* A wonderful historical adventure set at the time of the Wars of the Roses
England, 1460: The War of the Roses. Rival factions - Lancastrians and Yorkists - are hacking each other to death in a conflict that only the English could name after a beautifully-scented flower. It's not an ideal climate for tourists - but three exotic travellers from the Far East are not here for pleasure. They've come to find a missing kinsman. The English, however, are truly strange. Most of the indigenous population are of the cowed peasant variety whilst any noble who can't trace his ancestry to Norman Conquest isn't, really, an awfully nice chap. In between battles of the most astonishing brutality they convey respects instead of affection, make love strangely (and briefly) and amuse themselves by playing a game with an inflated bladder that is in everyway a war except it's called 'footie'. The Indians think they're mad. They also have this horrible suspicion that one day they will rule the world... A wonderfully offbeat take on medieval England at its most brutal and savage, KINGS OF ALBION snatches history, imbues it with the spirit of Rider Haggard and Joseph Conrad, turns it on its head, invites scintillating speculation and, best of all, renders it into a fabulously readable novel.
In 1460, during the War of the Roses, the Lancastrians and Yorkists are busy chopping each other into little pieces and, during time out, amusing themselves with a game called "footie", which involves kicking an inflated bladder around a field. Into this unlikely idyll walks a bunch of tourists from the East who have come to search for a missing Kinsman. In no time at all, they are horrified by the weather and confused by a series of appalling European idiosyncrasies (in particular, the fact that the Emperor of the Romans lives in Germany and the Christina High Priest in Rome). Julian Rathbone's follow-up to the bestselling The Last English King is a hugely enjoyanle amble into a most gruesome period of history - THE TIMES
Although Kings of Albion is packed with jokes it is a serious book ... The Wars of the Roses never seemed so strange - or so real ... whether describiing a journey through London by boat or country fields in winter, so strange to an oriental eye, Rathbone has evoked the sights and smells of fifteenth-century England ... the result is a historical novel of charm and intelligence - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
A superb adventure story. The battle scenes combine excitement with an overwhelming squalor, and there are moments of real tragedy and pathos - INDEPENDENT