I came for the Game of Thrones historical connections, but I stayed for the medieval history. The book starts out making a connection between one of the scenes in GOT and one in history. The author’s point being that truth is stranger than fiction. I have studied bits and pieces of European history but Mr. West puts it into an interesting perspective by adding a narrative to it as well as historical context.
The main bulk of the book is the story of the conflict between the Lancaster’s and the York’s, aka The War of the Roses. I had heard of this conflict but didn’t know much about it. He also weaves in details from around Europe and Asia, which is often ignored. There was a fascinating look at the Byzantine empire and it’s history bridging East and West. I didn’t know that there were several Viking raids on Constantinople nor did they have a chemical similar to the wildfire in GOT. What impressed me was in creating GOT, GRR Martin used his knowledge of history in order to create something new.
My one big complaint is the many editorial mistakes in this book. There were many spelling errors, words crammed together, and anachronisms. I also think there could be some better editing to pull the thread of the War of Roses closer together.
If you’re interested in history and GOT, I would recommend this book to you.