Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Historical Fiction Book Tours Book Review; Thwarted Queen

Author: Cynthia Sally Haggard
Title: Thwarted Queen
Publisher: Spun Stories Press
Publish Date: Oct 18, 2011

Buy:  Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Historical Fiction Book Tours and the publisher
Book Blurb: 
THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.

Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old. This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV. But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War - during which England loses all of her possessions in France - and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows.

This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.

Review: This book takes place before The War Of Roses. I haven't read much from this period, other than Phillipa Gregory's The Lady Of The Rivers, so this is new territory for me.

I was surprised at how much I remembered about the historical figures that were prominent during this time period, particularly Marguerite of Anjou, who isn't portrayed in a very favorable light here.

The story is about Cecylee, wife of Richard of York.

She's a very strong woman and she goes through a lot in her life.

From the very start, this book captured my interest. Its a weighty book, about 440 pages give or take, and I read it in 2 days. Once I started reading, I really got caught up in time period.

I have to admit I am used to reading historical fiction by certain authors, Gregory, Plaidy etc and it was nice to have a story told with a different voice.

Cynthia brings these historical figures to life for her readers in such a way that you really want to know more and Cecylee is a very intriguing woman for her time. There are times when you love her, when you feel sorry for her and when you want to knock some sense into her.

So all in all, she is just like you or me only she's caught up in a power struggle for the crown of England, because of the madness of Henry VI and his wife Marguerite of Anjou.

One of the things about Cecylee's story that is most intriguing is of her supposed affair that resulted in the birth of a son, Edward IV. His father was supposedly an archer named Blaybourne.

This story served two purposes for me. It kept me entertained and it taught me something. My grandmother always said that you learn something from every book you read, regardless of the genre. In this case I got a wonderfully entertaining history lesson from Cynthia Sally Haggard.

Rating: 5 flowers


Lover Of Romance said...

Sounds like a lovely read, and it looks like you really enjoyed it too. Great review!!!

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