If you’re like me, you’ve grown more than impatient waiting for the next update in the “Game of Thrones” book series and TV show. Fortunately, there are plenty of stories in history just as intriguing, juicy and fun to read about, even if the only dragons are on flags.
These three books are a great place to get your medieval intrigue fix. They’re smart, modern, and read like novels, not textbooks. “The Plantagenets” introduces us to England’s most dysfunctional ruling family. Watch Henry II’s four sons fight against their father–and each other!
“The Wars of the Roses” is by the same author, Dan Jones, and essentially picks up where “The Plantagenets” ends. Here we see a true “cousin vs. cousin” war as England’s elite tear each other apart for the throne. Battles, murder, and accusations of incest and adultery abound in a family feud for the ages. It’s easy to see why George RR Martin cited this period as one his inspirations for Game of Thrones!
Finally, “Tudor” by Leanda DeLisle gives us a guided tour of the intrigue, scandal, spycraft and war that make the Tudor monarchs so fascinating (and the subject of their own TV show). Henry VIII and his collection of wives are here, but did you know that Henry’s great-grandfather was a household servant who secretly married a princess? During their spare time, the Tudors created a measure of stability in England, and laid the earliest groundwork for the modern world…..
I hope you’ll enjoy these books as much as I did. The stories within are as strange and wonderful as any in fiction. Because in the English game of Thrones, you either win…..or get exiled to France!