Susan Higginbotham's Stolen Crown follows the events of the British crown from 1464 to 1496. When King Edward IV married Elizabeth Woodville, a woman of no great rank or political power, he did not think through the far-reaching effects that his decision would have. The strife between the houses of Lancaster and York in the late fifteenth century tore apart families and friends, from the lesser Woodvilles to the powerful Nevilles, Tudors, and Staffords.
We hear the story, in alternate sections, as told by the queen's youngest sister, Katherine Woodville, and by Henry Stafford, whom Katherine married when she was about seven years old. The choice of these points of view was excellent. Kate and Harry's youth and closeness to the king and queen allowed them to be privy to information hidden from others at court. Furthermore, they would have been eyewitnesses to many of the royal family's personal moments.
The Stolen Crown is what historical fiction is supposed to be: a great novel that accurately recounts a bit of history with characters that come to life as you read. Whether she is describing the Greenwich court, Harry's first battles, or Kate's mixed feelings at the death of Edward IV, Higginbotham pulls the us in, keeping us fully invested even when we already know what the factual end must be.
Be sure to see the fabulous guest post that Susan Higginbotham wrote for Beth Fish Reads (posted yesterday), in which she talks about her reactions to traveling.
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Published by Sourcebooks, 2010
Challenges: New Author, Historical Fiction, Tournament, 2010, 100+
Source: Review (see review policy)