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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Book Review: Daughter of York by Anne Easter Smith


Daughter of York by Anne Easter Smith
Unabridged, 23 hr.
Random House
Rosalyn Landor (Narrator)
February 15, 2008
★★★★☆

Genre: Historical Fiction, Audiobook

Source: Digital Download from my Library

“It is 1461: Edward, son of Richard of York, ascends to the throne, and his willful sister, Margaret, immediately becomes a pawn in European politics as Edward negotiates her marriage. The young Margaret falls deeply in love with Anthony Woodville, the married brother of Edward's queen, Elizabeth. But Edward has arranged for his sister to wed Charles, son of the Duke of Burgundy, and soon Margaret is setting sail for her new life. Her official escort: Anthony
Woodville.

Margaret of York eventually commanded the respect and admiration of much of Europe, but it appears to history that she had no emotional intimate. Anne Easter Smith's rare gift for storytelling and her extensive research reveal the love that burned at the center of Margaret's life, adding a new dimension to the story of one of the fifteenth century's most powerful women.”
I have a confession to make – this was my first read based on The War of the Roses! Gasp…I know…I don’t know what took me so long – but now that I have broken that spine I am reading more and more about it now. I think that this was a decent introduction to that time period because it doesn’t just throw you right into the War. You get a little bit of life before the War on the York side and as we follow Margaret’s story, you really are not right in the middle of everything. As Margaret is living in Burgundy, she isn’t in England and just hears news from messengers and her brothers when they come by. This made it possible to dip your toes in the water and generally get a sense of what was going on – so the next book I read I will be ready for more intrigue and action. It was really interesting to get a sort of outsider’s perspective on the War. She certainly has her loyalties, as she is a York, but she isn’t being directly affected by it.

As I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the characters in this book prior to reading it, my opinions of them were not tainted either way going into it. And let me tell you I was so surprised as I got toward the end of the book and suddenly realized that young Dickon would eventually become King Richard III. I know that he is a polarizing figure in this era of history – but I was really loving him as a young boy! And just to throw it out there, I still don’t think that I am on either side of the fence about him yet.

Overall, the story was a delightful read that helped introduce me to the world of The War of the Roses.

★★★★½☆
 
Choosing to read this as an audio book turned out to be a blessing and a curse. It was great because I loved hearing the accents and pronunciation of words and the reading was superb, but it was SO long (I’m pretty sure it was about 18 disks). This was one of those times that I really wished I could flip back a few chapters to reference something or reread a few pages to get back on track after taking the weekend off from reading it. I will take this into consideration when I think about reading other books by this author.

Author Anne Easter Smith also has written: Royal Mistress, Queen by Right, A Rose for the Crown, and The King’s Grace. You can visit Anne’s website or blog for additional information about the book.

Here is a video with Anne Easter Smith talking a little about Daughter of York and her writing process.

 

My reviews of other books by this author:

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).





Copyright © 2010 by The Maiden’s Court

11 comments:

  1. I read this one a year or so ago and thought Margaret was very interesting. This would be a good book to read as an introduction to the Wars of the Roses. One of the first ones I read was Penman's The Sunne in Splendour. That was probably a mistake since her book is so detailed that I was often confused since I really didn't who was who.

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  2. Great review! I like the sound of this novel a lot and I think it's great that the author started the story there. I don't know much about the War of the Roses, although I have read two Plaidy books about it, but I really feel like rading about this time period right now, especially about your post about this war. I will definitely take this novel and the author into consideration. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Daphne - I have been wanting to read The Sunne in Splendour (it was actually one of my goals that didn't happen this summer). But now from what you are saying, it might be a good thing and I will read it down the road a little. Thanks.

    Irena - I think you will enjoy this book.

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  4. I haven't gotten hooked on audio books yet -- mostly for the reason you mentioned (you can't flip back to check something easily). Who reads this book for the audio version? I've been pleasantly surprised to see many of the British actors/actresses I love reading audio books!

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  5. Great review Heather! I started this one and couldn't get into it. I ended up reading Sunne in the Splendour and I'm hooked on Sharon Kay Pennman.

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  6. War of the Roses is one of my favourite periods to read with. I started with Sharon Kay Penman and love her books. I did read the first Anne Easter Smith book and thoroughly enjoyed it, but for some reason I haven't picked any more up.

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  7. Audra- I have over an hour drive in each direction for work and it really helps me to get through my drive having these books to enjoy.

    Kilraeke Kennels - I have been trying to pick up The Sunne in Splendour all summer, but I haven't been able to get to it yet.

    Marg - I am looking to pick up some more of her books - probably on audio, just because they are so long.

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  8. Oh, I LOVE Anne Easter Smith books. I am in the middle of 'The King's Grace' right now and 'A Rose for the Crown' is my all time favorite historical fiction book. I have to admit, I did not read your review of 'The Daughter of York' written above, I don't like to read reviews before I read a book...I know that sounds weird. But I will definitely be back after I read it too!

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  9. Cortney - I'm the same way. I don't really like to read reviews before I read the book either - except sometimes I will read just what they thought of the book and skip over the summary section. I usually just try to avoid the whole summary section in my reviews. I will certainly be reading more of her books in the future.

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  10. I am embrassed to admit that I have never read one of her books, although I have picked them up from the shelves many times! Great Review, I really like your blog!!!

    Girls with Books
    Teen Bookshelf

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  11. Kel - thanks for the compliment. This is the only one of her books I have read so far, but I do want to read the others.

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Thanks for leaving your comments! I love reading them and try to reply to all!