What a fantastic historical novel! I enjoyed every minute of it. Part of it was due to the fact that I have never read much historically about Margaret Tudor and the rest was because of Bogdan's masterful storytelling.
Margaret Tudor is portrayed here as a multifaceted figure. She sets out to become queen of Scotland at the tender age of fourteen and yet she overcomes her doubts and proves herself to be a strong and proud woman--very much a queen. And yet, in her steadfast quest to see her son crowned, she seems to cast others aside along the way, unknowing in her own way, but realizing too late what she has lost. Despite her faults, I found myself endeared to Margaret. I shed tears several times throughout the book. As she faced the many sorrowful events in her life, I faced them with her. Much of the trials Margaret faces are largely due to her status as a woman. Women did not have many options or much power in those days. Perhaps Margaret best summed it up herself when she reflected, "The world did not belong to women, except for what they could do to further their men." Margaret's life was very much tied up in furthering men, often with heartbreaking consequences.
Another aspect of the novel I enjoyed was Bogdan's portrayal of Henry VIII, Margaret's younger brother. The way he is depicted in this book is very much how I imagined he would have behaved from what I've learned of him in previous readings. Margaret says about him, "Well, Henry has a code of conduct for the rest of the world to follow, then a separate code for himself." Spot on!
In the author's note, Bogdan explains that this work, like her others, is a "dramatic interpretation meant to entertain." That being said, I never felt the entertaining aspect of the book took away from a feel of historical authenticity. As she did with The Sumerton Women, Bogdan has once again written a fine historical novel.
About the book:
Publication Date: January 29, 2013 | Kensington Publishing | 384p
From her earliest days, Margaret Tudor knows she will not have the luxury of choosing a husband. Her duty is to gain alliances for England. Barely out of girlhood, Margaret is married by proxy to James IV and travels to Edinburgh to become Queen of Scotland.
Despite her doubts, Margaret falls under the spell of her adopted home. But while Jamie is an affectionate husband, he is not a faithful one. And nothing can guarantee Margaret’s safety when Jamie leads an army against her own brother, Henry VIII. In the wake of loss she falls prey to an ambitious earl and brings Scotland to the brink of anarchy. Beset by betrayal and secret alliances, Margaret has one aim—to preserve the crown of Scotland for her son, no matter what the cost…
Check out my interview with D.L. Bogdan and enter the giveaway for a copy of The Forgotten Queen HERE.
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