Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Review: The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham

Synopsis: (From the Publisher)

When six-year-old Kate Woodville’s beautiful sister Elizabeth makes a shocking—and secret—marriage to King Edward IV in 1464, Kate and her large family are whisked to the king’s court. Soon a bedazzled Kate becomes one of the greatest ladies in the land when she marries young Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. But Kate’s fairy-tale existence as a duchess is shattered when the ongoing conflict between the houses of Lancaster and York engulfs the Woodville family.
As Edward IV fights to keep his crown, Harry’s relatives become hopelessly divided between Lancaster and York. Forced constantly to struggle with his own allegiances, Harry faces his defining moment when his dear friend Richard, Duke of Gloucester, determines to seize the throne for himself as Richard III. With lives in jeopardy and nothing less than a dynasty at stake, Harry’s loyalties—and his conscience—will be put to the ultimate test.

My Review:
The Stolen Crown is told through the perspective of Kate Woodville and Harry Stafford, who's lives are intertwined at a very young age. After the marriage of Kate's sister, Elizabeth, Kate soon finds herself betrothed to Harry and the young couple are destined to be the future Duke and Duchess of Buckingham. At first they do not get a long at all, but after a few tragedies occur they find themselves looking to each other for support and as they grow older it turns into a beautiful bond of love. Unfortunately, the time Kate and Harry live in is not a peaceful time for love.

The constant battle for the Crown of England is constantly being fought. While Edward IV is King, there are some years of peace in between the turmoil but when things are looking the best for Edward's reign tragedy strikes with his sudden death. England waits in suspense as the fate of England is left into the hands of a 9 year old boy, and everyone wonders if England will be sparred from another civil war. As supposed threats, murder and disastrous secrets become abundant, England's fate hangs in the balance as the fight for it's crown begins once again....

What a way to learn some history! Susan Higginbotham has created a compelling and thrilling tale of the Wars of the Roses. Packed with historical detail, the reader comes away with a greater knowledge of a turbulent time in English history. Since this novel is set during the Wars of the Roses, the mystery of the princes in the tower is of course a major point at the end of the book. Weather you are sympathetic to Richard III or believe he is guilty of the princes fate, the authors take on Richard does not diminish this novel's enjoyability at all. This is the first book by Susan Higginbotham that I have read and I can definitely say that I am going to really enjoy taking the time to read her other works!

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