BlurbBased on the true story of a forgotten hero, OWEN is the epic tale of one young man s incredible courage and resilience as he changes the course of English history.England 1422 Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant, waits in Windsor Castle to meet his new mistress, the beautiful and lonely Queen Catherine of Valois, widow of the warrior king, Henry V Her infant son is crowned King of England and France, and while the country simmers on the brink of civil war, Owen becomes her protector.They fall in love, risking Owen s life and Queen Catherine s reputation but how do they found the dynasty which changes British history the Tudors This is the first historical novel to fully explore the amazing life of Owen Tudor, grandfather of King Henry VII and the great grandfather of King Henry VIII Set against a background of the conflict between the Houses of Lancaster and York, which develops into what have become known as the Wars of the Roses, Owen s story deserves to be told.Owen Book One of the Tudor Trilogy is a new addition to story of the Tudors in the historical fiction tradition of C J Sansom, Conn Iggulden, Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.ReviewOver the last few years I have read many historical fiction novels that deal with the various monarchies throughout Britain s long history It s stunning the amount of turmoil that surrounds whoever occupies the throne Even such redoubtable rulers like Richard Lionheart, and Henry VIII had to deal with treacherous nobles asserting their claim to the crown In this tale, the first in The Tudor Trilogy, Owain ap Tudur, a Welsh servant known to the English as Owen Tudor, in an emotionally charged, and fateful twist of fate begets the royal Tudor line Now the manner in which that happens is a bit of a spoiler, so, I will not divulge that particular bit of plot However, that plot line is a good example of how resilient, and resourceful Owen becomes necessary because of the enmity he causes by his actions Owen is a survivor and the author provides ample opportunities for him to succumb to failure or depression.It is a well researched book with the author gleaning from sparse historical records enough to bring Owen to life in an entertaining and enjoyable fashion The characters are well rounded, the settings evoke the feeling that the reader is there, and the story is a captivating glimpse at the beginning of the Tudor dynasty I am certainly going to continue to follow up with Jasper, and Henry the other books in the series 4 stars 4.5 starsReviewed by me as part of Rosie Amber s Review TeamI am deeply fascinated by all things Plantagenet and Tudor, so leapt on this book when it became available on Rosie Amber s review team list I was particularly eager to read it as Owen Tudor is someone about whom I knew little, apart from his having been Henry VIII s great grandfather My knowledge of the events leading up to the Wars of the Roses is sketchy, too, so this book was an education as well as a great story.The novel is perfectly edited and proofread, which was a real treat in these days of dubious standards I could tell that Mr Riches had spent a great deal of time drafting and redrafting, and the structure of the novel itself is extremely well thought out The story flows beautifully throughout and is simply written in the present tense, which is always an odd choice but worked well in this case At first I was not very taken with Riches Owen Tudor he seemed like a bit of a stuffed shirt and I couldn t imagine why he aroused such passion in Juliette the servant girl and Queen Catherine de Valois I found the prose a little stilted, though not terribly I much preferred the latter half of the book, after Catherine s death, when it loosened up considerably, Owen s adventurous side came to the fore and I became engrossed I looked forward to the introduction of characters about whom I know Margaret Beaufort one of my favourite women in history , and Jasper Tudor, who I ve always rather fancied well done, Mr Riches, you portrayed him so well That the book is well researched is clear many domestic details are included, but these are artfully woven into the story, rather than lumped in to show how much the author has mugged up before beginning to write I did wonder if a reader who knows nothing of this historical period might get a little confused by all the dukes and bishops and their various allegiances, but then it is likely that anyone reading this would already have an interest in the period There is an author s note at the back to explain which characters come from Riches imagination and which are from real life.If you re interested in the Wars of the Roses and the origins of the Tudor dynasty I d definitely recommend this book, and I look forward to reading the next one in the series. England Owen Tudor, A Welsh Servant, Waits In Windsor Castle To Meet His New Mistress, The Beautiful And Lonely Queen Catherine Of Valois, Widow Of The Warrior King, Henry V Her Infant Son Is Crowned King Of England And France, And While The Country Simmers On The Brink Of Civil War, Owen Becomes Her Protector They Fall In Love, Risking Owen S Life And Queen Catherine S Reputation But How Do They Found The Dynasty Which Changes British History The Tudors Characters bringing history to lifeI loved history at school but it was never taught in depth Central figures such as Elizabeth I, Queen Mary of Scotland and of course Henry VIII were mentioned, as were major battles or events in their lives But you never got to know the person behind the crown or those around them in great detail.I discovered Bernard Cornwell at an early age and have read all his books And that is why I am delighted to have discovered Tony Riches, who writes his books with the people as the focus, with the events being incorporated into their story, rather than the other way around This accomplished with not just superb story telling but by giving Owen Tudor his own voice.It is 1422 a few years after the Welsh rebellion led by Owen Glendower against Henry IV fails, and his supporters, including his cousins the Tudor family, have also lost lands and titles.Owen Tudor has been a soldier serving in France, but is now a servant in a privileged position at Windsor castle when the young widow of Henry V, Queen Catherine of Valois arrives with her baby son, Prince Henry later to be King Henry VI Their first meeting was to be fateful, and during the following years of civil war in England, would lead to the founding of the Tudor dynasty.Tony Riches takes us through the next 40 years in this first book in the trilogy It begins as a love story that would change the course of history, but it also provides a clear and engrossing background to the beginning of the hostilities between the Houses of York and Lancaster.Alliances change rapidly with the English throne as the ultimate prize What might be dismissed as minor engagements are given the respect they deserve, as integral moves in a chess game that spans decades, and is played adjacent to, and part of the 100 years war between the English monarchy and the French House of Valois.The characters, even those with a less regal role, are richly drawn and deliver a much enjoyed respite from the destructive and violent events of the time Sympathy grows for the young royal brides barely in their teens who are traded for land, alliances and truces The cost of disloyalty is harsh and usually brutally extracted, unless there might be to gain from clemency.I would recommend the book as one that brings the cast members of this long drawn out struggle for power into the spotlight History is a wonderful subject but can be very dry and indigestible in the wrong hands That is not the case with the Tudor Trilogy and whilst Tony Riches has created additional fictitious characters and events within the story, they serve to bring the lead cast members to life.I highly recommend the following two books in the trilogy as well. 3.5 stars I have listened to the audible version of this book It is a very interesting story and I was happy to learn new things Where it fell short The technicalities sometimes created hitches during the reading There were inconsistencies in descriptions, for example, i e., Queen Catherine s hair color, or repeated actions in the same scenes Owens narrative voice also fell a little flat These are all little things that could be easily fixed Generally, the story was good The performance of the audiobook was not tremendously engaging but ok I had a hard time with the lack of flow at times The first person narrative in present tense was also sometimes jarring Again, I do not know if this is because of the audiobook performance, or truly Mr Riches style Overall, I would give this author a second chance He definitely has a talent for storytelling. Oh how I love reading about people and places in history that I am unfamiliar with I ve read during the late 1400 s but don t really know that much regarding the early path of the Tudor s Owen is the first book in Tony Riches s Tudor Series, other than a few fictional characters he stayed true to history and events There were lots of changes taking place after the death of King Henry V with his infant son now King of both England and France Though there isn t much known about Owen Tudor the author does a great job of filling in the gaps Told from his point of view made for an enjoyable read, his relationship with Queen Catherine as well as the struggles of court added enough action to keep the story flowing I have read enough Tudor books set in King Henry VIII s reign that this one was a refreshing change Owen is his great grandfather A chance to learn about the Tudor line and the added bonus of continuing this series with Jasper and Henry I love the cover for this book, it sets the tone and setting Tony Riches s knowledge of the time period shines through Definitely a series and author I will continue reading. I just finished this great book and was a great time travel Thank you Tony for this super book, first time a read about Owen Tudor, and I really enjoy learning about this personage I will read all the Trilogy, I bought Jasper, I will star reading , I can read and learn everything about the Tudor s but I will always remain a Yorkist But I recommend this great book Tony really put the reader next to the person you are reading Thank you Tony for this great adventure and learning I love every page of this book, I love the way Tony show the reader the history Thank you Tony Rihes After the Welsh revolt of Owain Glynd r, Owen Tudor is taken into the English Court as a servant He soon finds himself appointed as Keeper of the Wardrobe to the newly widowed Queen Catherine of Valois In his position, Owen finds himself close to the lonely Queen as he runs the ins and outs of her daily life He is also very close with the infant King, Henry Owen is soon asked to spy on the Queen for the appointed Protector of the Realm, Duke Humphrey of Gloucester With loyalty to the Queen first and foremost, Owen lets Catherine know of the duplicity and becomes one of her most trusted men As the infant King grows, Queen Catherine s position becomes less stable and Owen stays beside her Through a secret marriage, children, a sorrowful death and an English uprising, Owen Tudor s lineage will become essential to England s future.As someone who loves all things Tudor, I did not know much about Owen Tudor except for his parentage of Edmund and Jaspar Not much historical fact is known about Owen Tudor s life however, Tony Riches has done a wonderful job filling in Rich detail of the time period and everyday life in Queen Catherine s household gives background for their romance to take place and for the Tudor lineage to begin One of the themes throughout the book is Fortune s Wheel Fortune s Wheel turns many times for Owen throughout his life I was continuously surprised at his ability to get back on his feet after tragedy or bad luck fell upon him Owen marries Queen Catherine, but in secret, they are in hiding for many years, have several healthy children, but one birth will take Catherine s life, Owen receive the pardon of the King, but is still imprisoned Through Owen s eyes I had an honest look at Queen Catherine, a young woman who showed strength and resilience throughout her life but fell to the same illness as her father, Charles VI of France I was also very interested in Owen and Catherine s third son, Owen, who may or may not have lived Overall, an exciting and engrossing foundation to the Tudor trilogy.This book was received for free in return for an honest review. May include spoilers for those not familiar with the history of Owen Tudor.I enjoyed this look at the man who made the Tudor dynasty a possibility Owen Tudor Though he could have lived his life in relative obscurity, he took the bold step of marrying widowed queen Catherine of Valois This book is brief, but it is still a comprehensive look at Owen s life than I have previously read Instead of only telling the story of Owen and Catherine s romance, the author tells Owen s story Using a bold present tense, first person narration, Riches places the reader directly into Owen s mind as the turbulence that led to the Wars of the Roses begins in England.Owen seems uncertain if he is proud of his position in Catherine s household or disappointed that his family has lost their standing, primarily because they are Welsh Well, that Welsh handsomeness comes in handy in catching the eye of the former queen, who Owen quietly admires for years never dreaming that she may be peeking at him as well However, Owen is not obsessed with Catherine Since she is not a logical possibility, he has other relationships and friendships that help make him than just that servant that married a queen.Then he does marry the queen She is frail and already showing signs of the madness that plagued her father and would eventually cause the downfall of her son Rather than being frustrated or disillusioned with her, Owen patiently comforts and loves Catherine even as she fades away After Catherine s death, Owen realizes how much her protection had meant, though she had seemed powerless as a dowager queen It is not until Henry comes of age and Owen manages to obtain an audience with him that the harassment and imprisonment stops.The remainder of the story focuses on Owen s relationship with his two oldest sons, Edmund and Jasper We get a glimpse of the next story in this trilogy as Margaret Beaufort joins the family and gives birth to Owen s grandson, Henry The Wars of the Roses are just getting underway when Owen and Jasper are ambushed by a young, vengeful Edward of York at Mortimer s Cross This is one section of the story that I would have loved to see fleshed out a little bit Owen s end and the uncertainty he has about the future are poignant Not knowing if his son is alive, imprisoned, or free to fight another day, Owen is lead out to meet his final judge.The story continues with Jasper, and I hope it will be coming out soon My path to becoming a Anglophile began with Anne Boleyn who became Henry Tudor VIII s second wife I then started reading British history both before and after Anne Boleyn including histories on Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, but I concentrated mostly on royal history With that stated, my interest in the Tudors has always been in the forefront Tony Riches Owen, Book 1 of the Tudor Trilogy, seemed a natural for me to read I am very glad that I have read Owen, and I will begin reading Jasper, Book 2 of the Tudor Trilogy, shortly If a little knowledge is dangerous, And what knowledge I know about who started the Tudor line, how, when and where is not complete so I decided that I had to find The author states that records on Owen Tudor are sketchy, and no likeness has ever been found, but after reading Owen, I feel that definite holes in my knowledge have been filled It is 1422 and Owen Tudor, a Welsh servant arrives at Windsor Castle to be introduced to his new employer, The Dowager Queen of England, Catherine of Valois, aged about 17 years old Her husband, Henry V of Agincourt fame , has died and left Queen Catherine a widow with their son, Henry, who has been crowned King of England and France at nine months Owen and Queen Catherine fall in love and marry, a treasonous act I am aware of most of this, but their life together, their children, the fact that Queen Catharine s eldest child becomes Henry VI, and Queen Catharine s father is the King of Frances, Charles VI or Charles The Mad, this is new information for me Also, this French heritage definitely comes into play in than one way Fascinating One last bit of info The War of the Roses modern term begins 4 stars Book 2 awaits
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- 318 pages
- Tony Riches
- 13 October 2019 Tony Riches