Book Review: Queen by Right by: Anne Easter Smith

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Touchstone

Publish Date: May 10, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Trade Paperback

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble  

Synopsis: From the award-winning author of A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, and The King’s Grace comes another masterful historical novel—the story of Cecily of York, mother of two kings and the heroine of one of history’s greatest love stories.

Anne Easter Smith’s novels are beloved by readers for their ability “to grab you, sweep you along with the story, and make you fall in love with the characters.” * In Cecily Neville, duchess of York and ancestor of every English monarch to the present day, she has found her most engrossing character yet.

History remembers Cecily of York standing on the steps of the Market Cross at Ludlow, facing an attacking army while holding the hands of her two young sons. Queen by Right reveals how she came to step into her destiny, beginning with her marriage to Richard, duke of York, whom she meets when she is eight and he is twelve. Raised together in her father’s household, they become a true love match and together face personal tragedies, pivotal events of history, and deadly political intrigue. All of England knows that Richard has a clear claim to the throne, and when King Henry VI becomes unfit to rule, Cecily must put aside her hopes and fears and help her husband decide what is right for their family and their country. Queen by Right marks Anne Easter Smith’s greatest achievement, a book that every fan of sweeping, exquisitely detailed historical fiction will devour. 

Review: Cecily Neville was known as the "Rose of Raby" (her birthplace). Her father indulged her and she was known for speaking her mind (and her temper!). When she is eight she meets Richard, duke of York, and a year later they are betrothed. While many other contemporaries of Cecily's did not have love matches, she was lucky enough to love the man her father decided she should marry. As they got older, Richard went on campaigns while Cecily was left behind - which she thought was unfair, much to her mother's consternation. Later, political upheaval is all around and Cecily is doing her best to make sure that Richard and her family survive.

I did enjoy Queen by Right, although it isn't my favorite historical fact/fiction novel. Cecily is a strong woman, who becomes the mother of two Kings and lives on spectacularly in history. Queen by Right is a beautiful telling of Cecily and Richard's story and how two people can make a huge difference in the world.



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