This book is a send up of The Wars of the Roses and its many and sundry characters, and if you are unfamiliar with the period it probably isn’t the book for you as most of the jokes will likely go right over your head. Those who have read up on this period and craving for more like Brian Wainwright’s hilarious The Adventures of Alianore Audley, you might want to consider giving this one a whirl.
This book pairs the infamous she-wolf Margaret of Anjou off with a most unexpected lover. I won’t spill the beans but what a delightful twist that was and what complications that arose from that relationship. Clark definitely seems to know her period and she pokes ample fun at everyone, adds delightful new spins to all the myths as well as a couple of ever so delightful swipes at one over-hyped historical fiction author currently writing about this period (see if you can guess),
“One day she’d use it to defeat those who stood against her. Like maybe by raising a mist to confuse them in a battle like has been suggested by at least one popular author recently but she probably just doesn’t get it, I mean, there’s people been writing this stuff for a long time, and researching and thinking and have moved on from the whole Wydeville witch thing, but she’s decided to resurrect all that Melusine nonsense and write about witches raising mists to confuse their enemies in battle which is what Elizabeth Grey, newly widowed widow and witch thought maybe she’d do one day.”
Oh and there’s ever so randy Edward IV,
“Ned was very pleased with himself for having found himself such a hot girl. Lizzie was pleased with herself because she was sure that Ned was more than he said he was. She had a sneaking suspicion that he might be the king in disguise!”
“Meanwhile, in Calais, the Earl of March was getting bored because he’d bedded all the women in Calais in the first week and there weren’t anymore. They fluttered around him like wanton butterflies, drunk with his beauty and sexual potency. They lifted their skirts and thrust their quivering bosoms in his face which pleased him a great deal.”
And let us not forget Margaret’s son Edward of Lancaster,
“In his mother’s the queen’s tent at the edge of the battlefield, Prince Edward was practising ordering people’s heads to be chopped off. He was getting good at it and couldn’t wait to do it for real.”
Last but not least young Richard of Gloucester, vilified by the Tudors,
“So, I have to hate her?” the frail and angelic® Richard or Dickon said frowning. “But Ned likes her and I am fiercely loyal to him and always will be!”
Honorable to the end, as well as always always always “frail and angelic® Richard or Dickon”.
All in all this was a hilarious send up of the period, and I was laughing my arse off for most of it (loved the A Very Neville Christmas chapter, including I’m Dreaming of White Rose Christmas). I did have some formatting issues on my kindle edition, especially an occasional large bold font where none should be, as well as some rather lengthy sentences that could use some judicious editing. A few of the jokes fell flat (at least for me), but otherwise a jolly good read and a big thanks to Brian W for mentioning it at Goodreads or I’d have missed all the fun.
FTC, an Amazon verified purchase.