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Book Review | The King’s Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen by Sandra Worth

December 30, 2008

thekingsdaughterjpgThe King’s Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen
Web site for Sandra Worth
Berkley Trade, December ’08
416 pages
Historical fiction
Book #125/08
Book provided by Penguin Group and the author Sandra Worth

From Amazon: Worth vividly brings one of England’s lesser-known queens to life in this luminous portrait of “Elizabeth the Good,” wife of Henry VII and mother of the notorious Henry VIII. The daughter of King Edward IV and Elizabeth Woodville Grey (who dabbled in witchcraft), Elizabeth of York first falls in love with her uncle-a man she originally despised-who later becomes King Richard III after Edward’s death. Although she does not marry Richard, Elizabeth becomes queen when she accepts Henry Tudor’s proposal and becomes the first Tudor Queen. Woven into Elizabeth’s story are the shrewish machinations of her mother and Margaret Beaufort, Henry’s mother, as well as the mysterious fates of her brothers, Edward V and Richard of York, the princes who disappeared in the Tower of London.

Amazon rating: 12 reviews/4 stars
Me: I finished my reading year on a high note. This book grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go until the very last page of the author’s notes. It’s a thoroughly engaging and entertaining read. While I’ve read several books about the Tudors kings and queens I hadn’t read anything about the start of their reign. I felt like I was getting a behind the scenes look at the mighty and, sometimes mad, Tudors.

The escapades of today’s modern royal families have nothing on the royals of old. In the first 84 pages you have adultery, war, conspiracy, intrigue, coups, war, bigamy, abduction, murder, treachery, and deceit. These people covered all their bases. God be with you if you crossed the wrong person. Off to the tower or off with your head, sometimes both.

If you wanted the crown you’d better be prepared to crush, or outwit, whoever got in your way be it family, friend or foe, and to defend it to the death. Elizabeth of York cares nothing for the crown for it brings unhappiness and death to those who wear it. She desires nothing more than to marry for love and live a simple a life. She loves the one man she can’t have as her destiny is to marry the Tudor usurper to save her family, her country, her people. Henry Tudor, who eventually becomes Henry VII, on the other hand would do everything within his power to have the crown. While most royals throughout history in the Tudor era have been written about as desiring power and seeking wealth Elizabeth is very much a queen who spends her life behind the scenes of power. She quietly goes about making a life for herself. She doesn’t love Henry but fulfills her marriage duties and bares several children some who will go on to rule in their own right. She also has to suffer at the hands of Margaret Beaufort, her tyrannical mother-in-law. After meeting and spend time with Henry’s mother I vow to no longer complain about mine.

This book is full of interesting facts woven into a stirring historical story. One I found intriguing: don’t like the way you’re going to be remembered in the history? Well then have history rewritten to make yourself look good and your predecessor look bad. If you’re as maniacal as Henry VII you can do whatever pleases you and that’s exactly what Henry did to Richard III. Richard III becomes the villain and Henry the hero. Another interesting story line has to do with Elizabeth’s brother, Dickon. I’d read mention before of ‘The Pretender” but this is the first book I’ve read that’s gone into the detail that Ms. Worth does.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction use those Christmas gift cards and buy this one.

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