The York King by Amy Licence

1464, the fight for the English throne.

During the early years of his reign, Edward IV of York battles to bring peace and stability to the country, as Henry Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, raises support in the north, attempting to return the Lancastrian king, Henry VI, to the throne.

With uprisings imminent, The Earl of Warwick pursues a marriage alliance with France, determined to bring about a friendship between the two countries and suppress support for Lancaster.

Unhappy with the match, Edward meets Elizabeth Woodville, daughter of a squire, and marries in a secret ceremony. With verbal agreements broken, friendships damaged, and old divisions reappearing, Edward finds himself facing new enemies much closer to home.

Set during the War of the Roses, this is the second volume in the House of York trilogy.

Image courtesy of Random Things Tours

My thoughts on The York King

Firstly, when it comes to the War of The Roses I’m like a sponge wanting to soak up more and more understanding of this critical point in history. This era essentially sets up the creation of the Tudor Dynasty which is a period of English history fascinated by.

While this is a book of historical fiction, it’s certainly a great read for anyone wanting to learn about the War of the Roses without needing to get into what can be heavy reading in some of the non-fiction texts.

I don’t like to compare authors but anyone that is a fan of Philippa Greggory should pick this up. Even if you have read fiction or non-fiction books based around the War of the Roses, this is a must-read. Amy Licence brings her own unique writing style that just makes this such an enjoyable reading experience. Amy balances the detail of important battle scenes, which could become very dry if written by a less talented author, with a bit of romance and drama by focussing the love story between Edward and Elizabeth and the strained relationships between Edward and his courtiers, it just works!

Overall I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I’d highly recommend if, like me, you just can’t get enough of Plantagenet and Tudor history. While this is book two of a trilogy, I can’t see any issue in starting with this one and returning to the first book for extra context.


Publication date: 3rd March 2022 

Format: B format paperback 

ISBN: 978-1-83901-290-7 

RRP: £9.99 

Extent: 358 


Amy Licence is an historian of women’s lives in the medieval and early modern period, from queens to commoners. Her particular interest lies in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, in gender relations, queenship and identity, female orthodoxy and fertility and childbirth. She is also interested in modernism, specifically Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group, Picasso and Post-Impressionism. She has been a teach for over twenty years. Amy has written for The Guardian, The TLS, The New Statesman, BBC History, The Huffington Post and contributes regularly to BBC History Magazine





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