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Ambrosia's bookshelf: currently-reading

The Temptation of the Night Jasmine
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At the King's Pleasure
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Posted by on January 18, 2013

In A Rose for the Crown, we meet one of history’s alleged villains through the eyes of a captivating new heroine — the woman who was the mother of his illegitimate children, a woman who loved him for who he really was, no matter what the cost to herself.

As Kate Haute moves from her peasant roots to the luxurious palaces of England, her path is inextricably intertwined with that of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III. Although they could never marry, their young passion grows into a love that sustains them through war, personal tragedy, and the dangerous heights of political triumph.

Anne Easter Smith’s impeccable research provides the backbone of an engrossing and vibrant debut from a major new historical novelist.

I was very eager to read A Rose for the Crown as I have long been curious of Richard III. Of course I know the history and how many regard him as a villain. Some call him a Wife poisoner and others of course accuse him of being a usurper and a killer of his nephews. Historically none of that can be proven of course and you always have to take some things with a grain of salt (Anne Boleyn being a witch anyone?), still I wanted to see what Anne Easter Smiths take on Richard III would be. I would not be disappointed.

Kate Bywood is a fiery young lady who by all accounts is a nobody to the royal houses of England. However thanks to some turns in life that put her in favorable places she as a young girl and throughout her younger days meets Richard Plantagenet. The more the young pair meet one another the more they are attracted on many levels to each other. You can not help but be drawn into their love story as it unfolds. A love that while is passionate and all consuming both know can never be more than what it is. Richard could have as a royal Duke kept Kate in the kind of comfort that many royal Mistresses throughout time (and at that time) were kept in, especially after she bore him both a Daughter and a Son. However Kate valued the privacy more and her values as to not be known publicly as a Mistress. Something in the end that Richard deeply admires.

The story is heart warming and heart breaking all in the same as we follow the couple through life. In the end we all know what happens historically, Richard III was slain and Henry Tudor took the crown. The bastard Son John of Gloucester would also later be killed as a traitor. The book does not end on a bad note however with a new start being laid out for you the reader to go away with some good feelings. Overall this was another beautifully written book and while of course fiction, I dare anyone not to look upon Richard III with a kinder eye once they have read it.

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