The Founding is Book One in the Epic Moreland Dynasty Saga. I didn’t realize what a saga it was until I started reading the book and realized it currently spans 32 novels. It is the longest running historical family saga ever. I’ve always been a fan of historical family dramas; one of my favorite series is The Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes.
The Founding is set during the War of the Roses in Yorkshire, England. Edward Morland is a wealthy “sheep farmer” and only has one son and heir left, the meek and mild Robert. He arranges a marriage between Robert and the aristocratic, but poor Eleanor Courteney. Eleanor has a secret love for Richard, the Duke of York, but Richard is already betrothed to his young cousin. While Robert may not be the man that Eleanor had hoped to marry, she has “spunk” and becomes the matriarch of the Morland family. Through her wisdom, the Morland family’s wealth grows, but they also find themselves in the middle of the War of the Roses and torn by conflicting loyalties.
I enjoyed this novel. I really enjoyed how while we learned about different family members, the overall story was Eleanor’s story. It was also a great way to show the War of the Roses through one family’s experience. The only thing I would add to the book would be another family tree showing the royal family. I am pretty familiar with this era in history, but even I got confused at times! The only historical “beef” I had with the novel was the open ended story of the Princes in the Tower. There was no good explanation for what happened to them.
Overall, a great historical fiction novel that portends for great things in the Morland Dynasty series and also is a great stand alone novel!
Book Source: Advance Review Copy from Sourcebooks. Thank-you!