Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: "The Queen of Last Hopes" by Susan Higginbotham

From Goodreads:  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.

My Thoughts:  I love love love historical fiction and I have read several novels in this genre that take place during the Wars of the Roses.  Most of the books I have read about this period are told from the Yorkist perspective and tend to villainize the Lancastrians, especially Margaret of Anjou.  The Queen of Last Hopes does just the opposite.  The story is told from the point of view of Margaret of Anjou as she tries to protect her husband's right to rule as well as her son's birthright.  Higginbotham made her a very sympathetic character and I was truly rooting for her to win against the House of York despite knowing that she would lose.  I know that both the Yorkists and Lancastrians were vicious towards each other in their attempts to gain power in England but Higginbotham really made me feel sorry for the Lancastrians who assisted Margaret and her husband as they tried to maintain the throne.  This is the third novel I have read by Susan Higginbotham and I must say that I enjoy her books quite a lot.  I can always relate to her characters and the stories she tells are very compelling. I especially appreciate that she is very clear in her 'author's notes' that her books contain some historical facts as well as some fictional occurrences.  She never claims to be telling the whole truth in her books and that makes me prefer her books to those of other, more popular, authors of historical fiction. 4 1/2 stars.

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