Friday, November 7, 2008

The King's Daughter-Sandra Worth

The King's Daughter
Sandra Worth
Berkley, Dec 2008, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425221440

When the Duke of Gloucester became King Richard, his seventeen year old niece Elizabeth of York becomes a prisoner of his ambition like her two younger siblings. Richard incarcerates the "little princes" in the Tower and proclaims his niece is a bastard. He also further abuses his royal power insuring opposition is nil as he cements his control of the throne.

Elizabeth is shocked by what is happening to her and immediate family. Her dying aunt suggests she trust Richard’s judgment and accept her lot in life. She does as she marries Henry Tudor in 1486, whose rise to the crown led to the English believing her to be the "Good Queen". Their oldest son Prince Arthur weds Katherine of Aragon; and their oldest daughter Margaret marries the King of the Scots. When her Arthur dies, she worries about her other son Henry being young to be a ruler except with her as the Queen Consort guiding hand

This late fifteenth century biographical fiction looks closely at Elizabeth of York who through the males in her life is related to several kings as a daughter, niece, mother and finally wife of Henry VII; and should have been sister too. The story line brings Elizabeth to life as she watches her world crumble when her father dies and her uncle incarcerates her and her younger brothers only for her to rise again and again. Sub-genre readers will appreciate this worthy look at the machinations to sit on the English throne during the War of the Roses, the peace her marriage to Henry brings to the land and the rise of her children to throne; as she was much more than the title as her roles in life all lead to that of royal relative.

Harriet Klausner

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