Sunday, March 27, 2011

Book Review: The Queen of Last Hopes by Susan Higginbotham

Synopsis (from

A man other than my husband sits on England'' throne today. What would happen if this king suddenly went mad? What would his queen do? Would she make the same mistakes I did, or would she learn from mine? Margaret of Anjou, queen of England, cannot give up on her husband - even when he slips into insanity. And as mother to the House of Lancaster's last hope, she cannot give up on her son - even when England turns against them. This gripping tale of a queen forced to stand strong in the face of overwhelming odds is at its heart a tender tale of love. Award-winning author Susan Higginbotham will once again ask readers to question everything they know about right and wrong, compassion and hope, duty to one's country and the desire of one's own heart.

Avid Reader's Review:

3.5 Stars

In The Queen of Last Hopes, author Susan Higginbotham brings to life one of history's most maligned royals, Margeret of Anjou, wife of England's King Henry VI.   While I appreciated the historical aspects of this novel, it took me up until the halfway point to start to enjoy the story itself.   Most of the novel felt rather flat and rushed - imho  330+ pages is simply not sufficient to do justice to the immense amount of history that took place during the time frame covered by this novel.   As such, too much of this history was only glossed over, rather than described in the detail and depth I prefer.    As such, rather than be drawn into the story I felt as if I was simply an outside observer looking in and, as a result, I had little emotional attachment to the outcome.   The Wars of the Roses is such an interesting period of English history, and I admit that most of my reading of the era has a distinct Yorkist bias.   As a result, it was nice to read something from the Lancaster point of view.   Despite my criticisms I would still recommend this novel, especially to readers new to the Wars of the Roses period.