Review: Kings of the Boyne by Nicola Pierce

Historical, Recommendations, Review
Image from Goodreads
Author: Nicola Pierce
Publisher: The O’Brien Press
Publication Date: 26 Sept 2016
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads
Two kings, Three young soldiers. One battle to end all battles.

Eager to prove his courage and defend his family honour, young Irish noble Gerald O’Connor rides his warhorse Troy north in King James’s cavalry.

Brothers Robert and Daniel Sherrard march south from the once-besieged city of Derry with King William’s army.

The chosen field of battle – the Boyne – lies waiting, where victory will decide who rules the lands of England, and of Ireland.

And the fighting will decide who survives the deadly game of war.


Kings of the Boyne is historical fiction but in a different style. It is about the battle of Boyne in Ireland at the end of the glorious revolution. The story is very intriguing and plausible, and manages its (rather large) cast well, avoiding confusion. It alternates between following the two kings (William III and James II) and two soldiers in their respective armies (Daniel Sherrard and Gerald O’Connor).
My favourite part of the tale is the actual Battle of Boyne, where the individual stories of each character come together coherently. The best character for me is the widow, Mrs Watson. This is because her story feels genuine, and, it turns out, is genuine. In a plot line that it appears you simply could not make up, she leaves her children and pursues William’s army in an attempt to get her requisitioned horses returned.
The main thing I did not like about the book is that because it is written for a much younger audience than myself (age 10+), the dialogue felt quite simplistic. I understand this completely, but related to it is the issue of the author often changing from third person to first person and even changing tense sometimes, which I found annoying.
In conclusion, though I do not like some aspects of how it has been done, the stories that have been told here are so good that I would give it 4 out of 5 stars anyway. I also probably would recommend it to those in the age group it is intended for.

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