Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace


***All photos accompanying posts are either owned by the author of said post or are in the public domain -- NOT the property of History Undressed. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post.***

Monday, January 17, 2011

Book Review: The Queen of Last Hopes by, Susan Higginbotham

Last week I had guest author, Susan Higginbotham blogging about Margaret of Anjou, and her latest release, The Queen of Last Hopes, about the reign of this classic French noble woman turned English Queen.

This week, I finished reading the book.  To say it was fabulous is an understatement. Ms. Higginbotham did an excellent job on her research, and truly did the real-life characters a service in portraying their stories.

I like the author's note in the back as well that gave us some information behind the book, and about what areas she embelleshed or created from her own imagination.  Afterall, it is fiction, and what is fiction without a little added drama and flare? But for the most part, Ms. Higginbotham stuck true to Margaret's life and those who played a part in it, like King Henry, her husband, Somerset, Katherine Vaux, etc...

I also must say that I liked the way she actually structured the story with shorter more active scenes. A lot of times with historical fiction you find that it drags, but with the way with which Ms. Higginbotham pens the story, it flows and is a quick read.

A warning though, this story is not light-hearted.  Margaret of Anjou and her husband King Henry had a rough time of it.  The story is filled with treachery, drama, joy and heart-wrenching sadness.  I so desparately wanted Margaret to win her plight.  I held on with baited breath until the very end that she would succeed.  And in a small way she did.

At "the end" the characters stayed with me.  Their story is one I won't forget, and what makes it all the more poignant, is that these were real people, with real conflicts, and The Queen of Last Hopes, put it out there for all to see and understand.

It should also be noted, that throughout history, Margaret of Anjou has been painted by some as a vicious woman, even some going so far as to call her a villain.  I like that Ms. Higginbotham gives us another side of the story, Margaret's.  She was married at a young age to a man who was mentally unsound, and only able herself to birth one child.  People tried to yank the throne from her husband and her boy, what mother wouldn't go to any length to see that their child's birthright, their husband's birthright wasn't stolen?

I am definitely a fan of Susan Higginbotham and her writing. I can't wait to check out her other works.

Book Info:

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.

Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham will once again ask readers to question everything they know about right and wrong, compassion and hope, duty to one's country and the desire of one's own heart.

ISBN: 9781402242816

Available in both e-format and Trade Paperback.

No comments: