The bits of this book I did read were riddled with basic errors and it completely put me off. Lord Hastings a leading Lancastrian? Yes, lifelong loyal...moreThe bits of this book I did read were riddled with basic errors and it completely put me off. Lord Hastings a leading Lancastrian? Yes, lifelong loyalty to the Yorkist King was a tell-tale sign of leading Lancastrians. Not. Execution dates were wrong, descriptions of people were wrong, even descriptions of the plates were wrong. I was really disappointed with this, mainly because I was so excited when my copy arrived. Avoid like the plague.(less)
The Uncrowned Queen is a short story written by Anne O’Brien. It covers a period early in the reign of Edward III- he is a teenage King, his father ha...moreThe Uncrowned Queen is a short story written by Anne O’Brien. It covers a period early in the reign of Edward III- he is a teenage King, his father has been overthrown by Roger Mortimer, and both he and his Queen Philippa of Hainault are living under his and the Dowager Queen Isabella’s rule.
The story is told from Philippa’s point of view. We open at her coronation ceremony, as she is heavily pregnant with her first child. Edward gathers his friends as plots against Mortimer are being made; his uncle the Earl of Kent has one, Edward himself has another… Will Edward be able to take control of his kingdom back from Mortimer?
The story is exciting, emotional and well told. The historical detail is excellent- modern research into the 14th century has been taken into account, which was great to read. The language and dialogue is easy to follow and the story flows perfectly. I read it in an hour!
An excellent prequel to the forthcoming “King’s Concubine”. I am really looking forward to reading more about Anne’s Edward, Philippa and the infamous Alice Perrers in May.(less)
I really, really enjoyed this book. It is well written, flows beautifully and quickly becomes addictive. A friend of mine described it as a ‘grower’,...more
I really, really enjoyed this book. It is well written, flows beautifully and quickly becomes addictive. A friend of mine described it as a ‘grower’, and I think this assessment is spot on. There are unexpected little twists and a few hand up to your mouth SHOCK moments as we discover everyone’s secrets. Scenes with more than two speakers are not complicated; no-one skulks off to a corner while the other two talk (a common irk for me). The period detail is clearly very carefully researched, the descriptions of the characters surroundings and their clothes are meticulous and paint a lovely picture in your mind.
The scenes towards the end of the novel are set against the beginning of the French Revolution. These scenes were particularly good, and I really got a feel for the tension that was in the air, and the fear in the hearts of the royal family and French aristocracy.
There are some very large time jumps between chapters as the novel progresses, so it important to pay attention to the year at the head of each chapter as you read through the novel. (I admit it, twice I had to flick back to check my years. I was too keen to get more story!) The time jumps do keep the story flowing and relieves the reader of any boredom. Readers get lots of action, which is what we want.
This is an excellent novel and I highly recommend it. Melanie Clegg’s novel of ‘posh doom‘ certainly delivers.(less)