(Review) Drake: Tudor Corsair, The Elizabethan Series Book 1 by Tony Riches

Publisher and Publication Date: Preseli Press Ltd. August 5, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction. British history. Elizabethan era. Sea adventure.
Pages: 344.
Source: I received a complimentary eBook copy from Tony Riches, I was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of historical fiction who love sea adventure.
Rating: Very good.

To read other reviews:
The Coffee Pot Book Club
Candlelight Reading
Historical Fiction Blog
Zoe’s Art, Craft, and Life
A Darn Good Read
Gwendalyn Books

Links to purchase the book:
Barnes and Noble

Goodreads link

Further links of interest:
Elizabethan Era
Elizabeth an England Life
Britannica-Francis Drake
Historic-uk.com-Francis Drake

Tony Riches is a full-time UK author of best-selling historical fiction. He lives in Pembrokeshire, West Wales and is a specialist in the history of the Wars of the Roses and the lives of the early Tudors. Tony’s other published historical fiction novels include: Owen – Book One Of The Tudor Trilogy, Jasper – Book Two Of The Tudor Trilogy, Henry – Book Three Of The Tudor Trilogy, Mary – Tudor Princess, Brandon – Tudor Knight and The Secret Diary Of Eleanor Cobham. For more information about Tony’s books please visit his website tonyriches.com and his blog, The Writing Desk and find him on  Facebook and Twitter @tonyriches

Sir Francis Drake (1540-43 to 1596)

Devon sailor Francis Drake sets out on a journey of adventure. Drake learns of routes used to transport Spanish silver and gold, and risks his life in an audacious plan to steal a fortune.
Queen Elizabeth is intrigued by Drake and secretly encourages his piracy. Her unlikely champion becomes a national hero, sailing around the world in the Golden Hind and attacking the Spanish fleet.
King Philip of Spain has enough of Drake’s plunder and orders an armada to threaten the future of England.

My Thoughts:
I love sea adventure stories and this is my favorite aspect of Drake: Tudor Corsair. As a young man, Francis Drake had piloted ships to safe harbor, but he had the ambition to sail the ocean. He began working for the privateer, seaman, and slave trader John Hawkins. Most of the story is in preparing the ship for a journey, sailing the ocean, and skirmishes with the Spanish and Portuguese. The actual day to day duties on a ship is not described in-depth as I’d liked. However, I understand better the English ambition for gold and silver made in the slave trade. I understand better the terrible conditions for the African people who were caught, transported to another land, and sold. The story shows a glimpse of uncomfortableness Drake felt about the slave trade, but it did not stop his activities.
I’ve read a little about Sir Francis Drake. I feel Drake: Tudor Corsair has characterized Drake as a likable person. A person who is heroic. He did have strong accomplishments. For example, he was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the earth. I have to remember, and other readers must remember, this is a historical period where many saw wealth as more important than human life. The African’s lives were expendable. It is difficult for me to wrap-my-mind around “that” type of thinking, but this is history, they lived differently than we do.
The personal life of Drake is shared in the story. I wonder if a fictional account of Drake’s first wife is possible? Her story is enticing and I wonder how she felt about his long absences? What did she know about his travels? How did she feel about how he made his wealth?
One of my favorite scenes in the story is when Drake met Queen Elizabeth. His description and impression of her is priceless.
Over-all this is a splendid story. I feel it gave me a solid education of what life at sea was like in the mid to late 1500s.

(Review) Our Tempestuous Day: A History of Regency England by Carolly Erickson


Publisher and Publication Date: HarperCollins. 1986. First Harper paperback 2011.
Genre: Nonfiction. British history. Regency Period.
Pages: 304.
Source: Self-purchase.
Audience: Readers of British history or Regency Period history.
Rating: Okay-good.

Amazon link 

Links of interest on George III:
Britannica on George III
History.com on George III
Royal.uk on George III
Biography.com on George III

George III

Links of interest on George IV:
Royal.uk on George IV
Britannica on George IV

George IV

The Regency period covers the years 1810 to 1820.
George III was born in 1738 and died in 1820.
King George III was the monarch of Great Britain and Ireland from 1760 to 1820. He had a mental illness that made him incapable of ruling during the last ten years. His son, the future George IV, became regent in 1811 and until his father’s death in 1820.
George IV reigned as monarch only ten years until his death in 1830.

Our Tempestuous Day focuses on George III and George IV. Other historical figures: Lord Byron, the Duke of Wellington, Caroline Lamb, Jane Austen, and Princess Charlotte are included.
The author uses characters to share what life was like during this time period, but these are people who are (mainly) in the upper part of society, not the common people.

My Thoughts:
I’ve struggled with whether to give this book an okay or good rating. I’ve toggled back and forth until I’ve decided to stay at okay-good.
The deciding factor for me in this rating is I wanted to read about the common people. The people closer to those in the Jane Austen’s stories. Chapter 18 finally answered some of my interests with how children were treated: stories of the “climbing boys,” child abandonment, street gangs, and prostitution.
However, the book is interesting in regards to how the two George monarchs lived. The opulence of George IV, and his tumultuous marriage and inappropriate treatment of the unloved wife.
Lord Byron is a character I knew a little about before reading this book. He was a scoundrel and didn’t care. You’ve heard the term, “love them and leave them.” I wouldn’t say he loved anyone but himself. He did leave them, that was a certainty.
Over-all, Our Tempestuous Day is a starting point for reading about the Regency Period.

(Review) A King Under Siege: Book One of the Plantagenet Legacy by Mercedes Rochelle

King Under Siege_Blog Tour Poster71fqEqppA5L

Publisher and Publication Date: Sergeant Press. January 5, 2019.
Genre: Historical fiction, British history, medieval, Richard II, biographical.
Pages: 310.
Source: I received a complimentary paperback copy from the author, but was not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of medieval, British history, kings of England, and historical fiction.
Rating: Excellent.

The Plantagenet Legacy (Book 1)

Landing page for the book tour: Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours.

Amazon link 
Available in paperback, audio, and Kindle. The Kindle unlimited is 0.

2019 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree

Further links of interest:
Britannica-Richard II
Medieval Chronicles-Richard II-be careful with the clickbait
Archives.history-Richard II
The Freelance History Writer-Anne of Bohemia
The Freelance History Writer-Isabella of Valois

03_Mercedes Rochelle Author
About the Author:

Born and raised in St. Louis MO, Mercedes Rochelle graduated with a degree in English literature from the University of Missouri. Mercedes learned about living history as a re-enactor and has been enamored with historical fiction ever since. A move to New York to do research and two careers ensued, but writing fiction remains her primary vocation. She lives in Sergeantsville, NJ with her husband in a log home they had built themselves.
Goodreads page for Mercedes Rochelle. In addition, webpage, Facebook, 

Richard II found himself under siege not once, but twice in his minority. Crowned king at age ten, he was only fourteen when the Peasants’ Revolt terrorized London. But he proved himself every bit the Plantagenet successor, facing Wat Tyler and the rebels when all seemed lost. Alas, his triumph was short-lived, and for the next ten years he struggled to assert himself against his uncles and increasingly hostile nobles. Just like in the days of his great-grandfather Edward II, vengeful magnates strove to separate him from his friends and advisors, and even threatened to depose him if he refused to do their bidding. The Lords Appellant, as they came to be known, purged the royal household with the help of the Merciless Parliament. They murdered his closest allies, leaving the King alone and defenseless. He would never forget his humiliation at the hands of his subjects. Richard’s inability to protect his adherents would haunt him for the rest of his life, and he vowed that next time, retribution would be his.

“This story is rich in historical detail. It has so obviously been meticulously researched. I cannot but commend Rochelle for this exceptional work of scholarship. A King Under Siege: Book One of The Plantagenet Legacy is one of those books that once started is impossible to put down. This book is filled with non-stop action. There are enough plots and conspiracies to satisfy any lover of historical fiction. This is storytelling at its very best.” Mary Anne Yarde from Myths, Legends, Books & Coffee Pots Blog


Richard II (1367-1400)

My Thoughts:
When the book begins Richard II is a teenage boy. He was not yet the age when he was able to reign without the regency council. He’d come to the throne at age 10. In A King Under Siege, I was shown Richard’s feelings of inadequacy because of his age. He has a loneliness and a yearning for someone to understand and be loyal to him. His reign showed me the difficulties of trying to please his subjects, both the common and wealthy classes. Richard’s early success during the Peasant’s Revolt was short lived, he later suffered a deep humiliation, and he wanted to show himself a strong and capable leader. I was shown his role as king but also Richard’s character. The person he was. He was a complex character.
A King Under Siege is a compelling read because of Richard II’s climactic early years of reign.
The story is strong in dialogue-conversations between the various nobility. For example: Robert de Vere, Michael de la Pole, Thomas Mowbray, Henry of Bolingbroke, and John of Gaunt. Each of these men have strong stories that reflect their own aggressive ambitions.
At times while reading A King Under Siege, I imagined a game of chess. It’s a game of strategy. The players in this true historical period were each a strategist. They looked for weakness and opportunities to gain power over the opponent.
I saw Richard’s feelings from the first about his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke. These glimpses will lead to a change in monarchy later. I imagined a curtain drawn back to reveal just a brief glimpse of the future. Richard does have something to be envious about, and this makes me anxious to read book two!

Giveaway: This blog doesn’t host giveaways. At the end of this review is a link for the giveaway. 
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