#Epub ì The Stolen Crown ⚦ eBook or E-pub free

I was quite pleasantly surprised by this book Especially after having just read Philippa Gegory s The Red Queen on the exact same subject I really enjoyed how the relationship between Katherine and Harry was portraied, which was quite the opposite of what it usually is and also was in The Red Queen I might add I was also really glad when I read the author s note, which is definitely not something that I usually do But this time, since I don t really know all that much about the Duke of Buckingham, I felt that I wanted to know how much was truth and how much was fiction What I read in this note really amazed me I found that Higginbotham had been quite thorough in her research and that she even went so far as to post some of the other theories except for just her own believes It was quite refreshing The only things that bothered me about this book was the title because this is a book about Kate and Harry, but the title refers to Edward and Bessie And the catch frase, The Secret Marriage that Forever Changed the Fate of England , was never really proved At least I for one didn t see, in this book, how their marriage changed the the fate of England Forever. Why is it any take on Richard III and his older brother must demonize someone SKPenmantagged Buckingham, this one paints Richard3 as wholy responsible for all evils From what I have read, the way the boys vanished was damaging to Richard, so why would he do it so stupidly He was noted for his caution in most else, tho he did have a temperyet he was trusted with his nieces by their mother, which argues against her believing he killed her sons Buckingham was known to be a hothead and not asrute politically, so he makes a better suspect, and he DID rebel, to either claim the throne himself or for Tudor.in any case, neither man can be exonerated or blamed entirely on what is known.as for whether or not Ed4 had a previous betrothal that negated his marriage he was a womanizer extraordinaire, and it is just as probable as not For a take on this period, SKPenman with Sunne in Splendour did far better and was convincing in her interpretation, IMO I think her scholarship is better Always a winner with me. #Epub Ø The Stolen Crown Ø Trapped In The Wars Of The Roses, One Woman Finds Herself Sister To The Queenand Traitor To The CrownKatherine Woodville S Sister Never Gave Her A Choice A Happy Girl Of Modest Means, Kate Hardly Expected To Become A Maker Of Kings But When Her Sister Impulsively Marries King Edward IV In Secret, Katherine S Life Is No Longer Hers To Control Cousin against cousin, brother against brother The civil wars now known as the Wars of the Roses are nothing short of intriguing Susan Higginbotham explore this period of English history in, The Stolen Crown The Stolen Crown alternates first person narratives of Katherine Woodville sister to Queen Elizabeth Woodville and her husband, Harry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham during the turbulent times leading to the Battle of Bosworth As usual in Higginbotham s novels the beginning of The Stolen Crown is quite slow and uneventful It always seems that Higginbotham takes some time to find her stride in this case, it takes until approximately page 100.During this initial slow pace, the plot is not brought to life and there is too much talking about events versus living them Higginbotham is simply too focused on setting the backdrop instead of livening up the current story In fact, she is guilty of the, As you know, Bob style describing people events in The Stolen Crown something that she complains about, herself.On the other hand, The Stolen Crown is history than fiction another common Higginbotham trait which is great for those readers who do not enjoy the extensive fluff which laces many historical fiction novels of today Higginbotham s language text is also historically accurate and beautifully written but with an accessible, modern twist Another strong suit of The Stolen Crown is the portrayal of Katherine Even though Katherine begins the novel as a small child, her voice isn t either too childlike or too mature with a believable medium This is sometimes marred by all of the talking as mentioned earlier which prevents the reader from truly getting to know Katherine but it is still well done As the novel progresses, it is Harry, though, who takes over the show His point of view becomes stronger with Higginbotham incorporating solid bites of why things turn out the way they do for those who know the history of the times Thankfully, this isn t overly foreshadowed and thus, the plot isn t inhibited In addition, there are occasional humorous moments which result in chuckles and smirks, showing Higginbotham s writing personality a mixture of history with some sarcasm.The second half of The Stolen Crown is much compelling with a faster pace This can be attributed to the focus on Harry plus the time period described Although the novel would be better if the entire piece was equally moving the story harkens along with anticipation and suspense at this point.The last quarter of The Stolen Crown contains some historical liberties but instead of being fluffy or overly dramatic as s shock value tool they are instead used by Higginbotham to explore possible theories and are therefore well executed Not to mention, the focus isn t on sex ahem, other HF novels Also gratifying for Ricardian readers is that The Stolen Crown doesn t portray Richard III as an innocent angel but not as a Humpback either.Sadly, the conclusion of the novel is quite rushed and a bit lost in substance feeling as though Higginbotham had to express facts before the pages slipped away leaving a somewhat weak ending This is countered by a splendid Author s Note detailing the novel s historical liberties, debunking common myths, and dropping interesting factoids leaving much to ponder for both expert and novice readers Overall, The Stolen Crown is an interesting take on the Wars of the Roses, bringing the Duke of Buckingham to life Whereas before I hate him now I view him as a person However, the novel isn t as compelling to me as others I have read so far from the author which I gave 4 stars to and therefore explains my rating here Despite this, The Stolen Crown is still rather good and suggested for all readers interested in the period. This book captured me with the dedication, To those who died in 1483 I paused here considering what I already knew about this tragic year Higginbotham uses a completely different method of sharing her theory on Richard III, telling the story from the points of view of Henry Stafford, the Duke of Buckingham, and his wife, Kate Woodville Besides the fact that I am not crazy about the alternating first person chapters, this new perspective was quite refreshing The Woodvilles of The Stolen Crown are not the grasping, scheming upstarts that so many others portray them as Elizabeth Bessie is a quiet, pious woman who agrees to marry a handsome young king It is the king who is determined to take care of her family Henry is not forced into a loveless marriage to a Woodville spinster, but is quite happily married to Kate when they are both children It was an eye opening read in which these characters were written so differently than what I am used to that I had to remind myself who they were from time to time That sweet Bessie girl That s Elizabeth Woodville Richard, Duke of Gloucester and later Richard III, is quite dastardly but in a believable way than Shakespeare Rather than reveling in his evilness, he does things because he feels that the ends justify the means His manipulations and justifications go too far and he ends up turning people against him, even people who loved him.Higginbotham makes a good case for how people are characterized in her author s notes Maybe the Woodvilles were not really all scheming witches, maybe Richard was the creep that Shakespeare said he was, maybe the Duke of Buckingham was a basically good, but na ve, guy If only we could truly know.It was new to me to cry for Richard and John Woodville, cringe when Richard moved toward someone, and to feel pity and affection for Henry Stafford This is where The Stolen Crown excels in convincing the reader that the people you thought you had figured out were really entirely different This was probably the most realistic portrayal of Richard that I have read, even if it was not the most romantic and enjoyable A part of me will always hope that the Richard of Sunne in Splendour is somehow true.Higginbotham includes a huge cast of characters that can be somewhat confusing even if you are basically familiar with the events surrounding 1483 However, she does not include the description of battles, so if that is something that you can t live without in a Wars of the Roses era novel, you will be disappointed If you are a hardcore Ricardian, you may find it difficult But if you are looking for a clever, fast paced, well written look at what might have been from a fresh point of view, you will enjoy this book. Well, the book started off a little too slow for me and although it was interesting to read about their lives, I found it not as interesting as some other historical fiction novels I have read in the past What nearly threw me off of this book was the abundant number of characters, and the majority of them having the same name So, it was hard for me to figure out who was who There is a character page in the beginning of the book, detailing who s who in each family and how they are related It s a lot of information to take and I would have preferred it in family tree format it s presented as one long list It did seem overwhelming for me and keeping the characters straight is difficult in this novel I think one would have to be rather familiar with the history Wars of the Roses, the Reigns of Edward IV and Richard III, and the Princes in the Tower to actually grasp the characters and the main events in the storyline I am not familiar with it, I m sure if I was, my enjoyment of the novel would be magnified tenfold However, I did not give up and continued reading as I do have a love for history and although the plot didn t seem to go nowhere, it did pick up the pace halfway through the novel Especially events after the death of Edward IV, this is where the story gets a lot interesting The narration from Harry dominates most of the time but you get an interesting point of view of events like the Princes in the Tower It s hard not to like him I thought at first he was just a normal spoiled brat who cared about his inheritance and land but as he grew older and realized who Richard really was, it changed him and I felt a great feeling of sympathy towards Harry I m not sure how I feel about Katherine I admired her after having to go through a lot of tragic events of losing her family and loved ones but I thought both Katherine and Harry were indeed fit for one another and looked great together I loved the ending of the novel, there was a feeling of hope and happiness that Kate deserved after what she had been through Also, I didn t realize Jasper Tudor could be such a dashing man albeit, he had a very small part in the novel towards the end but it was enough to make an impression to me The author s note is very informative and extensive but it is well written and a great follow up to those not familiar to the history.Overall, I would say, don t give up on this novel if you feel so overwhelmed with the names and characters If you get the general idea on who is who then reading this should not be a problem I recommend this novel to those in love with history particularly the Wars of the Roses, Richard III and the Princes in the Tower however those new to that time period like I am, give it a chance I found myself learning a lot and wanting to read of the history to understand better of the events portrayed in the book. This is the second Higginbotham novel I ve read, the first being The Queen of Last Hopes In The Stolen Crown, Higginbotham continues the tale of the Yorks and Lancasters struggle for the English crown Again, Higginbotham masterfully takes the scant historical details of Harry, Duke of Buckingham, and his wife Kate Told through alternating voices, the reader follows the couple as Kate s family rises to power when her older sister secretly marries Edward IV and falls from grace when his brother Richards wrestles the crown from his young nephew after Edward s death, with the help of Harry I am quickly becoming a huge fan of Higgenbotham First, she always provides excellent information in her author s notes clearly distinguishing fact from areas in which she took creative liberties and points out where historians differ on conclusions Secondly, she seems to have a real talent for character development She admits that so little is known about Harry and Kate, but she develops them so well that I find myself really hoping she hit the mark, flawed as they may be, I really liked them I always learn something from her writing In this work she lays the foundation for the rise of the Tudor family, which is the dynasty I m most familiar with Finally, I rarely get emotional with historical fiction books outside of WWII era however, there were about five different scenes where Higginbotham successfully elicited emotion on my part Admittedly, Higginbotham deviates from other historical viewpoints on Harry and Kate s marriage, but importantly on Richard III I am motivated at this point to read the alternative view point for a comparison. This was a very quick read, and from the standpoint of it being a simple historical fiction, I can t say it was all that bad The narration went back and forth between Katherine Woodville and her husband, Harry Stafford Duke of Buckingham.If the characters had been generic people, I would have said it was light, a little mindless, but fun Given that it involves the Plantagents, the Woodvilles, and the Tudors, it is much less enjoyable They author writes with a strong and obvious bias against Richard III okay, I understand that he was not a favorite of the Woodville women, but still, her characterization seems to have been plucked straight from Shakespeare all that is missing is the mythical humpback that kept jarring me out of the story.I ll admit, my sympathies lean toward Richard than Henry Tudor, but I didn t mind the softer portrayal of Henry It fit with the story and was what you d expect from the family who were eventually tied in with him, through the marriage of Elizabeth of York Edward IV was shown in a very favorable light, as well, so I ended up wondering what Susan Higginbotham has against the youngest York brother. The original Game of Thrones told from the POV of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Buckingham.Popular theory is that the Duke Harry was a child when he married Kate, but actually they were about the same age The Wars of the Roses, to me, was the cruelest of the English wars, killing the entire male lineage of noble families. While I m reading, I never think of how many stars I ll award the book I have in my hands That s one way of setting oneself up for disappointment as well as often premature best to reserve the final judgment till finished, if one doesn t drop the book first.However, there s a first time for everything, and this was it for me Just a couple chapters in, I was already captivated by the story and the characters, which were so unusual A Wars of the Roses novel that has as narrators Katherine Woodville, youngest sister to Elizabeth Woodville, and Henry Stafford, Duke of Buckingham and first cousin to Edward IV and Richard III That novel exists, seriously Count me in I wanted to read that, and rushed to grab a copy out of the library, and sat to enjoy it It didn t disappoint with the opening chapters, and as Kate s and Harry s voices started to become familiar to me, and become lovable, showing a side of the conflicts and politics from a standpoint not seen in Historical Fiction, that of the Woodville family, I was quite happy and thought this book would get as a minimum 4 stars and a place in my Keepers shelf.The hopes I build up for myself with so little The Stolen Crown didn t live up to them, and now, when I ve finished and have had time to digest it, it s hardly earned than one star from me.What happened What went so wrong that spoilt the story This is one of those cases when I know exactly at what point and in what chapter the story took a nosedive and started to fall down and down and down the scene where poor mad Henry VI tells a prophecy to Harry Buckingham upon meeting Jasper and Henry Tudor that the latter will one day be King of England Yes, I m aware that there s a historical document telling that Henry VI supposedly said that, though not in such a context And It s still clumsy, awkward, and poorly written Readers aren t idiots, they know Henry Tudor will become Henry VII some years later, and to use a prophecy by an old insane king to herald such a future event is downright insulting to our intelligence no matter what documents say, which can always be fabricated anyway Look at it this way if some boot licking courtier had left a document swearing that Mad King Harry had said young Henry Tudor would be king decades before that happened, when Edward IV was still king, would you take it as reliable And if so, would you use it in a novel presenting it as fact and expect your readers to roll with it unquestioningly I doubt many would.I certainly didn t, and from then onwards, the novel acquired a distinctly reactionary narrative that seriously harmed the story and the characterisation, especially by the end What do I mean by reactionary That the author, who by her own admission is no fan of Richard of Gloucester and styles herself as objective in all things related to him, in reality has chosen to go to the other extreme instead of presenting a balanced view of the then duke and future king, which seems to answer to a wish to go against the grain than to be objective How do I know this Because if you re arguing you re objective, then you don t go for depicting the worst choice in deed or behaviour automatically You present good and bad, not bad and questionable only.I ll give some examples, not without warning you beforehand that there ll be spoilers When Harry and Richard are talking about the Woodvilles, the author chooses to make Richard s objection to his brother s political family be one of merely rank They re commoners, parvenus So Aren t you arguing that Richard is a man of his times Then why do you go for presenting him as a mere snob that thumbs his nose at the Woodville clan for being common, given that he s a royal and any high ranking noble would think the same about commoners Modern attitude, that one And it s interesting that the rest of the York family are rather congenial with the Woodvilles except Richard and to a minor extent, Cecily Neville That was compounded with one off putting characterisation element, when Higginbotham chooses to have Harry Stafford harbour homoerotic feelings for Richard Those who ve read the novel will know what scene I mean, because it s explicit enough Coming from an author who has defensive views on the characterisation of Edward II with his favourites Gaveston and Despenser in HF, such a choice for Buckingham and Richard is curious, and disingenuous as well, given that there s no evidence to back her choice.Then, by mid book, the writing starts to become clumsier and hurried Higginbotham no longer seems to be telling a story but aiming to pack in as many facts and facts as per the historical records before the book is over The pace becomes and rushed, and the dialogue also loses in favour of inner monologue and first person tell, tell, tell The language in this novel is rather modern all along, and in principle I don t have any issue with modern language for historical novels, but I draw a line in the sand for what is too modern to the point it kicks you out of immersion And this book crosses that line as regards dialogue For example, how much modern can you make Richard sound when you have him say stuff like the operative word here is or Holy shit An English king of 500 years past, talking like an American If Kate and Harry Buckingham had started off as compelling and sympathetic, they progressively become stupid And it s not out of character progression as much as due to authorial choice And what curious choices they are You recall the reason why Richard became king Here, the Eleanor Talbot betrothal is presented as something Lady Eleanor s sister reveals to Katherine Woodville whilst drunk at a banquet, and she in turn tells Harry, who in turn tells Richard, who enfin. The author makes sure to establish that the marriage never happened, it s just a dalliance and nobody has proof, but Richard chooses to use the lie to usurp the throne, and this is one direct cause for executing Hastings Funnily, Harry Buckingham goes along with the usurpation out of his hero worship of Richard and against the so wise warnings from Kate He becomes violent and a rapist in defence of his idolised king, until said idolised king flippantly tells him he s ordered his two nephews be killed Then, and only then, is when the blinders come off Harry s eyes and he realises what a monster he s been serving, and rebels Of course, he loses and is beheaded for his pains And his silly wife argues that he meant no harm Seriously He rebelled against the king, which is high treason, and you say he meant no harm to him That s just one example of the U turn the characters take by the end, so inconsistently If the author wanted to paint the Woodvilles positively, I think she failed despite her obvious efforts to characterise them sympathetically, because they come across as a bunch of turncoats who hop happily from Lancaster to York to Tudor, all the while telling themselves they have no ambition and aren t the social climbers everyone thinks they are Kate Woodville, for one, closes two chapters with wry allusions to carnal activities with Jasper Tudor and her third husband, with little self reflection.I have no issues when Richard is characterised as darker or greyer it can be very interesting and refreshing I do often find some Ricardians irritating with their worshipful whitewashing, and whilst I remain unconvinced that the Princes in the Tower were in effect murdered on orders by Richard III, when it comes to fiction I can accept such an idea when it s presented convincingly, for the sake of the narrative or the plot choices of the author But Higginbotham didn t do it convincingly, and she really went to the other extreme in every sense, and that s blackwashing, which to me is just as questionable as whitewashing In this novel, Higginbotham has made Richard be the one that personally murdered Henry VI, for example, smothering him with a pillow in his sleep, and she also makes him talk unmoved about George of Clarence s execution, even smiling and making a joke about how his brother George died, talking about which titles of Clarence s will be his once he s dead, and even tells Stafford that he could ve saved George by intervening to Edward IV in his favour if he had wanted, which of course he didn t Further, he s the one who suggests to the Duke of Buckingham to annul his marriage to the Woodville woman, whom of course Harry loves to bits, and bastardise his children On what grounds Oh, who she is, basically.Probably you can see now why I say this is reactionary rather than objective counter argumentation through fiction if the usual Ricardian or WoR fiction goes for one depiction, the author of The Stolen Crown goes for the exact opposite And it s fine if you want to do that, but when you combat extremes by going to the other extreme, then that s shooting yourself in the foot in my view.Bah, not really worth it expanding further even though there s stuff in this novel I found objectionable Suffice to say it was a novel that started well and fell from grace by the sheer weight of its numerous flaws.