Queen by Right

Anne Easter Smith. Touchstone, $16.99 trade paper (528p) ISBN 978-1-4165-5047-1
All the makings of a proper medieval tale—familial betrayal, political scandal, savage wars, decapitations, and licentious affairs—are threaded throughout Smith's competent fourth historical novel (after The King's Grace), this one revolving around Cecily Neville and her husband, Richard of York, whose love—and lovemaking—offers a consistency that contrasts the perpetual turmoil and political upheaval that plagued the royal houses of England. The corruption within the court of Henry VI becomes more and more evident as members of his close circle, most notably the earls of Suffolk and Somerset, rise higher in rank; Richard, meanwhile, begins to suspect that he is being kept at a distance out of fear that he might assert his right to the throne. After the tedious beginning chapters, which cover Cecily's childhood and the early days of her relationship with Richard, the story quickly picks up momentum as Cecily and Richard become entangled in court politics, giving Smith many opportunities to showcase her knowledge of the era, though period details sometimes come across as being shoehorned in. Fans of medieval historical fiction will undoubtedly appreciate this intimate portrayal of some of the era's key players. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 528 pages - 978-1-4516-0822-9
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