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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 December 15, 2012

From the award-winning author of A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, and The King’s Grace comes another masterful historical novel—the story of Cecily of York, mother of two kings and the heroine of one of history’s greatest love stories. Anne Easter Smith’s novels are beloved by readers for their ability “to grab you, sweep you along with the story, and make you fall in love with the characters.” * In Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, she has found her most engrossing character yet.

History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of the Market Cross at Ludlow, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, duke of York, whom she meets when she is nine and he is thirteen. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match and together face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue. All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and their country. Queen by Right marks Anne Easter Smith’s greatest achievement, a book that every fan of sweeping, exquisitely detailed historical fiction will devour.

I have long been fascinated with the War of the Roses. So after reading the King’s Grace I leapt head first into reading Queen by Right written by Anne Easter Smith and what a journey it was. We follow the story from the very beginning with Cecily Neville and her husband Richard Duke of York. Arguably the War of the Roses started when Edward the Black Prince of Wales died before taking the crown his Father died but a year after leaving Young Richard II as King with his Uncle John of Gaunt as regent but I digress.

Anne Easter Smith takes us on a journey from the time that the young couple meets when Richard Duke of York becomes the ward of Cecily’s Father. While the couple is told they will marry as was the custom at the time they fell deeply in love with one another and their love story is one of the ages. I positively loved following along on each turn in their life that we are guided through by Anne Easter Smith’s masterful writing. From a surprising time in France where Cecily is to come in contact with Joan of Arc before she is burned at the stake to their time in Ireland.

If you know your history you know their love ends in a tragic way but it leads to somewhat more positive things. This time period is when the War of the Roses truly did reach its height even when there was a strong King on the throne nothing was guaranteed. Any fan of historical fiction will enjoy this book immensely. It is packed full of facts so that you do not feel as if you are reading a fiction so much as living events that happened. Queen by right is simply a masterful piece of work by Anne Easter Smith.

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