Book Review: Thwarted Queen by: Cynthia Sally Haggard

Rating: 4/5

Publisher: Cynthia Sally Haggard 

Publish Date: October 18, 2011

Origins: From Author for Review

Format: E-book

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: THWARTED QUEEN is a portrait of a woman trapped by power, a marriage undone by betrayal, and a King brought down by fear.

Cecylee is the apple of her mother’s eye. The seventh daughter, she is the only one left unmarried by 1424, the year she turns nine. In her father’s eyes, however, she is merely a valuable pawn in the game of marriage. The Earl of Westmorland plans to marry his youngest daughter to 13-year-old Richard, Duke of York, who is close to the throne. He wants this splendid match to take place so badly, he locks his daughter up.

The event that fuels the narrative is Cecylee’s encounter with Blaybourne, a handsome archer, when she is twenty-six years old. This love affair produces a child (the “One Seed” of Book II), who becomes King Edward IV. But how does a public figure like Cecylee, whose position depends upon the goodwill of her husband, carry off such an affair? The duke could have locked her up, or disposed of this illegitimate son.

But Richard does neither, keeping her firmly by his side as he tries to make his voice heard in the tumultuous years that encompass the end of the Hundred Years War - during which England loses all of her possessions in France - and the opening phase of the Wars of the Roses. He inherits the political mantle of his mentor Duke Humphrey of Gloucester, and become’s the people’s champion. The rambunctious Londoners are unhappy that their country has become mired in misrule due to the ineptitude of a King prone to fits of madness. Nor are they better pleased by the attempts of the King’s French wife to maneuver herself into power, especially as she was responsible for England’s losses in France. But can Richard and Cecylee prevail? Everywhere, their enemies lurk in the shadows.

This book is filled with many voices, not least those of the Londoners, who forged their political destiny by engaging in public debate with the powerful aristocrats of the time. By their courageous acts, these fifteenth-century Londoners set the stage for American Democracy.

Review: Thwarted Queen is another great book about Cecylee (Cecily) Neville and her brush with the throne of England. Written in an engaging voice, you are able to feel as if you are living in her shoes. Cecylee Neville was known as the "Rose of Raby". Both her mother and her father indulged her and she was known for speaking her mind and taking no guff, so much so that she was given the nickname "Proud Cis". As the wife of a regent and the mother of kings, she make her share of mistakes, but still masterfully manipulated much from behind the scenes. However, she had to live with the consequences of those actions and some brought her utter heartbreak. In a time when women were property and were there only to give her husband male heirs and daughters to barter way, Cecylee did her share of breeding, but also had a shrewd mind and sharp insights. The characters in Thwarted Queen were very developed with great personality and really brought history to life.


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