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Margaret of Anjou is married off to Henry the VI with the hope that the marriage will bring finally peace between England and France. Hah. The English hate her, especially when she’s unable to produce the required heir. Gossip swirls about her and her alleged lovers and when she finally produces a son ole’ Henry’s about the only one who believes the boy is his.  Always in the wings lusting after Henry’s crown is Richard, Duke of York (and believes his claim is the stronger), and when Henry’s mind goes a bit awry he’s more than ready to step in and take it all…

Everyone’s fortunes take plenty of ups and downs as power passes between the Lancasters and Yorks admidst intrigue, treachery and some incredibly bloody battles (which are not recounted in detail here) – who will rule England in the end? Yes, there’s a whole lot more to it than that and if you know the history of the Wars of the Roses you don’t need a rehash (that’s what Wik is for after all), and if you don’t I’m not going to spoil it for you. I’m just here to discuss the reading experience.Kudos to Susan for taking on a character so reviled by history and shedding new light on her actions – although I’d have liked to see Margaret with a few more warts and flaws. I did struggle with the multiple POV’s at first and for me as a reader this story would have come off better in the third person narrative. That said, I did adore Hal (I’m in love) and I laughed my arse off with Edward of Lancaster and Anne Neville. All in all this is a good book, just not up to the higher quality I’ve become accustomed to in her earlier books. I hear the next one is set in the Tudor period and I’m wondering if I picked up on a hint on the topic at the end of this one. Time will tell…

Thanks to Sourcebooks for my copy.

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