Friday, November 2, 2012

Proud Cis

Queen By Right by Anne Easter Smith
I absolutely LOVED Anne Easter Smith's first novel, A Rose for the Crown, but I think sometimes when you start on such an awesome note it can be hard to follow it up. And unfortunately for me, her books since they just haven't done it for me. That's not to say I didn't enjoy this one, and I think it may be my second favorite of hers, but would probably go back and read her first than read this again.

I was not a fan of the heavy handed foreshadowing in this, although part of that could be due to my knowledge on this time period. I think for a lot of readers hearing Cecily say something along th lines of, "I hope my children are always friends and never could," could read as a nice motherly thought. Except I know that was not the case, and we know one brother executed the other, and it's possible another murdered the sons of ones. I do think a little bit of foreshadow makes sense, but at times it just felt so over the top.

I also wasn't a fan of how Joan of Arc was presented. It reminded me of another book (I beleive Philippa Gregory's The Red Queen, where our narrator knows Joan is innocent, but everybody else see her as England's enemy (as she was). I get that writing Joan of Arc as anything but a Saint would be hard for some people to swallow. But it just doesn't seem to be historically accurate to keep reading from the point of view that Joan was wronged. It might be nice at some point to read something where the character does she her as practicing witchcraft, which is probably more accurate as to how much Englishmen felt at the time.

With these complaints, I still loved hearing Cecily grow throughout the novel. And even though it was long, it didn't drag to me. There are so many details about things like the clothes and the food (historically accurate I might add), that I really loved. You could remove them to make this, a lot shorter, but I think you'd be losing more than the length. There are also a ton of historical characters, but I was even surprised how easy it was for me to keep them straight. I also learned just how a several historical figures where related that I hadn't realized before.

I would definitely recommend this book if you're looking to learn more about the War of the Roses. Anne Easter Smith's books definitely do require an investment to get thought, but it's my strong belief that the time is well spent.


Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!

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