Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Book Review: THE STOLEN CROWN by Susan Higginbotham

Available in bookstores everywhere March 1st 2010
Richard to the Duke of Buckingham: “Well, Let me tell you what our cloth merchants have begged Parliament to enact. No one below the estate of lord is to wear any gown or cloak unless it covers his genitals and buttocks while he is standing upright. A beneficial piece of legislation, no doubt, but who wants to be the fellow who has to check?”
Harry Duke of Buckingham in my previous reads has almost always been portrayed as a villain. That man who more than likely murdered the Princes in the tower. In reality I had no idea how closely related to the young princes he actually was. Being that “Harry” was married to Elizabeth Woodville’s youngest sister Kate that made the young princes his nephews by marriage. There are more relations but it is just too complicated to get into for right now.

Kate and Harry married at an extremely young age and it has been previously stated that Queen Elizabeth forced Harry into the marriage. This was actually not the case here. Even at a young age the two-showed promise of a prosperous life ahead of them. They were very fond of each other but at one point Kate felt more like it was a brother and sister fondness. That did not last long for Kate knew she loved Harry and would only give herself to him, when was the real question. Eventually Kate “seduced” Harry and got her way and from there on out they were inseparable until Richard drove a wedge between them.

During the War of the Roses there were so many feuding families and death grudges that it amounted to years of blood shed and civil war in England. It is also called the “Cousins War” because it was cousins fighting cousins. Families were torn apart brother turned on brother and there were no boundaries in the War of the Roses, nothing was off limits including children and the mentally ill.

Harry in his younger years was a ward of the crown and it displeased him greatly when he became of age that King Edward would not apply him to government affairs. It left Harry a bit disgruntled and the person he vented to was his childhood friend Richard Duke of Gloucester also the kings brother. Harry was enamored of Richard and put him up on a beautiful little pedestal, Richard you know could do no wrong in his holiness. Little known to Harry at the time was that Richard had a plan and nothing would hinder him not even his own blood relatives. My heart broke with Harry and I can say this I will NEVER EVER look at the Duke of Buckingham the same again.

5/5 I know I am beginning to feel like a broken record but this is one of the gems I have been waiting for quite some time, like since last year. I am just elated; I will never look at Buckingham the same again. I have noticed a trend when it comes to War of the Roses novels; it is that Richard is either really bad or it is written very sympathetic to him. This one was no different, the spin Susan drew on Harry was more than believably real. In such a messy time with so many intertwined family feuds Harry and Kate’s story was one of real love, heartbreak, and death on all sides. At the time there was not a single household that the war had not affected, the Buckingham household was no different than the others. A must read for all War of the Roses fans Susan might just change your mind on how you view the events during the war.

Thank you Sourcebooks for sending me this lovely book!
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  1. This sounds like a very interesting read. I haven't read anything about the War of the Roses yet, but the princes in the tower story sounds so interesting. Thanks for the review.

  2. I am dying to read this one...the snail mail needs to hurry up and bring it to me! Glad you enjoyed the book so much :)

  3. I'm really looking forward to read this! Hopefully I can start it in the next day or so.

  4. A very lovely review, Lizzy. Plus I love your quote introduction!

  5. Well, time to add another one to my list! I have always been fascinated by Richard and the Princes in the Tower. It would be interesting to learn more about the Duke of Buckingham. Great review!

  6. Again, another book it sounds like I must read. I'll have to decide if I am going to read what is on my shelves, or start over with a new set of books.

  7. I've said it before, but I have to say it again: I LOVE the cover of this book (the one with the apple). It's so suggestive. I'm looking forward to reading Susan's book.

  8. Lovely review, Lizzy!

    I just started this one and am very anxious to get back to the pages - - particularly after your review.

  9. Great review Lizzy. It was so good I'm buying the book when it comes out. I just finished Sunne in Splendor by SKP so this will be very interesting to read this take on Harry and Richard.

  10. This novel is really amazing. I read it in one day.

  11. Susan, it was a pleasure to read it and review it. I really loved your take on Harry.

    Dolleygurl, you are missing out that whole time period has so many crazy and interesting stories that is one of those where they could not have made it up to be better. It is a bit confusing but once you nail down the main points and people it all comes together quite nicely.

    Muse you will love it, dang snail mail.

    Daphne, I was dying to gt at it. Having it sitting on my desk was killing me.

    4everQueen, thank you very much. That line made me chuckle to myself a bit. Surprisingly there were quite a few things I had a good laugh about.

    Michelle, defiantly add it to the list. If you love anything with the War of the Roses this read will change your whole point of view.

    LibraryPat, that is exactly what boat I am in. I have some wonderful books sitting on my shelves that I have not read and continue to hear nothing but praise about. I would like to get to them asap but all these amazing new books keep coming out and I keep finding myself not going to the book shelve.

    Christine, I got super lucky that sourcebooks ran out of ARC copies so long story short I got the one with the apple. More than likely I will buy the other one just because it is pretty too. I too love how suggestive it is. It reminds me of the main character Kate.

    Lori, it was a bit confusing in the beginning because of the whole intermingled family relations. But Susan but in a table of the who's who and it came in really handy.

    Susie, I have not read anything by SKP yet, her book intimidate me because they are so long and I am one of those people who is not particularly fond of big reads.

    Christy, am I surprised? No I am not you have great taste in reads. I found it really amazing especially since at the end in the author notes Susan built her case about her perception of Harry and Kate.

  12. I have this to review also and will be getting to it soon. Can't wait based on your review.

  13. Lizzy.. I resemble your review.. =)
    I also enjoyed it and it was a great read on the pair.

    But.. you haven't read SKP?!
    YOU MUST!!
    I would start with the Henry II trilogy, the first on is When Christ and His Saints Slept. You really must hurry and do that because you are soo missing out.

  14. Jenny Girl I loved it truly, it was a gooooooood read.

    Marie, I know but her books are intimidating they are too big and I have so so many others I want to get to first. I still have not read the Josephine books by Sandra Gulland and I have a few other on the list too. I am watching her but not too high on my priority list.


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