Owen is Tony Riches first book in his Tudor trilogy detailing the life of Owen Tudor.
Owen Tudor led a remarkable life. He was born in North Wales and was from a noble, Welsh family and was descended from Owain Glynwr who led the Welsh Wars of Independence which ultimately collapsed and destroyed the family. As a result of these wars the rights of the Welsh people were severely diminished and we see Owen’s frustration at this throughout the novel and how Catherine fights for him to have the same rights as an Englishman.
Owen is probably most famous for secretly married Henry V’s widowed queen, Catherine of Valois after serving in her household and having children with her, starting the Tudor dynasty in the process. Following the early death of Catherine, Owen is no longer protected and he is arrested and spends a time in the horrific Newgate Prison. He escapes but is recaptured and held under house arrest. He is then pardoned and flees to France.
Owen was intimately involved in the Wars of the Roses and through him we see both the many battles and the politics happening behind the scenes. After Edmund’s death Owen spends a lot of time looking after his grandson as Jasper works tirelessly for the Lancastrian cause. Owen NEVER played it safe. He died at 60ish at Mortimers Cross when he was captured and executed.
This novel is a bit different from the portrayals of Owen we see in other novels and history books. He is not the ladies man he is often portrayed as. He actually comes across as a bit of a jobsworth in the beginning of the novel and seems very serious.
The narrative in this book is short, sharp and to the point. Riches does not waste words and the story moves at a considerable pace. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the time period. There are not a lot of novels out there focussing solely on Owen Tudor and it is well worth a read.