I knew going into this book that it was an unfinished manuscript but was disappointed to find it was barely half finished. It's obvious that Heyer intended to chronicle his entire life and this goes only from babyhood to his early twenties (which is about half his life as he died at 46) and certainly doesn't include the most interesting bits. John, Duke of Bedford really came into his own under Henry V and later Henry VI but this book finishes even before Henry IV has died. The other thing I didn't expect was for the book to finish mid sentence...what were the editors thinking?!
Having said all that, it is hardly the author's fault that she died, but I would've expected the editors and her estate to have handled things differently because while the manuscript was more than a fragment, it was also much less than a completed novel. Yes we know what happens, history tells us as does the Hisorical Note at the end of the book, but it just felt so incomplete that it left me rather dissatisfied.
Although Heyer's straight Historical novels are dryer and less humourous than her much loved Regencies, the Heyer magic was still in evidence and I really did enjoy reading this book (what there is of it) and would've loved to have settled down to a nice long meaty read which alas is not what it delivered :-(.