Source: I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Publication Date: May 10th, 2011
Publication Date: May 10th, 2011
Back of the Book 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 nine and he is thirteen. 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.
My Review: While in the book store, Anne Easter Smith’s books would pop out at me as I would rummage the shelves at Barnes & Noble because her covers were so mesmerizing. So over the years I had collected all three of Smith’s books, but I regretfully never got around to reading them. After reading her latest novel “Queen by Right,” I really wish I had found time to squeeze them in somewhere in my hectic schedule!
Anne’s latest novel, Queen by Right, depicts the life of Cecily Neville and the story is portrayed in her point of view where we see her transform from a spunky, carefree little girl who is immensely spoiled by her father; into a strong-willed and courageous woman. Cecily was one of the lucky ones because unlike most women of the decade, Cecily was able to marry her long time best friend and childhood companion, Richard Plantagenet, the Duke of York. Their love for one another was a force to be reckoned with and together they could do the impossible. Their romance was tastefully portrayed and was very inspiring. As the plot thickens, you can tell many were jealous of their unique passion for one another.
Throughout the story, there were some very powerful scenes. Probably my two favorite scenes would be the meeting between Cecily and Joan of Arc while Joan was imprisoned for being a witch and the scene where Henry VI’s army plunders her castle and village and Cecily walks for miles dressed in her best gown and jewels, holding her two youngest boys hands, all the while holding head high earning her the nickname, Proud Cis.
My opinion: Smith’s story has caused me to fall madly in love with Cecily Neville, the Duchess of York. She really earned her name Proud Cis in my opinion. I admired her love and devotion to her husband, Richard and his cause all the while protecting her children from the tragic events, which took place during this era including the War of the Roses.
I really loved how Smith miraculously incorporated Joan of Arc into the storyline as well. As mentioned in my interview with Anne, there is no documentation stating that Cecily actually met with Joan of Arc; however, there’s no documentation stating that they didn’t.
Queen by Right is masterfully written and drawn out! I highly recommend this to ALL HF readers out there!