I just finished prolific historical novelist, Mercedes Rochelle’s excellent English historical novel, The Usurper King, using the excuse of preparing a guest post for her blog while preparing for my launch.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Table of contents
The Usurper King
I plunged into the middle of Mercedes Rochelle’s Plantagenet Legacy series. The Usurper King is the third book in it.
This book begins after Henry of Lancaster has been exiled from England for 6 years by King Richard II.
Although bitter about his exile, Henry lived quietly in France until the death of his father, John of Gaunt in 1399. When King Richard revokes his right to the Duchy of Lancaster, all Henry’s grievances solidify into rage.
As Henry comes to learn, gaining a crown he did not covet was a mixed blessing. Once won, it was a bitter burden yet too dangerous to give up.
Excellent Historical Fiction
Rochelle writes with clarity and passion. The motivations of her characters feel inevitable, as each takes one action after another that build resentments. Richard transforms from a vindictive tyrant to man without purpose. Henry’s allies go from seeing him as a saviour to calling him a usurper. Yet each man changes by small steps Thus, Rochelle develops many complex personalities yet she maintains the story’s clarity despite its complicated events and wide range of locations. Her thoroughly researched novel sweeps the reader into the bloody world of the early 15th century English politics.
Her characters face universal dilemmas. Rochelle’s storytelling is excellent and her world building vivid. Readers can empathize with all her characters. She creates an easy-to-read, action-packed story with authentic detail and realistic dialogue.
I have already bought the next book in the series and recommend this one.
English Historical Novelist Mercedes Rochelle
Mercedes Rochelle has written many excellent English historical novels. Her first series about medieval Britain takes place in the 11th century. In these, readers will witness the tumultuous events surrounding the Viking Invasion with Canute the Great and his heirs.
In her current series, The Plantagenet Legacy, she explores the reigns of four kings. King Under Siege features Richard II. The next three cover Richard II and Henry IV. She plans to write about Henry V and Henry VI, too. The fifth book in the series is un the works now.
Rochelle herself studied English Literature at the University of Missouri, developed her passion for history through her involvement in reenacting, and now lives in New Jersey where she writes her excellent English historical fiction. I will be reading much more of her work.