Kingmaker: Kingdom Come
Kingdom Come is the fourth and final novel in Toby Clements’ Kingmaker series, set during the Wars of the Roses. It continues the story of Thomas Everingham and his wife Katherine, who, when the book opens, have settled down peacefully as small landholders in Lincolnshire, surrounded by a group of loyal friends and retainers (mostly, for reasons which remain obscure, called John). But the political situation doesn’t allow them to stay settled for long, and as the conflict between Edward IV and the Earl of Warwick erupts again they are caught up in events. Long-buried secrets—some personal, and one with the power to unseat a King—come to the surface, requiring hard choices from both Thomas and Katherine.
Although the finale to a series, Kingdom Come works also as a novel in its own right. Its main characters are convincing and well-rounded, with enough back story given to ensure the novel stands on its own feet (while still reminding returning readers of previous events). It is well-researched, providing a vivid sense of the reality of life in 15th-century England and the vicissitudes of war, as well as the universal human emotions of grief, love and betrayal. The story is tightly plotted, and Clements builds the tension right through until the end, managing to weave together the personal and political extremely well. It is an enjoyable and engaging novel. Recommended.