The protagonist of the novel, Margaret of Anjou, wife of King Henry VI, is most often depicted as one of the evils of the Wars of the Roses. Thanks to Susan Higginbotham's well written novel, I now have some other ideas about Margaret to think about. The Wars of the Roses is complex and I don't think I'll ever have it all straight in my mind, but Susan's novel helped me with several aspects, particularly with some of the nobility that participated in the Wars. Susan, I especially appreciated you...more
I understand that the author wished to portray Margaret of Anjou in a more positive light than history has previously cast her, however I feel she tried too hard. She is so moralistic and preachy she came to annoy me. No-one could fault Margaret for looking back on her life and being bitter. She lost everything--her husband, her son, her crown. Yet Susan Higgenbotham's attention to historical detail is remarkable, and anything that is is pure fiction she points it out. This novel was just a bit t...more
Such a good book! The Wars of the Roses are a fascinating time period anyway, and I like this author's writing style. I also like how, in this book, she told the story from the POV of many different people, giving a chapter to one specific person's POV. I just like that format of writing.
Higginbotham's research is excellent and she makes the historical figures come alive in ways not many other writers of historical fiction are able to do.
From my book review blog Rundpinne...."Higginbotham gives historical fiction fans a fresh look at the House of Lancaster and the strength of Margaret, a woman who has often been portrayed in a rather unflattering light, and yet in The Queen of Last Hopes, the reader will see a loving daughter, wife, friend, and mother. "...My full review may be read here.
For one, Higginbotham has succeeded in retelling a story in an artful manner without taking advantage of too much poetic licence. Some may ask if the addition of a love affair between Queen Margaret and Henry Beaufort, which was most probably merely a rumour, really was needed. I think that by adding this in the intrigue without it affecting any other part is a confirmation of Higginbotham’s success as a historical fiction novelist.
Why I, a historical fiction lover, specifically liked this nove...more
Very good historical novel that hit all my usual triggers with a strong female character and lots of politicky conflict and intrigue. Higginbotham might have gone overboard by painting a downright saintly interpretation of Margaret, but it's a good read and interesting change of perspective. Will want to read more of her stuff!
Lovely book, 4.5 stars. Women in history are always looked upon as either shrew or saint, really. Margaret of Anjou was a truly remarkable woman and Iove how this novel shows you that the way she is generally perceived might not be accurate, as she clearly had no choice to be driven to do the things she did - what would any wife, any mother do in her case and her times? - and was of course she was a victim of Yorkist slander. A valuable lesson for anyone in everyday life too, I guess. I really d...more
Well written and obviously well researched. Enjoy the opposing view it makes you take of the highly derided Margaret of Anjou and her dogged fighting for Henry VI's and the Lancastrian cause. Humanized so many of the players that often are simply glossed over. I look forward to The Stolen Crown...
Henry VI's queen, Margaret of Anjou, is probably the most vilified woman in English history. After all, the victor does get to rewrite history! I loved this book, and I find myself hoping it is closer to the truth than everything else I have read about her.
I have read so much about Margaret of Anjou, in which writers have painted in a most unflattering way. However, I have found after reading book:The Queen of Last Hopes|7889845], Margaret, more likely than not, was like many of her ruling, female predecessor and successor...she merely was acting in a manner in which she saw fit. Margaret was not greedy, but she was a strong woman, with the thoughts of her husband, son, and country at the forefront of her priorities. I would encourage anyone who,...more
I love this book for a number of reasons, not least because it is well researched and intelligently written. The best bit though for me was getting to hear about the Wars of the Roses from the "other" side. Granted, it's not as much fun as being on the Yorkest side, but it was a refreshing change and sensitively done. The clincher for me was that by the end I was so emotionally involved with the characters that I cried (something that rarely happens) and would've given anything for the outcome t...more
I was drawn in, I was drawn out, I liked some parts, I didn’t like others, some sections clarified events for me, others made the time period even more confusing, I saw new points of views that I liked, but was always ambivalent on the changing narrator structure, I cried at some deaths, was utterly indifferent to others.
So, with all the confliction, I really couldn’t say how I liked it overall.
I didn't expect to enjoy a book told from the perspective of Margaret of Anjou; but I really did! SKP ruined me forever with Sunne and Splendour and for that reason alone, I will always be a Yorkist at heart. However, that being said, the author told the story from various points of view that completely suck you into the storyline and for a brief minute, have you rooting for the Lancasters! I highly recommend this book to anyone with Lancaster leanings or for those that want a different perspect...more
Loved it! I haven't read a book in a long time that made me cry at the end, but this one had the tears rolling. I feel as if I know a little bit more about the Wars of the Roses (which isn't saying much!) :-) I'd recommend this one in a heartbeat!
My biggest issue with Susan's books is they end! I really enjoyed this one - it was very interesting to get a Lancastrian perspective on the Wars of the Roses, and to see a different view of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. It's true that Susan makes them very likable, yet manages to stick mostly to facts. Of course she does take some artistic liberties; I enjoyed her embilleshments about Margaret's relationship with Somerset and thought the story plausable. This is one I'm sure I'll want to read...more
A fascinating -- and very even handed -- retelling of the story of Margaret of Anjou, Queen of Henry VI of England. Most novels cast her as a villain, but this one gets it right, with a story and heroine that is very sympathetic and understandable.
I really enjoyed reading a book from the POV of Margaret of Anjou. I love reading Susan Higginbotham, in addition to a great story she explains in great detail in the end her sources as well as explaining where she took liberties and why which I really appreciate. I will come back and write a more thorough review. I would have given it 5 stars but I didn't really learn anything I didn't already know (not the writers fault), I reserve 5's for books that truly impact me.
I enjoyed this book, though it was a little slow in parts, it was interesting to hear it told from the Lancastrian point of view, anything that I've ever read on the War of the Roses has been told from the Yorkist point of view (which all shed Margaret in a very bad light). Reading this made me a little more understanding of her actions and the role she played during the War of the Roses.
This book is a true Historical Romance. Ms. Higginbotham has stuck with the acutal history, wording, slang, dress, and culture of the time and just added what people might have been thinking during the time known as the War of the Roses. If you enjoy Alison Weir's style of writing then you would enjoy this one.
This book was really good. I have read a lot of historical fiction novels about the Wars of the Roses but this was the first one written from the 'loser's' point of view. It definitely made me more sympathetic to the Lancastrian side.
I did not enjoy this book as much as I did the others written by higginbothom. I couldn't acclimate to the characters. It's also not as smartly written as the others. It was dull and lacked her spark. Thus the three stars.