Saturday 12 January 2019

#BookReview — Days of Sun and Glory: The King’s Greatest Enemy #2 by Anna Belfrage #HistoricalFiction #HistoricalRomance @abelfrageauthor

Days of Sun and Glory
The King's Greatest Enemy #2
By Anna Belfrage

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.

Everyone knows that you cannot serve two masters…

These are dangerous times. After the failed rebellion, led by Sir Roger Mortimer, King Edward II is determined to see those who took part brought to justice. With the help of his most loyal and trusted Chancellor, Hugh Despenser, these traitors will be held to account for their villainous deeds. No one is safe from the wrath of the King. Not even the Queen.

Adam de Guirande walks on a narrow path. He played his part in the Mortimer Rebellion and, thanks to Despenser, he has the scars to prove it. Adam is one of the fortunate ones — he walked away with his life — for now, at least. But with Despenser tightening the noose, it will be a miracle if Adam comes out of this adventure alive. However, Adam has a powerful ally — Queen Isabella, Edward’s slighted wife. 

Kit, Adam’s wife, wishes that things were different. She almost lost her husband once to Despenser’s cruelty, and now she must face the prospect of doing so again. However, this time it will be different. Where Adam goes, Kit is also determined to go, no matter what the consequences. 

Nothing is what it seems in Edward’s court, and Edward is right to fear for his life and his throne. However, what Edward fails to understand is that the disenchantment and the whispered threats of rebellion would be quelled if only he were to rid himself of the Despensers. Hugh Despenser, like his father before him, craves power. He is insatiable. He takes what is not his and destroys anyone who gets in his way. The nobles will only put up with so much. If Edward does not do something to curb Despenser’s appetite, they will. And if that means usurping Edward from his throne, then so be it.

With crystalline prose, vivacious storytelling and a plot that seems to get better and better, Days of Sun and Glory: The King’s Greatest Enemy #2 by Anna Belfrage is a compelling account of one family as they try to navigate the latter part of Edward II reign.

From the fearful and dangerous court of Edward II to the elegance and grandeur of King Charles’ Château de Vincennes, this is a book that is impossible to put down. This is a book that screams to be read in one sitting.

What I love about Belfrage’s style of writing is that she seems to have an intuitive understanding of what makes a historical fiction book worth reading. Within the pages of this remarkable book is the story of a King who is as weak as he is foolish. A Queen who is as beautiful as she is devious. And a family who finds themselves stuck in the middle. There can be no doubt that Belfrage is a master storyteller. She has brought this era wonderfully back to life with all the integrity that such a tale deserves. I was immediately drawn into the world of Adam and Kit de Guirande. Theirs is a world filled with danger and uncertainty. The only thing that is certain is their love for one another.

I adored the characterisation of Adam. He is torn between his old master, Roger Mortimer, and his new one, Prince Edward. He is a man of integrity, and I could not help but like him. The same can be said for Kit, who longs to go home and live a simple life with her family, but at the same time, she is determined to stay with Adam no matter what the consequences.

I thought the portrayal of the young Prince Edward is very much worthy of note. Belfrage describes how Prince Edward was used as a political pawn, caught in the middle of his parents selfish ambitions. Prince Edward’s despair was heart-breaking. He just wants his family to be united. But as history tells us, that was not to be. As the plot thickens, Edward matures, and he begins to look at things with a king’s perspective. Those who manipulated and sought to influence him would one day have to answer for their crimes. Belfrage is the ideal commentator for Prince Edward’s story.

I would recommend Days of Sun and Glory to anyone looking for their next great historical fiction read, or indeed, for anyone interested in this era of history.

I Highly Recommend.

Review by Mary Anne Yarde.
The Coffee Pot Book Club.

Anna Belfrage

Had Anna been allowed to choose, she’d have become a time-traveller. As this was impossible, she became a financial professional with two absorbing interests: history and writing. Anna has authored the acclaimed time travelling series The Graham Saga, set in 17th century Scotland and Maryland, as well as the equally acclaimed medieval series The King’s Greatest Enemy which is set in 14th century England.  She has recently released the first in a new series, The Wanderer. This time, she steps out of her normal historical context and A Torch in His Heart is with a fast-paced contemporary romantic suspense with paranormal and time-slip ingredients.

Find out more about Anna by visiting her website, or herAmazon page.


  1. This sounds amazing, Anna, and will be going on my TBR list!

    1. Wow. That made my day. No, wait: the fabulous review made my day!


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Mary Anne xxx