Monday, July 20, 2015

REVIEW: The Queen of Last Hopes by Susan Higginbotham

The Queen of Last Hopes
by Susan Higginbotham

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Page Count: 326
Release Date: January 28, 2011
Format: Kindle

How got: personal library

First attention getter: author


From GoodReads:

A man other than my husband sits on England's throne today.

What would happen if this king suddenly went mad? What would his queen do? Would she make the same mistakes I did, or would she learn from mine?

Margaret of Anjou, queen of England, cannot give up on her husband-even when he slips into insanity. And as mother to the House of Lancaster's last hope, she cannot give up on her son-even when England turns against them. This gripping tale of a queen forced to stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds is at its heart a tender tale of love.

My Thoughts:

Star Rating - 5

I was first introduced to this author earlier this year, and I’ve been working through her stuff throughout. She has a real gift for historical fiction that I’ve had pleasure in experiencing. This addition is no exception.

Again, she is able to give life to her historical figures like few others can. I was especially impressed with Henry. History likes to forget him as the mad, weak king. You’re left with an image of a muttering, sad wreck of a man staring off into space and not acknowledging anyone or anything. Yet, there was so much more to him. Yes, that happened for a time, but overall he was just a gentle soul who really wasn’t made for the harsh times he lived in. I liked seeing his depth of courage and his quietly solid convictions that Susan portrayed.

Then, of course, there’s Margaret. Young, inexperienced for the position she was thrust into, but brave and loyal to the end, she brings the reader into her struggle and life with an iron will in a velvet glove. If ever there was a woman in history who deserved the name of “she-wolf”, it was her (and I mean that as a compliment). Sucking me into her struggle and tumultuous life from page one, her characterization is to die for.

There’s the great setting and building up of the political situation of the turbulent Wars of the Roses as well. The reader gets a real sense for what’s happening where and how it affects all the different parties involved. I was able to keep everything straight which is a hard thing to do in this time period for me. The author brings to life the great battles and struggles along with the intimate life at court.

Another great winner from Higginbotham, I loved Margaret’s and Henry’s characters; they really breathed with life. The author also excels with the setting and historical details. I look forward to exploring this author’s other works and any future ones. I know that she has one coming out in 2016 that’s already on my most-anticipated list. Highly recommended for historical fiction lovers, especially for those who love the crazy world of the Wars of the Roses.

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