Title – Days of Sun and Glory (The King’s Greatest Enemy #2)
Author – Anna Belfrage
Genre – Historical Fiction
Publication – June 2016
Pages – 418
My Rating – 4/5 Stars
Adam de Guirande has barely survived the aftermath of Roger Mortimer’s rebellion in 1321. When Mortimer manages to escape the Tower and flee to France, anyone who has ever served Mortimer becomes a potential traitor – at least in the eyes of King Edward II and his royal chancellor, Hugh Despenser. Adam must conduct a careful balancing act to keep himself and his family alive. Fortunately, he has two formidable allies: Queen Isabella and his wife, Kit. England late in 1323 is a place afflicted by fear. Now that the king’s greatest traitor, Roger Mortimer, has managed to evade royal justice, the king and his beloved Despenser see dissidents and rebels everywhere – among Mortimer’s former men, but also in the queen, Isabella of France. Their suspicions are not unfounded. Tired of being relegated to the background by the king’s grasping favourite, Isabella has decided it is time to act – to safeguard her own position, but also that of her son, Edward of Windsor. As Adam de Guirande has pledged himself to Prince Edward he is automatically drawn into the queen’s plans – whether he likes it or not. Yet again, Kit and Adam are forced to take part in a complicated game of intrigue and politics. Yet again, they risk their lives – and that of those they hold dear – as the king and Mortimer face off. Once again, England is plunged into war – and this time it will not end until either Despenser or Mortimer is dead. Days of Sun and Glory is the second in Anna Belfrage’s series, The King’s Greatest Enemy, the story of a man torn apart by his loyalties to his lord, his king, and his wife.
After reading In the Shadow of the Storm, the first book in The King’s Greatest Enemy series I just couldn’t wait to get to grips with this one.
We are back with Adam and Kit. Adam owes Lord Roger and also the young prince his life and in this tale he’s torn between the two men he cares for.
The story follows perfectly from the first book and instantly you can recall all the events of the previous tale and the injury’s inflicted on Adam at the hands of Hugh Despenser.
Mortimer is out gaining allies before he intends to come back to England to take the throne. During this time Adam is in service to the Prince and has to deal with the constant mutterings in his direction.. you see people think Adam is a traitor.. well Despenser does. Adam’s only flaw in my eyes is that he is loyal.. Loyal to a fault.
When the young Prince is sent to France on behalf of the King, Adam must go with him… with Kit in tow. Let’s just say it’s not an easy thing for them to do.
There’s more romance in this book compared to the first and a lot of jealousy between Adam and Kit as they get attention from other parties. At times I felt it overshadowed the overall plot but it really did help you understand how strong the connection between these two characters is.
There’s a lot of pain and anguish for Kit, I won’t spoil it but she has a lot to deal with once again as she’s pulled from pillar to post. Adam and Kit really need each other to get through this one.
For me the best bits of this book involved Despenser.. he must be such a wonderful character to write.. He’s evil and twisted and has the favour of the King… basically he can do what he wants but he knows without the King’s protection he would be a dead man.
Despenser is blinded by hatred for Adam. He wants to finish what he started and all he needs is one mistake to get Adam hauled up in chains. He’s a vile man but this ever present danger keeps you hooked.
It’s his love for Despenser that has put King Edwards’s position in jeopardy and as the tale is told it becomes clear Adam doesn’t see a way for the King to make it out alive.
The end of this book had a lot of twists. While my opinions on characters didn’t change fully I found myself seeing things from a different perspective.. Will Mortimer be any better than Despenser?
One of the other things i really enjoyed in this tales was the constant threats.. you never quite know who to trust..spies could be anywhere and some are forced into their actions..it just adds to the tension building up.
This is a very character driven tale with a solid plot behind it. A bit heavy in the romance for my tastes but nothing that takes anything away from the story. It just makes the emotional scenes between Adam and Kit’s become more real, it’s their tale.. the rest are just along for the ride.
It’s not a heavy read either.. it flows nicely at a steady pace and builds up the excitement for you as it goes along.
My thanks go to the author for the chance to read/review her work. I’ll certainly be reading more of Anna’s work in the future!