Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Review: "The Forgotten Queen" by D.L. Bogdan

From Goodreads:  From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.

Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…


My Thoughts:  I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I have never read anything about Margaret Tudor before so I was really surprised by what an interesting life she led.  I am kind of surprised that she is not more prevalent in Tudor lore considering that, from reading this book, she seemed like a pretty unique person.

While I feel like Margaret must have been a really interesting person, the character portrayed in this book was difficult to like at times.  She was a fairly strong character who had to deal with so much adversity but at times she seemed kind of weak and insecure. She was so desperate for people, mainly men, to love her that she came as kind of pathetic and made some really bad choices in regards to the men she married.  I had no idea she was married 3 times and her second and third husbands were not the best men to be married to.  They seemed okay at first but wound up being total slime balls and in her need for love, she followed her heart and not her head when she decided to marry them.  I also felt like she had a very one-track mind.  I know that it was extremely important to her to preserve her son's right to the throne of Scotland but it seemed like she took this to the extreme.  Even when her son was old enough to rule on his own, all she could think about was keeping him on the throne despite the fact that it was no longer necessary for her to worry.  It got kind of annoying after a while.  She was just one of those characters that I both liked and disliked at the same time.

Now, despite being annoyed with Margaret as a character, I did enjoy the story.  There was a lot of drama and ups and downs that kept me wanting to read.  I can't believe that Margaret's life was actually like that because it was almost like reading a soap opera; there was always some twist every time I thought that things were going smoothly.  It was also interesting to see the English and Scottish relations during that period from the Scottish perspective.  It's not very often that there is a Tudor era novel set in Scotland and it was a refreshing change.  I may have had some issues with the main character, but overall, this was a fresh and unique work of historical fiction.  3 1/2 stars.


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for this review! I overloaded myself on Philippa Gregory Tudor novels a few years ago, and now that I've had time to recover, I've been looking for some other ones to try. I've never read anything about Margaret, so this one sounds interesting.

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  2. I think I've only read one book on Margaret Tudor, which was by Jean Plaidy. Definitely an interesting character, and yes, I agree that it's surprising we haven't heard more about her.

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