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Set during England's bloody and brutal War of the Roses, the first novel in an epic historical fiction series. If you liked Conn Iggulden's Stormbird, you will love Toby Clement's KINGMAKER novels.
Toby Clements was inspired to write Kingmaker- Winter Pilgrims having first become obsessed by the Wars of the Roses after a school trip to Tewkesbury Abbey, on the steps of which the Lancastrian claim to the English throne was extinguished in a welter of blood in 1471. Since then he has read everything he can get his hands on and spent long weekends at re-enactment fairs. He has learned to use the longbow and how to fight with the poll axe, how to start a fire with a flint and steel and a shred of baked linen. He has even helped tan a piece of leather (a disgusting experience involving lots of urine and dog faeces). Little by little he became less interested in the dealings of the high and mighty, however colourful and amazing they might have been, and more fascinated by the common folk of the 15th Century- how they lived, loved, fought and died. How tough they were, how resourceful, resilient and clever. As much as anything this book is a hymn to them. He lives in London with his wife and three children. Winter Pilgrims is his first novel.
"Magnificent. An historical tour de force, revealing Clements to be a novelist every bit as good as Cornwell, Gregory or Iggulden. Kingmaker is the best book I've read this year by some margin." * Ben Kane * "It's amazing ... there's a real sense of time and place, and real immersion in the period, real rounded characters, with utterly plausible lives. Fantastic! People who love Conn Iggulden and Bernard Cornwell are going to love it too." * Manda Scott * "Toby Clements captures the grimness, grit and grime of 15th-century life, but with compassion and humanity, as seen through the eyes of common people ... period detail is wonderfully accurate as are the setpiece skirmishes and bloodbath at Towton." * Daily Mail * "It is Clements's ability to excite both tender emotions and a capacity for bloodthirstiness that has allowed him to achieve what Shakespeare couldn't manage, and spin a consistently enthralling story out of the Wars of the Roses." * Daily Telegraph * "Clements truly lets rip with the poleaxes, billhooks and glaives, sparing no detail as he recreates the blood and thunder of the battlefield ... But mere retro-bloodfest this is not - amid the butchery emerges a tender, heroic love story." * The Sun *