Wednesday, June 3, 2015

REVIEW: The Stolen Crown


Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Page Count: 403
Format: Kindle

How got book: personal Kindle library

Why read: fascinating time period and good previous experience with author


From GoodReads:

On May Day, 1464, six-year-old Katherine Woodville, daughter of a duchess who has married a knight of modest means, awakes to find her gorgeous older sister, Elizabeth, in the midst of a secret marriage to King Edward IV. It changes everything-for Kate and for England.

Then King Edward dies unexpectedly. Richard III, Duke of Gloucester, is named protector of Edward and Elizabeth's two young princes, but Richard's own ambitions for the crown interfere with his duties...

Lancastrians against Yorkists: greed, power, murder, and war. As the story unfolds through the unique perspective of Kate Woodville, it soon becomes apparent that not everyone is wholly evil-or wholly good.

Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham's The Stolen Crown is a compelling tale of one marriage that changed the fate of England forever.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 4 Stars

This book solidifies this author’s mastery at world building and historical details for me. Her intimate research on the events of the turbulent Wars of the Roses and how it impacted the various parties involved shines through. It was intriguing to see how these events impacted such young individuals as our leads and how they molded their characters and outlook on life.

Characterization was a strong suit for this author in the previous book I read by her, and this one is no different. Her characters seem to just walk off the page in their complexity and bigger-than-life personalities. Even the secondary individuals like Margaret Beaufort were as strong as the leads. I found myself thrilled to see Harry and Kate grow with the times and events presented, growing from the innocence of early childhood to the jaded reality that was late medieval England politics. The author gets the voices down well for both stages in life and everything in between.

My only glitch with this book is the beginning third; it seems more like a told-scene non-fiction work rather than a fictional account of real events. There was a ton of dates and figures presented in such a way that it read like non-fiction, with occasional spurts of fictional scenes for flavor. I’m not sure if it was because the main leads were so young, Kate as young as 4, that it was hard to tell the story as flavorfully as an adult POV would allow. But I had a hard time getting through that first third, at times.

With great characterization and historical world building, this book is a pretty good addition to Higginbotham’s body of work. The first third can read slowly at times with the excessive use of told scenes and non-fictional accounts, but that doesn’t weigh down the story overall. Definitely a fine read to immerse yourself into.

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