Book review: “Henry – Book 3 of the Tudor Trilogy” by Tony Riches

by Rebecca Henderson Palmer on August 28, 2017

Finalist for the 2017 Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award, author Tony Riches brings us the third book in his Tudor Trilogy. Here, we follow Henry Tudor’s footsteps from the Battle of Bosworth, where he unseats Richard III for the crown, to his marriage to a York princess, his constant fight to keep pretenders from his throne, and the unease of his later years without his beloved wife or eldest son. This is the most personal history of the man who became Henry VII that I have ever read. We go deeply into his motivations, inner thoughts, and the turmoil that seemed his constant companion.

Against all odds, Henry Tudor unseats Richard III, catapulting him to the throne of a country after living most of his life as a fugitive. He marries Elizabeth of York, the daughter of the rival line, to unite the houses once and for all. But nothing remains peaceful for a man whose tenuous claim to the throne encourages many rivals to supplant him. Many who promise him loyalty turn on him to support pretenders, and here we see Henry grow from a naive young man into a distrustful and cautious ruler who must defend his throne at every turn. With only his mother, Margaret Beaufort, and sometimes his wife Elizabeth to trust, Henry plays a shrewd game of international politics, particularly when it comes to the marriage negotiations for his eldest son Arthur and then his younger son Harry to marry Catherine of Aragon.

I really enjoyed this book as it gives an intensely intimate look at a man that history has often depicted as greedy, suspicious, and cruel without fully characterizing the difficult circumstances in which he found himself. Here we see a more tender Henry, one who honors his mother, loves his wife, and mourns the lack of relationship he has with his children. The emotional distance between Henry and his son Harry (the future Henry VIII) is particularly poignant. This narrative fills in the gaps on who Henry VII the man may have been, how he viewed the disloyalties of so many, and (probably most intriguing of all) how he left his kingdom to the son who became Henry VIII with all the wives, chaos, and fear that reign wrought. This is a solid choice for Tudor enthusiasts, incredibly well researched and absorbing.

A review of “Owen Tudor” – Book One of the Tudor Trilogy can be found here. I’ve also reviewed two other books by Mr. Riches, “Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham” and “Warwick: The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses“. Please click on the links to read the reviews.

Special thanks to Mr. Riches for sending me a copy in exchange for my review.

Amazon link is here.

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