THWARTED QUEEN, by Cynthia Sally Haggard, is the story of Cecylee Neville, Duchess of York, and mother of two kings; Edward IV and Richard III. Comprised of four books into one, spanning over almost a century, it’s a recounting of the War of the Roses seen through Cecylee’s perspective.
Cecylee was the youngest child in her family and as such, her mother, Countess Joan de Beaufort, delayed the marriage to Richard Duke of York for well longer than customary. This allowed Cecylee to revel in her youth while strengthening and cultivating her mind in all realms that were usually only privy to men; A definite asset when she later married Richard.
Their union was based mainly on the relentless campaign to restore England’s rightful heir to the throne-much rather than love. Cecylee, would forever pay the price for having dabbled in a bout of romantic infatuation outside of her marriage; resulting to serious consequences for the future of England.
Despite obstacles beginning with Queen Marguerite of Anjou (‘the bitch of Anjou’)all the way to her dreadful daughter-in law Elisabeth Woodville (‘the Serpent’), Cecylee managed to run a tight ruling in her own right that commanded and paved the way for her youngest son, Richard, to becoming king.
Thwarted Queen is a captivating read right from the start. The author’s smooth writing style and ability to capture even the slightest detail lingering within the silent moments is what renders this tale even more breathtaking than the history itself. In addition, the battles, the conflicts- this whole epic time is neither too much nor too dry; a perfect blend of history, saga and romance with Cecylee at the forefront of it all.
Bonus: There is an extensive list of characters and their history at the end of the book. Also most enjoyable was the author’s explanation for choice and time of events, and creative reasons for adding and/or modifying aspects within the book.
Extremely interesting and cleverly written-I was completely enthralled by this read!
Lucy - EBJ- History Salon