Kingdom of Rebels

Written by Derek Birks
Review by Richard Tearle

The Wars of the Roses has been well represented in Historical Fiction, so it is pleasant to find a story in which the events are very much in the background, although having their effects on the various characters.

Ned Elder has been exiled for five years by Edward IV under the advice of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick. One of his two sisters live in relative poverty in his only remaining castle in Northumbria, and this is often attacked by disgruntled locals. She guards the son that Ned does not know he has.

With his exile close to ending, Ned foils a plot to assassinate the King’s sister prior to her marriage, and in doing so makes some powerful enemies who want him dead.

Kingdom of Rebels is the third in a series of (at least) four and some recapping is obviously necessary so it can be read as a stand-alone book. It is well written, full of action and the picture of 15th Century life is skilfully woven by the author. I found no errors in format or spelling and the cover is attractive and would grab attention in any commercial book store.

The ending is most imaginative – leaving plenty of scope for the fourth in the series – and gives a new theory to an oft glossed over event that took place during that mighty conflict.

Thoroughly recommended.