Saturday, May 8, 2010
The Stolen Crown by Susan Higginbotham
When Katherine Woodville's sister Elizabeth marries King Edward IV, her entire life changes. Life was no longer carefree and simple. Kate is betrothed and married to Harry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham when she was just seven years old and he was nine. They really liked one and other and by the time they were old enough to consummate their marriage, they were deeply in love.
We follow Kate and Harry from childhood through adulthood with their alternating points of view. We get to know a lot of details about both of them and who their friends and foes were. Harry becomes fast friends with Richard, Duke of Gloucester and remains loyal to him for many years. However, when Richard's brother, King Edward dies, he decides he should be king and Harry stick with him. Richard ends up killing some of Kate's family members and others, to make this happen and Kate and Harry's marriage becomes at odd and is deeply tested.
Susan Higginbotham made the War of the Roses come alive. I loved the character of Kate and enjoyed following her through her life. Higginbotham deftly fleshed out all the characters and made them come to life. I felt as if I were there. She kept true to the period and included an Author's Note in the back of the book, where she explained why she took the path she did with the story and what was historically accurate and what she changed. This added to my enjoyment of the book.
As I said above, this was my first time reading Susan Higginbotham, but it certainly won't be my last! Highly recommended to historical fiction lovers and for those who can't get enough of the War of the Roses. Higgbotham's perspective on it is very refreshing.