Days of Sun & Glory
Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit. England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France.
Their suspicions are not unfounded. Tired of being relegated to the background by the king’s grasping favourite, Isabella has decided it is time to act – to safeguard her own position, but also that of her son, Edward of Windsor. As Adam de Guirande has pledged himself to Prince Edward he is automatically drawn into the queen’s plans – whether he likes it or not.
Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as the king and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead.
Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
“Unfortunately for Mortimer, he has placed a pup on the throne that will grow into a magnificent hound, and God save whoever comes between him and his bone.”
Wow! This was 400 pages of court intrigue, heartache, and political agendas. Yet again proving that I would not want to live in the Middle Ages.
If one thing hasn’t changed from that period to present day, it is the personal hope for power and money. It obviously led to corruption in this story and it was evident during Kind Edward II’s reign. Reading about him in this way really proved that he was indeed a weak king and highly dependent on Hugh Despenser, his royal chamberlain. Dirty deeds, sadistic tendencies, and crimes made Hugh a true villain and of course I had a love/hate relationship with his character. His love for his King, was the one characteristic that made him seem human. I was counting the pages until he got his comeuppance. But even when that happened, I was shocked.
There were many real life characters that were portrayed well. Of course with any Historical, grey areas are filled in with fiction.
Adam and his wife Kit had their own story and at times it was heartbreaking. It was as if they couldn’t catch a break. Under the suspicions of treason, every one of their movements were watched and Hugh was their greatest enemy. Truly sad things happen to this family, even though Kit’s character came off as a little annoying at first. Her actions came off as a little childish, but I came to sympathize with her toward the end.
I read this book out of order, but I was still able to glean the events from the previous book. It does not end though, we do not find out what happens to the King after the event of this story take place.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
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