Monday, December 16, 2013

Feud by Derek Birks


It is 1459 and England stands on the brink of chaos. York and Lancaster go to war for the throne. As the Wars of the Roses begin, the rule of law breaks down and in the heart of Yorkshire an old local score is being settled.

"From the eye-catching cover to the last page, Feud is an exciting story of survival through personal upheaval during a vicious war, where the outcome is not always certain." Historical Novel Society.

Young Ned Elder, a Yorkshire knight, finds himself caught up in the civil war when his family is brutally attacked by their neighbour, Lord Radcliffe.
For the Elders, nothing will ever be the same again. With only a few loyal companions, Ned is hounded across the land by the Radcliffes. His sister Emma is forced into a loveless marriage with Radcliffe's heir whilst his younger sister, the brash Eleanor, is confined within an austere nunnery.

With their father and older brother dead, it falls to Ned and his sisters to fight back. But they are young, they make mistakes and they will need help if they are to survive, for once the Feud begins, no-one is safe...

FEUD is the compelling story of Ned Elder, his sisters and the girl he loves. They fight for survival and, whilst the civil war rages across a snow-covered battlefield, the bitter feud is played out to its bloody conclusion.

FEUD is the beginning of a story - the story of the Elder family's struggle through the Wars of the Roses - and the story continues in the next book of the Rebels & Brothers series, A Traitor's Fate, which is out on November 1 2013.

My Review:

“Feud” by Derek Birks is a great novel for lovers of historical fiction. It has the perfect mixture or action, adventure, and romance. The War of the Roses in English history has always interested me, and I’ve read several books from author's who write from the perspective of one side of the other. I like that Birks writes from the point of view of the ‘regular’ people of that era. It was interesting to read the story from the different perspectives of the nobility, servants, as well as men and women. I love historical fiction that is told from more than one viewpoint, and “Feud” does a great job at this.

Many of the historical fiction novels that I have read over the years are more geared towards a female reader, and put a lot of focus on the character’s romance. “Feud” has the element of romance in it, but I think the story line, which is packed full of action and descriptive battle scenes, will be of more interest to a male reader.  Birks has a gift when it comes to describing the battle scenes, and is able to put the reader right in the battle with the characters.

I enjoyed reading “Feud”, but at times the number of battles and general action were a little much for me, but that’s just my taste. Also, as a reader you need to have a little background knowledge of the War of the Roses, or there’s a good chance you’ll be a little lost. However, I definitely recommend this novel to historical fiction lovers, especially those who enjoy reading about the War of Roses.

I give this novel 4 out of 5 stars!

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