The more I think about this book, the more my rating decreases. I think that means I should probably stop thinking about it. That's not likely to happen any time soon. See, I have a huge problem. The problem is, this should have been two books. One book focusing on Edward IV retaking the throne from Henry VI. One book focusing on everything after Tewkesbury including Henry Tudor's coming to the throne of England. Instead we get both of these things crammed into one book. Is something really crammed if it's nearly 500 pages?
Part one in which Edward IV is in exile and Henry VI (or what's left of him) is back on the throne is excellent. Iggulden writes a battle scene second only to Bernard Cornwell*.His characters are well rounded. The only thing I wish Iggulden would learn is to separate his personal feelings from his characters. His disdain for Elizabeth Woodville and her family is fairly obvious. However, his reasons for this disdain are not. The lack of screen time Henry Tudor is given would also lead me to believe Iggulden isn't a huge fan of the Tudors overall. Which leads me to wonder why one would even write this book. I digress.
Part two is like an irritating movie. You've been watching this incredible piece of cinema for nearly two hours when suddenly the director realizes they need to wrap it up and get butts out of the theater. Everything is thrown together. Questions you've had from the beginning are sort of answered. Suddenly the credits are rolling. You're not sure how you got to the end yet here you are. I'm sure there are reasons why this series didn't stretch into five books instead of four. Pretty good ones I would imagine since the four books were originally only suppose to be three. However, it doesn't change my opinion. This series should have been five books. Iggulden should have (or been allowed to have) time to really write about the "rise of the Tudors".
All of those things being said, I would still recommend this series about the Wars of the Roses over anything Philippa Gregory has produced. I wouldn't even recommend wasting time, paper, or energy with PG's "Cousins' War" series.
I'm planning on starting The Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman fairly soon. I haven't decided if this is a good idea or one of the worst ideas I've had in a while. Time will tell.
*Uhtred wins every time. Fight me on this.