**spoiler alert** This is another wonderful novel by Susan Higginbotham and it covers a very interesting and active period in British history – the Co...more**spoiler alert** This is another wonderful novel by Susan Higginbotham and it covers a very interesting and active period in British history – the Cousins War (or as we call it, the Wars of the Roses). Between the pages we get the story through the eyes of Katherine Woodville and her husband Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. We see from both points of view their marriage as children, their time at Edward IV’s court, their life at home, the birth of their children, and Henry’s involvement with Richard III.
The first half or so of the novel really focuses on their lives and how they both grow and mature in a very turbulent time. The second half of the novel seems to focus more on Henry’s involvement with Richard, Duke of Gloucester. Personally I liked the first half of the novel more because I really enjoyed watching Kate and Henry grow and come to love and care for one another. The scenes between the two when they were young were very sweet and touching. Higginbotham takes on some of the “rumors” about their marriage and shows how they could have been started and why. I thoroughly enjoyed how she weaved these into the story. The author also explores reasons why Buckingham rebelled against Richard and gives her version of “the truth” behind the mystery of the princes in the Tower, which seems believable. Richard III is not shown in a glowing light here but he is not made into a horrible monster (though Kate despises him). We see a more ruthless side of him but it just seems to make him appear more of a man of a time where you had to be a bit ruthless to survive.
As always in Higginbotham’s novels, the writing is wonderful, there are fantastic details and descriptions, and great character development. The two main characters, Kate and Henry, are very believable and you can sympathize with them even if you don’t agree with them. I really enjoy her writing – it is easy to read but I don’t feel like I’m reading something for young adults. She is just very clear in her writing with good details and marvelous research but yet the reader is not going to get bogged down in the pages. I am a huge fan of this author and I would recommend this book to anyone. (less)
There are very few books I give 5 stars to but this deserved it. I really, really enjoyed this portrayal of Richard's life. While I never bought into...moreThere are very few books I give 5 stars to but this deserved it. I really, really enjoyed this portrayal of Richard's life. While I never bought into the whole Shakespearean image of an evil hunchback (he was after all, playing for a Tudor Queen!) I never knew that much about him. I'm glad I burnt myself out on the Tudors for now and have moved back in time to the War of the Roses and even further back.
I really felt sorry for Richard through out the novel. It certainly seems like he was a good man who really tried to do what was right and honorable. It was so sad to read the parts leading up to the battle of Redmore Plain (more commonly known as Bosworth Field) and knowing what was going to happen and wishing somehow, that history would change (though if it had, it would've robbed us of the wonderful soap opera that is the Tudor dynasty and I do thoroughly enjoy them).(less)
This is written from Anne Neville's point of view, future wife of King Richard III. It paints Richard in a much different light than what we've been g...moreThis is written from Anne Neville's point of view, future wife of King Richard III. It paints Richard in a much different light than what we've been given in most literature that deals with this king. Everyone generally pictures a hunchbacked or slightly deformed, evil man who had his nephews killed so he could be king when they think of Richard III. This book really takes all that away. It really makes it seem like he had good intentions, even though it does leave it open to the possibility that he had more sinister ideas that his devoted wife wasn't aware of. Yet another very good read from this author. I continue to enjoy her historical fiction about different people through British history.(less)