Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Review: "To the Tower Born" by Robin Maxwell

From Goodreads:  Debated for more than five centuries, the disappearance of the young princes Edward and Richard from the Tower of London in 1483 has stirred the imaginations of numerous writers from Shakespeare to Josephine Tey and posited the question: Was Richard III the boys' murderer, or was he not? In a captivating novel rich in mystery, color, and historical lore, Robin Maxwell offers a new, controversial perspective on this tantalizing enigma.

The events are witnessed through the eyes of quick-witted Nell Caxton, only daughter of the first English printer, William Caxton, and Nell's dearest friend, "Bessie," daughter of the King of England, sister to the little princes, and founding ancestress of the Tudor dynasty.

With great bravery and heart, the two friends navigate this dark and dangerous medieval landscape in which the king's death sets off a battle among the most scheming, ambitious, and murderous men and women of their age, who will stop at nothing to possess the throne of England.

My Thoughts:  The mystery surrounding what happened to the 'Princes in the Tower' is one that seems as though it will never be resolved.  I personally am super interested in this topic and I always like to see how authors address this topic and their opinions as to what really happened to the two young boys.

To the Tower Born is Robin Maxwell's tale of the events surrounding the disappearance of the boys and is a really fun and engaging story.  It is told from the perspective of Nell Caxton and Elizabeth of York and creates a new version of events surrounding the rise of Richard III and the disappearance of Prince Edward and Dickon.  While I am not sure how historically accurate the story is, I did find myself easily hooked.  The story is fast paced and the characters, especially Nell, are really interesting.  I was very surprised by Maxwell's version of events regarding the boys but personally I liked it (no matter how impossible it seemed).  As always, I did appreciate the extensive author's note at the end of the book and the list of sources that Ms. Maxwell used.  If you are looking for a light historical read, I would highly recommend this book.  3 1/2 stars.

This book is part of my personal collection.


  1. Making a note of this one! would like to read it myself.

  2. This was actually the first book I remember reading that delt with the princes in the tower. I couldn't believe I hadn't read about them before this, and from there was hooked on this period. And while I don't remember this one that way, it holds a special place for me, for those reasons.


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