I was given this book by the author as a member of Rosie Amber’s Review Team #RBRT in exchange for a fair review.
I gave Queen of Trial and Sorrow 4* out of 5*
A B.R.A.G. Medallion winner, this is the story of Elizabeth Woodville, the wife of King Edward IV and the mother of the Princes in the Tower. As an impoverished widow, she was wooed and won by the handsome young king and believed her dreams had come true. But she was soon swept up in the War of the Roses, enduring hardship and danger as her husband struggled to keep his throne. When he died Elizabeth was unable to protect her family against the ruthless ambitions of the man he trusted above all others. It was the king’s brothers, the unstable Duke of Clarence and the loyal Duke of Gloucester, who would prove to be Elizabeth’s most dangerous enemies.
I really liked this novel. I like the author’s style of writing; told in first person point of view from Edward IV’s wife, Elizabeth, it is almost as though she is holding a one-way conversation with the reader. Although I found it a compact and exacting read that took a lot of concentration (I am a very slow reader) I enjoyed this interpretation of Elizabeth Woodville’s life in Queen of Trial and Sorrow. Every emotion resonates through each chapter and throughout all the years that we are following her; the happiness, the sadness, the fears and apprehensions. The main plot of her time, before, during and after the Court years is threaded through with subplots of intrigues and politics.
There is no doubt whatsoever that an enormous amount of research has preceded the writing of this book; it’s a fascinating account of the era.
The characters are multi-layered and some were ever-changing as time went by depending on the intrigues and striving for personal gains. Both those characters who are portrayed as good and those shown as wickedly self serving are plausible; their actions believable – if at times inconceivably cruel or dangerous.
The dialogue was written as I imagined was spoken at the time; the syntax and the language rang true to that period for me. And it was easy to follow which character was speaking even without the dialogue tags.
The descriptions of the settings; the buildings and the places the characters moved around in, the clothes, the ceremonies were all very evocative. The only problem I had was that sometimes I felt these descriptions were a little laboured and ‘heavy’. I would have preferred a lighter touch; I thought these sections slowed the story down
However, this is a very small objection and I’m sure anyone who loves to read historical novels will love Queen of Trial and Sorrow . I have no hesitation at all in recommended this book by Susan Appleyard
Thank you so much, Judith.
My pleasure, Susan. Enjoyed the read.
I think I have to read this, Judith. Elizabeth Woodville was the mother of Elizabeth of York, wife of Henry VII. I just finished reading Tony Riches’ Henry (about Henry VII) so this would dovetail nicely.
Indeed it would, Noelle.
Reblogged this on writerchristophfischer.
Thank you so much, Christoph.x
A very mindful and helpful review, Colleen. Thank you. Mega hugs.
Excellent review, Judith. To be honest, I’m interested in the time period and would probably find the heavy description interesting! All other points, suggest this book is a compelling read. Thanks for the review. 🙂
Thanks Diane, Yes, I can understand what you are saying; I was so engrossed in the actual story I just wanted to know what was happening next all the time. Although I knew the history of this time it was fascinating to read the ‘personal’ view from Elizabeth. Sure you’d love it. x
LikeLiked by 1 person
This review was quite helpful. When I’m writing, I find that the setting can be very important to the story. Especially when one location is used more than once and it has a feature that is central to the theme of the story. To strike a balance of moving the story along, I had characters move through the space and take in the different features of the location so that their thoughts moved along with the description. I’m enjoying reading these book reviews. They’re going to help me a lot with my writing.