The Last Shroud

Written by Derek Birks
Review by Richard Tearle

Ned Elder has many friends and even more enemies, and they all come together in this last installment of Derek Birks’ Rebels and Brothers series.

Ned remains loyal to Edward IV even though the king has been driven to exile by the mighty Earl of Warwick. Fortunes change swiftly, and Ned finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his sisters, Eleanor and Emma, in the service of his king. With the help of an unlikely ally, Ned deals with each problem as it arises until the final, chilling climax of the book.

The Last Shroud starts with a battle and ends with one; in between the action never wavers as it flits from one character to another, without ever losing sight of the main story. I thought I had been clever in finding an error regarding the placement of the Duke of Gloucester and his troops at the battle of Barnet, but the author explains why this happens in his notes at the end. All battles are otherwise expertly described.

I thoroughly recommend this book as a stand-alone, but even more as the conclusion of this excellent series.