towton.

I enjoyed reading this book; I liked the setting, both time and places and I liked the characters, wanting to know more about Katherine’s mysterious past and what happens next. The ending is definitely calculated to make you buy the next in the series and I’m pleased I picked up this series when all 4 books are published; it would have been frustrating to have to wait for the next book to come out!

It is interesting to read the descriptions of the battles and to have a glimmer of an idea about what it must have been like to be in the thick of the action at Towton. It will be interesting to go back to the site of the battle with this imagery in my head; nowadays it is peaceful, rural, agricultural scene. (The picture at the top is of Towton)

I can’t, at the moment, think of anything I didn’t enjoy about this book. It was a good page turner, set in a period I know a little about and would like to know more of, with likable, interesting characters. Clearly, with this type of book, you need to suspend disbelief to some extent – these characters would almost certainly not have had all these adventures – but it’s a good story.

If you like historical adventure stories I’d recommend it.

Click here to find out more about the Battle of Towton


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