The Shepherd Lord

Written by George Peter Algar
Review by Laura Staley

Set in England during the Wars of the Roses, this is a fictional account of a real-life romantic saga. After the 1461 Battle of Towton, Henry Clifford, the young heir of John “The Butcher” Clifford, is hidden away with a shepherd’s family to save him from the reprisals of the victor, King Edward IV. And there he stays for 24 years.

In his new life, Henry is closest to his foster father, Tom Lawkland. Lawkland teaches Henry to be a shepherd, to care for the land, and to avoid people who might turn him in for the bounty on his head. In spite of the necessity of staying hidden, Henry manages to meet and fall in love with Anne St John, cousin to King Henry VII. He cannot court her, of course; shepherds do not marry ladies. But fortunes shift constantly during the Wars of the Roses, and Henry’s luck eventually turns.

Reviewers tend to recommend a book to a particular audience. If this book has a flaw, it is that there are brief parts that will appeal to several groups, but it isn’t shaped to appeal strongly to any one audience. History buffs will enjoy the interesting glimpses of 15th-century life. Adventure readers will enjoy the excitement of the hunt for the young Baron. The attractive cover will appeal to bookstore browsers. But no single element predominates. Recommended for fans of English history, and readers with an appetite for a variety of styles.