When her sister Elizabeth Woodville secretly marries the King of England, Katherine Woodville’s future changes irrevocably. In the rush to marry off the many Woodville siblings, Kate becomes a duchess when Henry Stafford, duke of Buckingham, is chosen for her. Kate and Harry are children when they marry, but as they grow together they fall in love easily. But always in the way is Richard, duke of Gloucester, Harry’s idol from childhood. When Richard’s ambition leads him to sanction unspeakable deeds, Harry must choose whether to maintain his blind loyalty or strike out against his closest friend.
I’ve enjoyed both of Susan Higginbotham’s previous works and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed this one, too. I will admit that I found the beginning slightly tedious; a lot of it is recounting of history I already knew, so it might be perfectly fine for a reader who isn’t quite so familiar with late fifteenth century England. Once Kate and Henry start to grow, however, the book becomes really enjoyable. Their love story and affection for one another are often sweet and I liked watching them grow up together and move into maturity.
I also liked that Higginbotham actually made me like the duke of Buckingham. I might have thought that impossible, but she does it successfully. I even liked her version of Richard III here; he does horrendous things, but he never seems like an evil villain. Just an ambitious, somewhat foolish, man, happy to bend the course of history in his direction when he can. The author also blends facts in liberally. I recognized so much from my own research and I have to admit that I smiled whenever I found a particular tidbit that only someone who had done some digging would know. I read her blog, so I also know that she seeks out original sources whenever possible, which I always appreciate. She includes a bibliography in the back for anyone who has a desire to read yet more about the Wars of the Roses, as well as a detailed author’s note for those who want to know what is fact and what is fiction. If you like historical accuracy in with your fiction, look no further than Ms. Higginbotham.
The Stolen Crown is a great addition to the many works of fiction about the Wars of the Roses in England. It’s refreshing to read about characters who tread the middle ground – there are no villains or saints here, just people. I really liked it.
I am an Amazon Associate. I received this book for free from the publisher for review.