The King’s Daughter by Sandra Worth
Unless I am mistaken, Elizabeth of York is the only woman in English history ever to have been daughter, sister, niece, wife, and mother to English kings. If there is any woman whose life was dramatic enough to write about, it is probably Elizabeth.
Elizabeth lived near the end of the War of the Roses. Daughter of the Yorkist King Edward the IV, she lived through the reign of her father, the ever so brief reign of her younger brother Edward V (one of the ‘Princes in the Tower‘), that of her uncle Richard III, and was eventually married to the man who defeated and killed Richard III in battle, Lancastrian Henry VII in an attempt to end the War of the Roses and unite the Lancastrian and Yorkist lines. In addition, Elizabeth’s mother, Elizabeth Woodville is one of the most controversial English queens of history and her son, Henry VIII would perhaps become the best known English king – if only for all the wives he went through.
Clearly there is no shortage of drama in Elizabeth’s life. I very much appreciated that, at least so far as I could tell, Worth did not try to infuse the story with any additional drama, as some historical novelists attempt to do. In fact, she paints nearly all of her characters – including Richard and Henry as complex and human, instead of as evil monsters. Elizabeth Woodville and Lady Margaret Beaufort are not looked upon kindly, but even then Worth seems to be painting them as Elizabeth of York might have seen them, instead of as if she herself had an agenda as to what they did or did not do.
Everything in the novel was very believable, if it is not precisely how things happened, it certainly could have been. No wild, untoward leaps seem to have been taken with the history, and everything the characters did seemed internally consistent with how Worth wrote them, including the relationship between Elizabeth and Henry.
I really enjoyed reading “The King’s Daughter.” It is an example of solidly good historical fiction (and Worth wrote a loooong author’s note in the back explaining her research and what may and may not be true. I looove that). I read “The King’s Daughter” in under 48 hours, which means it is the book to successfully pull me completely out of my book funk, which is absolutely fabulous. I will definitely be looking for more of Worth’s work.
“The King’s Daughter” will be released in paperback on December 2nd and is available for preorder.