Book Reviews · Historical Fiction

The Brandon Trilogy + Giveaway!

Mary: Tudor Princess
by Tony Riches

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Preseli Press

Series: The Brandon Trilogy, Book 1
Genre: Historical/Tudor/Biographical

From the author of the international best-selling Tudor Trilogy, the true story of the Tudor dynasty continues with the daughter of King Henry VII, sister to King Henry VIII. Mary Tudor watches her elder brother become King of England and wonders what the future holds for her.

Born into great privilege, Mary has beauty and intelligence beyond her years and is the most marriageable princess in Europe. Henry plans to use her marriage to build a powerful alliance against his enemies. Will she dare risk his anger by marrying for love?

Meticulously researched and based on actual events, this ‘sequel’ follows Mary’s story from book three of the Tudor Trilogy and is set during the reign of King Henry VIII.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Brandon: Tudor Knight
by Tony Riches

Publication Date: December 3, 2018
Preseli Press

Series: The Brandon Trilogy, Book 2
Genre: Historical/Tudor/Biographical

From the author of the international bestselling Tudor Trilogy comes a true story of adventure, courtly love and chivalric loyalty.

Handsome, charismatic and a champion jouster, Sir Charles Brandon is the epitome of a Tudor Knight. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Brandon has a secret. He has fallen in love with Henry’s sister, Mary Tudor, the beautiful widowed Queen of France, and risks everything to marry her without the King’s consent.

Brandon becomes Duke of Suffolk, but his loyalty is tested fighting Henry’s wars in France. Mary’s public support for Queen Catherine of Aragon brings Brandon into dangerous conflict with the ambitious Boleyn family and the king’s new right-hand man, Thomas Cromwell.

Torn between duty to his family and loyalty to the king, Brandon faces an impossible decision: can he accept Anne Boleyn as his new queen?

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Katherine: Tudor Duchess
by Tony Riches

Publication Date: October 1, 2019
Preseli Press

Series: The Brandon Trilogy, Book 3
Genre: Historical Fiction

Attractive, wealthy and influential, Katherine Willoughby is one of the most unusual ladies of the Tudor court. A favourite of King Henry VIII, Katherine knows all his six wives, his daughters Mary and Elizabeth, and his son Edward, as well as being related by marriage to Lady Jane Grey.

She marries Tudor knight, Sir Charles Brandon, and becomes Duchess of Suffolk at the age of fourteen. Her Spanish mother, Maria de Salinas, is Queen Catherine of Aragon’s lady in waiting, so it is a challenging time for them all when King Henry marries the enigmatic Anne Boleyn.

Following Anne’s dramatic downfall, the short reign of young Catherine Howard, and the tragic death of Jane Seymour, Katherine’s young sons are tutored with the future king, Prince Edward, and become his friends.

Katherine and Charles Brandon are chosen to welcome Anna of Cleves as she arrives in England. When the royal marriage is annulled, Katherine’s good friend, Catherine Parr becomes the king’s sixth wife, and they work to promote religious reform.

When King Edward dies, his Catholic sister Mary is crowned queen and Katherine’s Protestant faith puts her family in great danger – from which there seems no escape.

Katherine’s remarkable true story continues the epic tale of the rise of the Tudors, which began with the best-selling Tudor trilogy and concludes with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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Okay, Y’all. I’m going to do my best to keep things professional (as professional as I usually am) (which isn’t very) as I write this review, as opposed to fan-girling all over my blog. Because today, I get to review for Tony Riches. THE Tony Riches. Master of all things Tudor, author extraordinaire and owner of the kindest heart. And that’s putting things mildly.

What is especially exciting, is that this trilogy follows the stories of, in my opinion, oft overlooked Tudors: Mary, King Henry VIII’s younger sister, Charles Brandon and Katherine Willoughby.

I poured through Mary-Tudor Princess, having some knowledge of her history. I was very curious to see how Mr. Riches would tell her story and introduce her to us, his readers. His attention to detail was impeccable as always, and he brought every scene to life, from the sounds to the smells to the weather to the fashion. Writing of this fashion is such a gift to the reader, as it allows us to walk the journey with the character(s), instead of spending so much time and brain-power trying to picture each setting. The end result being that I got to watch Mary’s story unfold, and felt by the end that I knew her personally. I can now say with confidence, that she is one of my favorite Tudors.

Brandon-Tudor Knight was a brilliant read. With my limited knowledge of Charles Brandon, I have always been confused by this man. On one hand, I really really want to like him. I want to believe that he had good intentions, that he loved Mary Tudor and that he had a heart of gold. On the other hand, I worry that maybe he just played everyone around him for his own gain, including Mary Tudor, and maybe especially Katherine Willoughby. Without giving anything away, I feel that Tony Riches nailed it. From his personality, to his intentions, to the loyalties of his heart, I believe that this novel will introduce you to the real Charles Brandon. I loved every single page.

I have to admit that Katherine-Tudor Duchess may have been my favorite of the trilogy. I truly knew nothing about this woman. I somewhat recognized her name as being linked to Charles Brandon, but the rest of her story was a mystery to me. Thus I dove into this novel with abandon, anxious to meet this woman and to learn her story. And oh my stars, did I fall head over heels. The author fleshed her out beautifully, giving the reader a front-row-seat to her life, her hopes and her convictions. And what a life she led, much of which was on a tightrope. From watching Queen Catherine being set aside, to the subsequent downfall of Anne Boleyn, to becoming a ward…then wife…then widow…of Charles Brandon, to catching the king’s eye. She managed to always remain in favor, a dangerous game in King Henry VIII’s court, thus winning her a permanent residence in my Tudor-loving heart. The strength that she possessed, and the wisdom that she displayed time and time again made this novel one of my favorite novels of all time.

As always, through Tony Riches’ writing, you meet more than just the main characters. How grateful I am to have spent these last few weeks with so many familiar faces.

Bottom Line: All your Tudor-loving self needs is Tony Riches. If he wrote it, you need it.

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About the Author

Tony Riches is a full-time writer and lives with his wife in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. After several successful non-fiction books, Tony turned to novel writing and wrote ‘Queen Sacrifice’, set in 10th century Wales, followed by ‘The Shell’, a thriller set in present day Kenya. A specialist in the history of the early Tudors, he is best known for his Tudor Trilogy. Tony’s other international best sellers include ‘Warwick ~ The Man Behind the Wars of the Roses’ and ‘The Secret Diary of Eleanor Cobham’.

For more information please visit Tony’s website and his blog The Writing Desk. He can also be found on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 13
Guest Post at Novels Alive
Review at The Tudor Enthusiast (Mary)

Tuesday, September 14
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews (Mary)

Wednesday, September 15
Review at Michelle the PA Loves to Read (Mary)

Thursday, September 16
Review at Novels Alive (trilogy)

Friday, September 17
Review at Pursuing Stacie (trilogy)
Review at Little But Fierce Book Diary (Katherine)

Monday, September 20
Review at The Tudor Enthusiast (Brandon)

Tuesday, September 21
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews (Brandon)

Wednesday, September 22
Review at SJ Through the Looking Glass (Mary)

Thursday, September 23
Feature at Reading is My Remedy
Review at Books, Writings, and More (trilogy)

Friday, September 24
Review at Chicks, Rogues, and Scandals (Brandon)

Monday, September 27
Review at The Tudor Enthusiast (Katherine)

Tuesday, September 28
Review at Rajiv’s Reviews (Katherine)

Wednesday, September 29
Guest Post at On the Tudor Trail

Thursday, September 30
Feature at Coffee and Ink
Review at The Enchanted Shelf (trilogy)

Giveaway

During the blog tour, 3 winners will receive a paperback copy of Mary-Tudor Princess or an eBook from the trilogy (winner’s choice).

The giveaway is open internationally and ends on September 30th. You must be 18 or older to enter.

Brandon Trilogy
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